The New York PSC yesterday extended and expanded Consolidated Edison’s Brooklyn Queens Demand Management (BQDM) program. The program saved ratepayers millions of dollars by cutting future energy demands while delaying or even eliminating the need for new infrastructure in the future.
“BQDM is one of the best examples of the energy reforms underway in New York thanks to Gov (Andrew) Cuomo’s (D) long-term energy strategy REV – Reforming the Energy Vision,” PSC Chair John Rhodes said in prepared remarks.
The program has used efficiency and demand management since 2014 and is expected to save customers about $24.5 million over its lifetime. The energy consumption cuts let Con Edison defer the construction of a $1 billion substation, the PSC said.
The order extending BQDM beyond 2018 included added distributed energy resources (DER) to help defer even more infrastructure and grow savings for customers. The extension order will let Con Edison get added demand cuts and defer more spending, but did not authorize funding.
The utility has been able to achieve its desired goals so far by staying within the existing budget, so no more money is needed. The PSC expects by next summer the BQDM program will have contracted for over 52 MW of DER to meet demand.
The program includes 6,000 small businesses, 1,400 multi-family buildings and 8,800 homes that cut overall load on the distribution system and thus saw lower bills. Small business efficiency measures resulted in 110 GWH of annual energy reduction, while those from the residential sector saved 27 GWH/year, the PSC said.
Con Edison expects to maintain similar levels of energy-use cuts going forward.
The BQDM is also helping move forward the PSC’s goals under the REV process by creating partnerships between private energy developers and utilities for DER. The DER marketplace will benefit consumers by providing smaller, cleaner energy systems using a variety of technologies such as solar, combined heat and power, microgrids, gas micro-turbines and storage, it added.