In recent years, Consolidated Edison Company of New York, Inc. (“CECONY” or “the Company”) has adopted an ever more proactive, forward-looking approach to system resiliency to address increasingly severe weather due to climate change. After Superstorm Sandy, we upgraded our infrastructure to be resilient to a 100-year storm plus one foot of sea level rise. In 2019, we completed a multi-year Climate Change Vulnerability Study to understand local climate change projections, identify potential system vulnerabilities that could result from the changing climate, and explore potential adaptation options to protect our infrastructure.
In 2021, CECONY made progress toward strengthening our energy systems to address the adverse impacts of climate change and the potential for more extreme weather. We continue to change the way we do business to address climate change risks with the objective of maintaining safe and reliable service for the millions of people who rely on us for power. Our efforts included applying forecasting and design processes that more fully incorporate the expected future impacts of climate change. Our Climate Change Implementation Plan, filed with the New York State Public Service Commission in December 2020, guides the Company in identifying an adaptation strategy for climate resilience.
Our key 2021 climate change resilience accomplishments were:
- Employed our governance structure to manage climate change risks and build resilience: Our executive level Climate Risk and Resilience Executive Committee served as a catalyzes for change management throughout the organization to focus on climate resilience. This effort was supported by key individuals within the Company and our Climate Change Risk and Resilience Group worked directly with decision makers throughout the Company on climate resilience, adaptation, and investment strategies.
- Reviewed the Climate Change Planning and Design Guideline (“Guideline”): Our Climate Change Planning and Design Guideline reflects the best available climate science and aligns with regional benchmarks. The Guideline will help us consistently evaluate our system and operations. We continue to monitor and consider newly available climate information and climate policy changes as part of our ongoing work.
- Adjustments to how we plan and design infrastructure for increasing climate change: By reviewing our specifications, procedures, and practices against anticipated changing climate conditions, we better understand how to proactively adapt our planning, operations, and emergency response. We have already made changes to address climate risks that support the resilience of our system and customers. New efforts include, for example, pilot programs to underground certain overhead segments of the electric distribution system to reduce vulnerability to climate impacts and accelerate select equipment replacements to counteract the aging effects of climate change on utility equipment.
We recognize that our approach needs to be flexible as more is learned about climate change impacts. Continued collaboration with our stakeholders will be key to our ability to continue to provide safe, reliable, and resilient energy to our customers in a changing climate.
For more information, please visit https://www.coned.com/resilience.