Con Edison, a subsidiary of Consolidated Edison Inc., one of the nation’s largest investor-owned energy companies, says it is offering, free of charge, a device that can save upwards of $1,000 for a residential customer installing a new solar array.
The Smart ConnectDER, built by ConnectDER, Con Edison’s partner on the project, allows the customer to avoid the cost of upgrading the circuit breaker panel. It also eliminates the need for excessive electrical boxes on the side of the home. The Smart ConnectDER is an adapter that uses the electric meter socket as a point of interconnection for solar power. It fits on most electric meters and works for solar arrays up to 15 kW – meaning nearly all residential solar projects. In addition, on homes where the meter socket is on an exterior wall, the installer does not have to enter the home to connect the solar to the home wiring.
“Providing ConnectDER technology is another step we are taking to make it convenient for customers to choose renewable energy,” says Alexandra Bykov, project manager at Con Edison. “Con Edison and our customers are leading the transition to a clean energy future, ensuring that our region will remain safe and sustainable.”
Con Edison provided 300 Smart ConnectDERs to customers during a successful pilot program in 2019. The company then sought and received permission from the New York State Public Service Commission to make ConnectDER technology available to new residential solar customers across New York City and Westchester County.
The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) chose the program for funding under its Future Grid Challenge, which encouraged companies to find ways to get more clean energy on the grid. NYSERDA will pay for 2,400 units with Con Edison paying the installation costs for those devices. Con Edison will continue the program even after customers and their contractors install those 2,400 devices.