Con Edison ends brownouts as heatwave nears end

Mon Jul 9, 2012 3:16am IST

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* Union negotiations to resume Tuesday
    * Five-day heatwave to end Sunday

    By Scott DiSavino
    NEW YORK, July 8 (Reuters) - New York power company
Consolidated Edison Inc said the voltage reductions, also
known as brownouts, ended on Sunday morning as the brutal
heatwave eased its grip on the Big Apple.
    Con Edison, which has been talking to its locked-out 8,000
member unionized workforce about a new contract, reduced the
voltage in some neighborhoods in Brooklyn and the Bronx last
week as replacement crews mostly made up of managers worked in
the heat to fix some broken equipment serving those communities.
    Con Edison told customers in the affected neighborhoods they
could keep running their air conditioners despite the voltage
reduction.
    Most customers do not even notice a voltage reduction, which
mostly affects incandescent lights, hot water heaters and some
motors.
    The company however did ask all of the 3.2 million homes and
businesses it serves in New York City and Westchester County to
use energy wisely during the heatwave.
    High temperatures in New York reached 92 degrees Fahrenheit
(33 degrees Celsius) on Wednesday, 95 F on Thursday, 93 F on
Friday, 97 F on Saturday and 90 F on Sunday, according to
AccuWeather.com.
    As the heatwave baked the Big Apple, Con Edison and the
union participated in negotiating sessions to end the lockout,
which started on July 1 after the company told the union
employees not to report to work after the settlement ended
without a deal last weekend.
    The union and company had their last negotiating session on
Saturday and were expected to meet again on Tuesday at noon
Eastern Time (1600 GMT).
    The heatwave will ease its grip on the city later Sunday.
Temperatures next week will return to near normal levels with
highs expected in the mid 80s Monday through Friday,
AccuWeather.com said.
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