In 1823, Con Edison’s earliest corporate predecessor, the New York Gas Light Company, was founded by a consortium of New York City investors. A year later, it was listed on the New York Stock Exchange. In 1884, six gas companies combined into the Consolidated Gas Company.
The New York Steam Company began providing service in lower Manhattan in 1882. Today, Con Edison operates the largest commercial steam system in the world, providing steam service to nearly 1,600 commercial and residential establishments in Manhattan from Battery Park to 96th Street.
Con Edison’s electric business also dates back to 1882, when Thomas Edison’s Edison Illuminating Company of New York began supplying electricity to 59 customers in a square-mile area in lower Manhattan. After the “War of Currents”, there were more than 30 companies generating and distributing electricity in New York City and Westchester County. But by 1920 there were far fewer, and the New York Edison Company (then part of Consolidated Gas) was clearly the leader.
In 1936, with electric sales far outstripping gas sales, the company incorporated and the name was changed to Consolidated Edison Company of New York, Inc. The years that followed brought further amalgamations as Consolidated Edison acquired or merged with more than a dozen companies between 1936 and 1960. Con Edison today is the result of acquisitions, dissolutions and mergers of more than 170 individual electric, gas and steam companies.
On January 1, 1998, following the deregulation of the utility industry in New York state, a holding company, Consolidated Edison, Inc., was formed. It is one of the nation’s largest investor-owned energy companies, with approximately $14 billion in annual revenues and $33 billion in assets. The company provides a wide range of energy-related products and services to its customers through two regulated utility subsidiaries and three competitive energy businesses. Under a number of corporate names, the company has been traded on the NYSE without interruption since 1824—longer than any other NYSE stock. Its largest subsidiary, Consolidated Edison Company of New York, Inc. provides electric, gas and steam service to more than 3 million customers in New York City and Westchester County, New York, an area of 660 square miles with a population of nearly 9 million.