We have electricity! And kitchen cabinets! Mostly!

It’s the small things 🙂 especially after the bureaucratic saga we ended up having with ConEd to get said electricity.

It all started with the electrician who didn’t submit the paperwork until the end of February to get an inspection with ConEd in the first place. Then it was a matter of getting an inspection scheduled. That took a few weeks to get that done. That puts us at maybe the 3rd week of March.

Then the fun begins.

I keep asking our contractor what is going on with getting the electricity going in the house. He has been using a generator every single day to do all the renovations. He has his own incentive to get this going.  At this point, we need to get meters in the house to even open an account and turn on the electricity.

But his electrician is of course unclear. He keeps saying he has to wait until ConEd Energy Services gets back to him and I tell my contractor I will call Energy Services myself.

So I do. I find their number and call them. For the record, they do not pick up the phone 90% of the time. Pro tip: they get in at 7 and leave at 3 so if you call them at 8, someone almost always picks up. By 10 am, it’s over.

So I call them and they tell me the inspection has to happen. I tell them it already happened. They put me on hold for a bit and then tell me someone will contact the electrician.

So I call ConEd. Oh right, this is even better. ConEd and ConEd Energy Services, despite what you might think from, you know, general common sense, are not only two different entities in two physically different locations, they each have no idea how the other one works. Mind you, they are all super nice about it. ConEd has to be the most pleasant customer service people I’ve dealt with pretty much ever, especially for a utility company. ConEd Energy Services – a little less nice.

I spend the next month calling ConEd and ConEd Energy Services and get varying degrees of people trying to help – someone at ConEd Energy Services will call Energy Services for me, while someone else will just look up the number. Someone at Energy Services will tell me they will only talk to the electrician and another will tell me how to track my work request number on their website.

But none of it leads to the actual thing that is actually holding up the meters getting installed. My contractor tells me at some point in mid April that we need to submit an application and $200 deposit to coned to get someone in to put in the meters.

Where do we take the application to?

No idea.

I look on the ConEd website. There is an office at Jay St. I look on the Energy Services website. There is an address on Flatbush ave. I read that they don’t take money at Flatbush Ave.

I call Energy Services. No answer. I call ConEd Energy Services. Someone always answers when you call ConEd. I tell them I need to drop off an application and deposit for meters and ask them which location to go to. They tell me Jay St.

We go to Jay St. where the very official looking/sounding but has kind eyes customer service guy behind the counter tells us they do not take deposits for meters at that location and they haven’t for 10 years. We ask him where we are supposed to go. He tells us our electrician should be handling all of this.

We thank him and walk out, a flurry of angry texts to contractor commences.

He apologizes and contacts his electrician immediately. A few days later, we get a phone number from the electrician’s direct contact, who tells us they only accept those applications at the Flatbush Ave. location.

Including the deposit check?

Yes, bring everything.

So we get to the Energy Services building on Flatbush Ave. and walk into the lobby. The security guard motions to a phone and tells us to dial one of the extensions on the phone on the counter.

We get a hold of someone who asks us if we have the application.

No, don’t we get it here?

No, you actually have to have it printed out and completed.

Oh. We didn’t know that. What can we do? We were sent to the wrong ConEd building last week and we didn’t know we had to bring an application, is there anywhere we can print one maybe?

She must have sensed the panic and frustration in my voice. She told me to hold on and she would meet me downstairs.

She comes down with a blank application and I hug her. I can’t help it.

Thank you!

You’re welcome 🙂 I know how confusing it is. Now all we need is for you to complete this and give us a check and a copy of the deed for proof of ownership.

Um, what?

You don’t have a copy of the deed?

No, but we will print one out. We will figure it out.

My heart sinks. I thank her again and I ask my boyfriend to look up the closest Staples, which is 1 mile away.

We walk outside to collect our thoughts and look up to see… a printing place across the street!

We run over, print out the deed from ACRIS (NYC’s online public records system) and run back with the completed application, deed, and check. It takes about 10 tries to get someone to pick up the phone (the security guards tell us to try all the numbers, even if it says Queens and we are in Brooklyn, they are all in the same office. Aha!). Someone from the Queens extension comes down to pick it up.

And then I begin my ritual of calling Energy Services every other day. I have the phone number and my work request number memorized. I set alarms for when I really need to remember to call them. Usually it’s a call right as I’m leaving for work, so I catch them in their prime phone picking up time.

First I would call the main number, and then later on the district manager.

Mostly, the answer I would get is that they should be coming in the next couple of days, until finally, one person said they have 7-10 business days to schedule the appointment from the time the application was processed and it was only day 7.

So you’re saying that they should call in the next three days and if they don’t I should call back?

Yes, you’re welcome to call us back.

What are my rights if they don’t call by day 10?

Rights? You don’t have any rights. The 10 day mark just means we can start bothering them to get this schedule.

I thanked her through gritted teeth and called the district manager later that day as if this conversation didn’t happen. He has been much more responsive than the others and a bit more human-y. I explain to him why I have been pretty insistent on getting the electricity going (the house was actually broken into a few weeks ago and we really need to secure it) and he says he will do what he can to get it scheduled.

The next day, we get a voicemail from him that the meter installation has been scheduled for the next day. Amazing!

Coned showed up yesterday (my contractor said they told him they require street parking or they can’t do the job and it would have to be rescheduled to next week – how weird. In any case, he saved a spot). I text my contractor to find out the progress and he says the generator is officially off! Victory!

Also, this:


feels. so. close.


11 thoughts on “We have electricity! And kitchen cabinets! Mostly!

  1. I have to tell you I am speechless after reading this whole ConEd stuff. When I lived in NY I hated,HATED going to the DMV….thought nothing could be worse. I was wrong. My daughter built her “Dream House” here in NH and she had so many problems, so much bureaucratic nonsense but nothing like ConEd. It took a year for her house to be built ….a $700,000 custom built home. Ten years later they still find things done wrong. I Think people who build or rebuild their homes are the bravest souls on earth. Love the cabinets. Keep on trucking.

    • I know! You really can’t make this stuff up!! I have to say though, it’s actually made me feel better to have people to commiserate with so I appreciate all the stories and feedback 🙂 Thanks!

  2. Did this whole thing in HARlem five years ago- you are giving me flashbacks! But there is an end in sight and it WILL be worth it, I promise!

    • Oh, we did have to replace the meters, I’m just happy you didn’t have to replace them, knowing what we just had to go through! we just found out yesterday that the electrician also updated our electrical lines to 200 Amps. still not sure what the heck that means, but our lights are working, so that’s all I care about 🙂

      • That’s good. With 200 Amps you can power all the hair dryers, computers, TVs, air conditioners etc… You can fit in your house.

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