How Much Electricity is Used in Times Square

There's nothing quite like it on earth, save for the Las Vegas Strip.  Twenty-four hours a day, Times Square is lit up like it was mid-afternoon on a sunny day.  Every so often, visitors to New York will ask us, "How much electricity is used to keep Times Square going at any time"?  It's an intriguing question, and as guides we wondered as well.  So we posed this question to the nice folks at Con Edison, New York's electricity provider.

The answer, lots.  Well, of course.  We knew that.  But, how much?  It turns out, the answer is impossible to know for certain, as Times Square, which runs from 42nd St. to 47th St. at the intersection of 7th Ave. and Broadway, is part of the larger Theater District, which stretches out several blocks more in all four directions.  Additionally, the Theater District shares a distribution grid within Manhattan with its next door neighbors.

So, what's the estimate?  The associate at Con Ed estimated that at the peak of the peak electrical use in the Theater District is approximately 161 Megawatts of electricity being used at any one time.  We have read that 1 megawatt could power 1 thousand U.S. homes.  That's 161,000 U.S. homes - and Americans aren't exactly known as energy conservationists.  That would keep an small power plant busy just on its own.

Learn more about this and other interesting trivia on our Midtown Manhattan Tour.