HOUSTON, Jan. 17 — New York’s Consolidated Edison Inc. Thursday estimated its emergency response to the Sept. 11 attack on the World Trade Center will cost $400 million.

The New York utility holding company said the total includes temporary and, subsequently, permanent restoration of electric, gas, and steam transmission and distribution facilities damaged in the attack. The company lost a substation and other equipment when two planes hijacked by terrorists flew into the buildings causing them to collapse.

Most of the costs are expected to be capital in nature, the company said. Con Edison said its insurers will cover an estimated $65 million of the costs. The company also is seeking federal government reimbursement of the remaining costs. The company capitalized $54.9 million of such costs as utility plant and deferred $31.9 million of expense as a regulatory asset at the end of 2001.

Con Edison said it expected 2002 earnings will be $3.15-$3.25/share, flat compared to 2001, reflecting lower electricity demand and prices. The consensus estimate of analysts polled by Thomson Financial/First Call was for earnings of $3.25-$3.40/share this year.

New York’s electricity supplier said fourth quarter earnings more than doubled to 59¢/share on net income of $125.1 million, up from 22¢/share, including nonrecurring items, on net income of $46.1 million in the year ago quarter. CEO Eugene McGrath attributed the earnings increase to cost cutting.

Electric sales for Con Edison of New York, after excluding the effects of weather, increased 2.4% for the year 2001 when compared to the prior year, and firm gas sales increased 2.8%. The company’s unregulated businesses contributed 5¢/share to earnings in 2001, compared with 4¢ in 2000.

New York’s Consolidated Edison Inc. Thursday estimated its emergency response to the Sept. 11 attack on the World Trade Center will cost $400 million.