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Heating Oil Conversions

Ways to Save Energy and Water

Heating Oil Conversions

The NYC Retrofit Accelerator continues the mission of NYC Clean Heat, a successful program that provided guidance to help building owners convert off of No. 6 and No. 4 heavy heating oil to cleaner fuels.

In April 2011, the New York City Department of Environmental Protection issued regulations requiring buildings with certain sized boilers, typically found in buildings 40,000 square feet or larger, to convert from No. 6 and No. 4 heavy heating oils to cleaner fuels. The deadline for converting off of No. 6 heating oil was June 30, 2015. The City achieved 100 percent compliance with the regulation, due largely to the direct assistance provided through NYC Clean Heat.

Buildings still burning No. 4 oil must switch to a cleaner fuel by 2030 or during boiler or burner replacement, whichever is sooner. Buildings have four alternative fuels to choose from: ultra-low sulfur (ULS) No. 2 oil, biodiesel, natural gas, or steam.

ULS No. 2 Oil

Converting to ULS No. 2 oil typically involves less upfront investment than converting to natural gas. Most burners that can use No. 4 oil can also burn ULS No. 2 oil and biodiesel, but tanks must be cleaned—and possibly retrofitted—first. Typically, conversion costs are low unless your building needs a new burner or oil tank.

ULS No. 2 Oil Blended with Biodiesel

ULS No. 2 oil can be made cleaner by blending it with biodiesel, a renewable fuel that comes mostly from vegetable and soybean oil. ULS No. 2 oil blended with 20 percent or more biodiesel can reduce greenhouse gas emissions in a multifamily building by up to 20 percent. The conversion process is nearly identical to a ULS No. 2 oil conversion. As an added benefit, biodiesel users are eligible for an income tax credit from New York State through the end of 2016.

Natural Gas

Converting from No. 4 oil to natural gas can reduce a typical multifamily building’s greenhouse gas emissions by up to 15 percent. Converting from oil to natural gas requires planning. Most buildings need six to 12 months to evaluate internal conversion costs, coordinate with utilities to access a gas line, develop a construction timeline, and determine financing for the conversion.

Con Edison Area Growth Zones

Con Edison has identified certain zones, called Area Growth Zones, throughout New York City in which the utility plans to expand its natural gas infrastructure in 2017. If your building falls within these zones, you may be eligible to connect to firm (uninterruptible) gas service with one entry point and pay no additional cost for the connection. Contact the NYC Retrofit Accelerator for more information.

District Steam

Buildings located in Manhattan on either the west side south of 96th Street or the east side south of 86th Street may have access to Con Edison’s district steam delivery system. Connecting to Con Edison’s system eliminates the need for on-site boilers and can free up valuable space for other uses. Converting to district steam can be particularly attractive if existing boilers are approaching the end of their useful lives or are in need of costly improvements.

Do you use heating oil to heat space or water? If so, upgrades to your heating and cooling systems may boost your building’s overall energy efficiency.

Air Quality Benefits of Heating Oil Conversions

Today, New York City’s air is cleaner than it has been in 50 years—preventing over 800 premature deaths and 2,000 hospital visits annually.

Heating Oil Conversion Resources

Ready to Start Saving on Heating Oil Conversions?

Contact the NYC Retrofit Accelerator team today.