Landlords mull heating fuel conversions sooner rather than later

July 22, 2011 06:10PM

Apartment buildings throughout the city are reviewing their heating systems as they consider how to comply with new regulations issued by the Bloomberg administration in April, the New York Times reported. The new rules require that around 10,000 buildings using cheap, but “dirty,” No. 6 heating oil switch to No. 4 heating oil by 2014. But because the rules also state that buildings will either need to begin using No 2. heating oil or natural gas by 2030, some landlords are considering making the larger switch earlier in order to save money on multiple conversions. While the conversion process is expensive, natural gas costs about 30 percent less than fuel oil. According to the Times, for the Brevoort, a co-op tower in Greenwich Village, switching to natural gas cost $225,000 and involved replacing the burner on the boiler, removing two 20,000-gallon oil tanks, and installing equipment to draw gas from the available Con Edison pipeline. However, the Brevoort’s board now expects to save $70,000 a year in fuel costs. The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority hopes to offer more grants to encourage fuel conversion in the future. [NYT]