I may be tackling a smaller multifamily project in the Bronx soon. The property has cooking gas but its heat is from oil. Since it is always better to offset the cost of utilities to the tenants, and because the oil tank may need replacing soon, I was thinking about converting the property's heating to gas and installing a boiler for each unit. I know that oil to gas conversions were a good idea in year's past, but with the cost of oil going down, would it still make sense to do such a conversion? I do plan to hold onto this property for a while.
The wrinkle to this project is, Con Edison had removed the gas meters due to non-payment from the previous owner (not 100% sure on this being the reason). I've heard of the difficulties people in Brooklyn and part of Queens have run into with turning on new service with National grid. And there is currently a moratorium for new service in Westchester with Con Edison. Has anyone in the Bronx or Manhattan had difficulty starting new service with ConEd? My concern, and the real reason for this post, is not being able to get gas services after converting my heating system from oil to gas. A realtor told me to consider an oil to electric conversion (heat, hot water, and cooking) because it may be THAT big of a pain to try to turn on new gas service. This doesn't sound like a good economic choice for my prospective tenants (large electric bills). Has anyone done an all electric conversion? What are your thoughts BP? Anyone have recent experience with starting new gas services in NYC that they'd like to share?
Hello @Kelvin Duen , I think you may have things a bit mixed. Based on your description, you are not considered a new gas customer. You have existing gas lines that runs into the property? If so, then a removed meter can be replaced and service turned back on. I would contact Coned. They may require pre-payment to turn gas back on due to history.
@Jared W Smith , would there be an issue with the size of the gas line coming from outside since the property was set up for cooking gas only?
@Kelvin Duen , if the capacity needs to be increased then that may be your problem. You should contact them and find out what the qualifications are for New Service vs Turn-on Existing Service. You should be certain what size gas line you have and if you will require an increased size/quantity. A mechanical specialist should be able to help you with this if necessary.
I renovated a three family brownstone in bed-sty. Con-Ed did the same thing to the owner. They came to “read the meter” and disconnected it and walk out of the building. The owner was disputing past charges because of a incorrect meter reading. It took about 8 months to get meters back. As long as the gas pipe entering the cellar is at least 1” pipe. That’s usually 1 1/4 outside dimension. Google it to verify. That’s plenty of service for a three family unit. With all three units on gas heat, hot water and cooking.
Hope this helps and good luck
Good luck. Having worked as a plumber in the city for a few years I can tell you first hand that national grid, con ed and department of buildings have made it a major pain to make any alterations to existing gas pipes and even more difficult to add new gas piping.
I had a job there about 4-5 years ago oil to gas conversion. The city dob said they were backed up 6 months on permits. The expeditors cost over 1k and it still took 2 months to get the permit. They had another oil tank in the building that was embedded in cement and has probably been abandoned for decades. It ended up costing the building a fortune to do that oil to gas conversion. With all the added costs I doubt they'll ever see any savings in efficiency. I've heard from plumbers that I know that still work there who said the gas laws have gotten even worse and would turn down any job dealing with alterations.
That being said nat gas can be much more efficient than oil burners. Most oil burners are 82-85% efficient and need annual maintenance or that efficiency drops substantially. plus the emissions aren't as good as gas. Gas burners can easily be 97% efficient and still relatively affordable.