Converting Oil to Gas or Electric

8 Replies | Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Hello everyone, I have a 5 unit (3 - One bedroom, 1 – two bedroom and 1 – three bedroom) in Norristown, PA that still uses oil for steam radiators heat. I was wondering if I should switch to natural gas or electric baseboard or just hang on to oil? What do you suggest?

PECO has good rebates for conversion sometimes.  Check their website for current rebates, sometimes it can almost entirely offset the cost of running the line into the house, assuming the main is available on the street.

I converted my primary residence this past winter and saved a good bit.  No guarantees that gas will always be cheaper, but for now it is. Natural gas burns cleaner than oil and the lifespan of a boiler or furnace is longer for gas than oil.   Also don't have to schedule fill-ups.

@Gaurav K. if you choose electric make sure your building is insulated very well otherwise your electric bills may be very high for your tenants which may cause more turnover.

@Gaurav K. - yes convert to gas.  Call an HVAC company who can assist with the process.  As noted above, PGW has rebates for converting to gas and even better rebates for multifamily properties!  I just did an oil to gas conversion and I got a $300? (max $500.. can't recall) rebate coming my way for the change.  PLUS.. I sold the oil furnace on craigslist (a guy picked it up) for $600.  

I can't speak for MF, but on my SFH, there is NO charge to connect my home to the main line in the street. They installed a 1" line from the street to my property with the meter. I then had my plumber install the gas line and PGW makes the final connection at the meter.

I think overall gas is cheaper (and cleaner) then oil. Your tenants will appreciate this as well

Gas is superior but front cost is high. Tap fee and running the line.  If gas is already piped in and sized appropriately then it's a no braier. Not sure if you can run a steam gas boiler but I think you would have to run ducts. This gives you a chance to sub divide HVAC between units.

Heat pumps are getting very efficient and very cheap. You need aleast a 200amp service which could add some cost.  They also gives you AC which is more marketable to renters.

To avoid confusion - PECO serves Norristown, not PGW.  Policies will differ.

Also, this may be of interest:

https://www.peco.com/SmartEnergy/InnovationTechnology/Pages/NaturalGasBridgeportTownship.aspx