In 2011, 1% of buildings in New York City, approximately 10,000 buildings, were still burning No. 4 and 6 heating oils, causing 85% of building soot pollution, and close to 3,000 deaths. The burning of these fuels releases particulate matter (PM 2.5) into the air, which is small enough to enter the blood stream, causing a litany of lung and heart health risks. Since then, the Mayor’s office has created the NYC Clean Heat program, as well as NYCEEC, a non-profit financial intermediary, which lends to energy efficiency and clean heat conversion projects, and partnered with firms such as the Durst Organization, Deutsche Bank, and JP Morgan Community Chase to provide financing platforms for fuel conversion. As of the end of 2012, according to NYC Clean Heat, 1,200 boilers have converted to No. 2 or natural gas, resulting in a 150 ton reduction in soot pollution. The conversion projects are cost-effective, and foster economic and community development. For some building owners, the payback period can be as short as 2 years.
In this meeting, we provide an update on these efforts, and examine ways that clean heat financing tools can help to catalyze more energy efficiency retrofits.