Consolidated Edison Co. of New York Inc. (ConEd), a unit of Consolidated Edison Inc., said Thursday that nearly 1,300 large buildings in New York City converted from oil to natural gas for heating purposes in 2013, a more than 50% increase over the preceding year.

The utility said 1,293 buildings switched from using No. 6, No. 4 and No. 2 heating oils last year, up from 855 buildings in 2012 and 309 buildings in 2011. No. 6 heating oil is the heaviest, followed by No. 4 and No. 2, the latter being an ultra-low sulfur fuel.

ConEd spokesman Alfonso Quiroz told NGI that any building that uses more than 350,000 Btu is considered a large building.

In 2010, the city of New York enacted Local Law No. 43, creating the NYC Clean Heat program and directing the city's Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) to require that all new boiler or burner installations in the city either switch to No. 4 heating oil or utilize a clean fuel -- natural gas, No. 2 heating oil, biodiesel, steam or a host of other energy alternatives, including solar thermal, geothermal and combined heat and power.

DEP stopped issuing operations certificates for No. 6 heating oil on July 1, 2012, essentially requiring buildings to convert to at least No. 4 heating oil. All buildings in the city are required to convert to a clean fuel upon boiler or burner retirement or by 2030, whichever is sooner. No. 6 heating oil is to be phased out by 2015.

ConEd said it plans to invest $1.73 billion on natural gas infrastructure over the next three years. The utility currently distributes gas to 1.1 million customers in three boroughs of New York City -- Manhattan, the Bronx and Queens -- and Westchester County, NY.

Last November, three pipeline projects came online to supply New York City with an additional 2.0 Bcf/d of natural gas -- the NY-NJ Expansion of Spectra Energy's Texas Eastern Transmission Co. (Tetco) pipeline, the second phase of Transcontinental Gas Pipe Line's (Transco) Northeast Supply Link, and Tennessee Gas Pipeline's (TGP) Northeast Upgrade Project (see Daily GPI, Oct. 30, 2013; March 19, 2012; Shale Daily, Oct. 7, 2013; Aug. 16, 2013).

Transco has also proposed building the Rockaway Lateral, which would provide an additional 647,000 Dth/d to the city and the Rockaways (see Daily GPI,Dec. 10, 2013).