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Keyspan conversion

Steamhead
Steamhead Member Posts: 14,838
You've run into Keyspan's "dump as many gas boilers as we can" scheme to put the oil companies out of business. This caused quite a stir on the Wall a while back. They're giving these boilers away for free, which is something the oil companies can't afford to do.

But once you switch to gas, you're tied into the Keyspan monopoly. Sure, in some locations there is token "competition", but Keyspan still gets their cut since they own the distribution system. For all practical purposes, you end up paying Keyspan whatever they decide to charge- and regulation of gas rates is pretty much a thing of the past.

The same thing is happening all over the country. In my area, Baltimore Gas & Electric is doing the exact same thing except dumping the boilers. I wouldn't be surprised if they try that too.

If I were you , I'd stay with oil. Oil suppliers are in true competition so you really have a choice.

We have plenty of Wetheads in the "Lawn Gisland" area. Go to the Find a Contractor page of this site to locate one near you.

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Comments

  • Keyspan conversion

    I am renovating my 1,600sf house in Northport, Long Island.

    I have an oil boiler with baseboard and am considering converting to natural gas.

    I plan to install radiant floors throughout.

    I would like to know, first of all if it is cheaper to heat with natural gas.

    Also, what type of boilers do Keyspan offer? Do they try to give you an inefficient boiler so you will buy more gas? Should I take the $500 rebate instead and buy a highly efficient condensing boiler like a Vitodens?

    The house will be very well insulated with R-25 walls, R-50 roof, and double glazed windows.

    I plan to run the 1/2" pex myself, but I will need a "wet-head" to do all the beautiful copper sculpture work in the basement. I plan to use primary-secondary scheme with a variable speed injection pump and outdoor reset. I think I will have seven zones.

    Would anyone like to price this job?

    Thanks for your help!
  • Bill N.
    Bill N. Member Posts: 18
    Not really cheaper

    Welcome fellow Island resident. The thing with switching to gas is you pretty much will pay a higher price per btu of fuel, espicially if you buy oil cash (I do). I burn oil and I love it, mostly because I don't like utilities. So if your biggest concern is price of fuel or dislike of utilities, then stay oil.

    I maintain my owner burner/boiler and controls. Everybody will agree that an oil fired appliance will always need more frequent maintenance that gas. Before everybody jumps all over me, you should have gas equipment checked out yearly. That being said, my dad has an atmospheric cast iron gas boiler from 1971 that has had zero problems since installation, with no maintenance or service.

    Also, it sounds like you won't be needing a lot of btu input to your building, since you have medium sized house with a lot of insulation. So your cost savings may be minimal (maybe $100 or less).

    So, if total cost isn't your biggest concern but having a boiler that doesn't need frequent cleaning (the worst part of oil, MHO) than gas might be a good option. Don't take the boiler they give you. I have nothing against a nice atmospheric gas Burnham, but for effiency you can do a lot better. You and your contractor can choose the boiler togehter.

    Good luck, I know I didn't answer your question, but it gives you a couple of pro/cons. I did consider converting, but I live in North Valley Stream and would have to get a variance from the Town of Hempstead to put the boiler in my detached garage (using that as an accessory use structure instead of a parking structure). The combination of higher fuel cost and requiring an act of the Town Zoning Board chased me away.

    Good luck,
    Bill N
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