When buildings have been utilizing oil-burning boilers and the owners decide to switch to natural gas, a load letter is also required. Additionally, the gas utility will need all your invoiced oil bills for the past two years. We are professional engineering firm; we will estimate the gas load requirements after performing a plan review or detailed site survey. Any building owner wanting to convert from oil to natural gas should contact a licensed professional to estimate the conversion costs involved before submitting a request for a new gas service with the required gas load letter.
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Gas load letters are required for all new buildings that will be utilizing natural gas as well as buildings that are to be extended and will need a greater quantity of gas supply.
When buildings have been utilizing oil-burning boilers and the owners decide to switch to natural gas, a load letter is also required. Additionally, the gas utility will need all your invoiced oil bills for the past two years.
Gas load letters contain terms and conditions that cover everything from payment obligations to ownership by the utility company of equipment supplied. In addition to supplying the utility with detailed information of what gas service is required, including how much gas, pressure, BTU input and so on, it formalizes the relationship between the new customer and the gas utility company and itemizes various responsibilities.
Typically, the various terms and conditions included in gas load letters limit the liability of the utility, indemnify the company, and the enforce obligations of the new customer.
Some of the T&Cs from the National Grid load letter state:
Con Edison has a “hold harmless” letter that customers are required to sign.
The two gas utility companies that provide gas services, Con Ed and National Grid, have gas load forms for customers to use. Filling in the “letter” is simple, but ensuring the required information is accurate is considerably more complicated.
In essence, if the building is not new, the gas load letter will list and describe any existing equipment installed for burning gas and their gas loads together with all the proposed new equipment and their associated gas loads. Although the forms supplied by the two gas utility companies are not exactly the same, this is the kind of information that will be required:
A professional engineering firm like New York Engineers will estimate the gas load requirements after performing a plan review or detailed site survey.
New York Engineers has a great track record and boasts the fastest average turnaround for new gas connection approvals. The only delay will be if new gas connections have been suspended in your area for some reason, for example, because of pipeline capacity upstream of distribution systems.
Many people convert from oil heating to natural gas because it is cleaner and can help to shrink their carbon footprint. Natural gas can also save building owners money, though it may not be the best option for every customer.
National Grid maintains that natural gas is the most popular fuel for heating homes in the U.S. because it is clean, reliable, and efficient. The company finds that demand even increases in summer because electricity use increases and most power plants use gas to produce electricity.
Con Edison recommends that any building owner wanting to convert from oil to natural gas should contact a licensed professional to estimate the conversion costs involved before submitting a request for a new gas service with the required gas load letter. A reliable estimate will help you decide if, in fact, converting to natural gas is a good option for your building or home.
This is a service NY Engineers offers. Once we have estimated your specific costs and the gas load requirements for the building, we will discuss your options. If you decide to proceed, we will submit your gas service request on your behalf.
It is important to understand that converting to gas is not always possible. For instance, gas lines do not always have sufficient capacity to include more buildings. Also, the Department of Transportation may have restrictions in terms of how many time streets or sidewalks can be opened up in a five-year period.
Another factor is that gas utility companies are only permitted to expand gas infrastructure once they have received gas load letters from buildings. It is also necessary for owners and their engineers to prove that they are ready to convert from oil to natural gas. But there is a caveat: because the demand for natural gas has increased so much, natural gas production is struggling to keep pace.
When buildings convert from heavy fuel oils to natural gas, rates payable for gas may be firm, interruptible, or dual fuel firm. Applicants specify their preference in the gas load letter.
Firm gas rates apply to buildings that burn only natural gas and the service is never interrupted due to weather or any other conditions. Con Edison’s firm gas customers are eligible for an entitlement that allows them 100 free feet of gas main (in the street) and 100 free feet of service in their buildings.
Con Edison requires some buildings to commit to firm gas rates for five years. The reason for this is to cover the costs of entitlements.
Interruptible gas rates are charged to customers who may burn either gas or oil. However, Con Edison does sometimes require customers to switch from gas to oil or to another source of energy at times, in accordance with pre-established criteria. Because of this, interruptible customers are obliged to keep a 10-day supply of No. 2 oil. Installation of the gas service (the gas line) to the building is another additional cost.
Dual fuel firm gas rates are available to some buildings that burn at least 70,000 gallons of oil per year. The way this works is that the building is charged a firm gas rate and required to burn a minimum amount of gas annually in accordance with an amount Con Edison sets. The construction cost to bring the gas main and service to the building is determined via a revenue test that calculates whether the revenue from the building’s gas usage will offset the costs of installation.
The Code specifies that installation requirements for utility service piping that is located inside buildings should comply with the International Building Code 2015, which has also been adopted with amendments by New York State.
It also specifies that where there is piping leading from multiple meter installations these should be marked with approved identifications markings by the installer to ensure each meter can be quickly and easily identified. This is a vital requirement in multi-family buildings.
The NYC Local Law changed in 2016 in the interests of safety for residents. For instance, from January 1, 2020, only licensed master plumbers, people with gas work qualifications, or with limited gas work qualifications are permitted to work on gas piping systems. Furthermore, training, qualifications, and competence must be proved.
Additionally, all final gas pipe final inspections must be performed by the Department of Buildings inspectors. The permit holder, a construction superintendent, or a registered design professional must also be present.
The federal regulations have also changed the service piping definition which now includes all gas piping up to the gas meter. Previously, the utility-owned gas distribution system up to the wall of the building where customer meters were located or, if inside, up to the first accessible fitting inside the wall of the building. Now it is up to the meter.
Ultimately, the team understands the ramifications of new gas services including the technical demands of the required gas load letter, an all-important document. We will help ascertain if using natural gas is your best option, and if so, complete the gas load letter as a first step towards your new gas service.