Clean heat for New York City

Switching to cleaner heating fuels is New York's biggest step to healthy air

Black smoke from a building burning No. 6 heating oil

Black smoke from a building burning No. 6 heating oil.

Isabelle Silverman

Soot pollution in New York City once caused more than 3,000 deaths every year from lung and heart disease.

In 2008, EDF performed a study showing that buildings burning the two dirtiest heating oils create more soot than all the City’s cars and trucks combined.

Switching to cleaner heating fuels is the largest step we can take to cut this pollution.

NYC Clean Heat provided free resources to buildings to help them convert to cleaner heating fuel in the most cost-effective and efficient way. Now, the NYC Retrofit Accelerator continues that work, as well as helping buildings with energy efficiency.

Our campaign for clean heat

Our campaign to phase out highly polluting heating oil in New York City reached a major milestone with Mayor Bloomberg’s announcement of the clean heat rule to end use of the worst heating fuels. (Rule in brief [PDF] and full text [PDF]). Since then EDF has become a partner in the NYC Clean Heat program. In June 2012, Mayor Bloomberg $100 million in financing for buildings converting to cleaner heating fuel.

Continued progress

By 2015, NYC Clean Heat had helped over 5,000 buildings convert to cleaner fuels – half of them affordable housing – preventing 210 premature deaths and 540 hospitalizations each year. New York City is enjoying the cleanest air in fifty years. The NYC Retrofit Accelerator, launched in September 2015, is based on the successful NYC Clean Heat model, and is a key component of NYC Mayor de Blasio’s aggressive plan to reduce carbon emissions in the city 80 percent by 2050.

Case studies and testimonials

Visit NYC Clean Heat for case studies and testimonials of buildings that have converted to cleaner heating fuel.

If NYC cut out No. 4 & No. 6 oil:

  • 259 deaths could be prevented each year.
  • $733 million would be saved in annual health care costs.
  • 2 million fewer metric tons of greenhouse gases would be emitted – equal to 441,000 fewer cars on the road.