New York's Cooperative and Condominium Community

Habitat Magazine Insider Guide




Teachable Moments: Saving Money by Switching to Natural Gas or Dual-Fuel

New York City, Garden City, Long Island

Jan. 9, 2014


Steve Furman
Director of Management, Rudd Realty Management

One of our buildings was really reluctant to spend several hundred thousand dollars to convert from No. 6 oil to natural gas. We felt that the conversion would have a payback of two to four years. This is an amazing 25 to 33 percent return on an investment, and we convinced the board to go forward. Once the gas had been brought into the building, we changed the two oil burners to dual-fuel, so the building had flexibility and options. The building got several financial incentives totaling $100,000, and when you combine this with energy savings of $50,000 per year, the actual payback was about two years. It was a very successful project for the building, and since then we've completed eight or nine more projects like this. It's a complicated process, but we have it down to a science.


Alvin Wasserman
Director of Asset Management, Fairfield Properties

From 2005 to 2011, the price of natural gas dropped 55 percent, and the U.S. increased gas production by 27 percent. Observing this trend, Fairfield Properties prepared a cost/benefit analysis for properties that were burning oil to convert to natural gas. Fairfield then contacted boards to offer assistance to convert and to purchase gas from an energy supply company. Three clients — The Woodlands at Islip [cooperative], Cherry Valley Apartments [cooperative] and Townhouse Village [condominium] in Islandia, N.Y. — are now reaping significant savings. Last year, Cherry Valley [comprising 192 apartments in Garden City, Long Island] spent $295,816 on oil, and this year spent $152,599 on gas — a savings of $143,217. Cherry Valley's treasurer wrote to thank Fairfield for convincing shareholders at an annual meeting to convert to gas. He added that Fairfield kept daily pressure on National Grid and Garden City officials to expedite a resolution and kept the board informed. The community is very pleased with the result.


For more, see our Site Map or join our Archive >>

Ask the Experts

learn more

Learn all the basics of NYC co-op and condo management, with straight talk from heavy hitters in the field of co-op or condo apartments

Professionals in some of the key fields of co-op and condo board governance and building management answer common questions in their areas of expertise

Source Guide

see the guide

Looking for a vendor?