Columbia is in the process of converting 113 residential buildings from distillate fuel oil to natural gas, with the help of Con Edison and the PlaNYC Clean Heat Initiative. It is estimated that the University will save nearly $3 million in annual operating costs, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by an 7,238 metric tons.
Changes to the fuel mix in both the Powerhouse and the residential fuel conversion have reduced Columbia’s carbon intensity by 11.2 percent.
Columbia will reduce carbon intensity by another 2.7 percent when the remaining buildings are converted. More importantly, this initiative will reduce particulate matter emissions from burning natural gas, rather than fuel oil, and from eliminating the need for the delivery of fuel oil by truck, as natural gas will be supplied by underground pipe. These particulate matter reductions will have a large and immediate impact on local air quality, making air cleaner for everyone in the neighboring community.
This project included a total of 113 buildings, and Columbia has completed 87 of those buildings, including one of the single largest in the project, Nash Hall.