The ConEd Natural Gas Moratorium: Are You Affected?
On January 17, 2019 ConEdison announced a natural gas moratorium for the more populated, southern portion of Westchester County. The moratorium went into effect on March 15, 2019. This means that ConEd will no longer accept applications for new natural gas connections, in most of their Westchester service territory - until they can more closely align customer demand with available supply. Existing customers are not affected, but service to new customers is now limited.
The root cause of the moratorium is basic supply and demand. In recent years, there has been a market shift in building heating sources, from fuel oil to natural gas. Natural gas is cleaner burning, abundant and historically more affordable than ever. The demand for natural gas has increased so much in Westchester, that it now outpaces supply. In other words, the natural gas distribution and supply infrastructure (i.e. the gas grid) can no longer keep up with demand. This is largely due to conversions from fuel oil, preference for gas in new construction projects, and restrictions on new interstate pipelines that could bring more gas to Westchester.
The natural gas moratorium applies to the areas within the natural gas service area outlined in the map above.
The Moratorium Affects:
- New residential, and commercial and industrial customer gas service connections
- Incremental firm gas load on existing residential, and commercial and industrial gas accounts
- New gas usage for heating, hot water, laundry, and cooking
You may be eligible for a new natural gas connection if you:
- Are seeking interruptible service.
- Would like to connect a natural gas-fueled emergency generator
- Are a small business customer in the food/beverage industry - you may be able to connect to an existing service for cooking.
- Are in the northernmost sections of Westchester County. These areas are served by a less-constrained interstate transmission pipeline
- Are an existing natural gas customer that is planning renovations. You can reconnect your gas service provided that the renovations add a de minimis amount of gas load.
To assist customers with the moratorium, ConEdison and the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) are rolling out a series of initiatives aimed at reducing the demand for natural gas, via efficiency solutions and/or electrification of existing buildings within the Westchester Natural Gas Moratorium Region; specifically those that pay the electric Systems Benefit Charge. Watch this space for further information about these programs.