New York mayor Michael Bloomberg announced last week that the city’s landlords will be receiving more than $100 million in financing to help them switch from heavy heating oils to cleaner, greener alternatives. The move comes after new rules were passed last year that banned the use of heavy heating oils Nos. 4 and 6, and the funding is part of Mayor Bloomberg’s plan to cut fine matter emissions by 50% over the next two years. By converting to cleaner fuels, the mayor is hoping to not only give New Yorkers cleaner air, but also to generate $300 million in construction activity.

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In order to finance the $100 million switchover, JPMorgan Chase & Co., Citigroup Inc., the Community Preservation Corp., Deutsche Bank and Hudson Valley Bank have all committed to providing $90 million, while the city’s Housing Development Corp. and the city Department of Housing Preservation and Development will offer an additional $18 million for mixed-income residential buildings.

The announcement was made by the mayor at Eastchester Heights Apartments, a 1,400-unit, rent-stabilized building in the Bronx that used to be one of the top 10 users of heavy oil, before it switched to natural gas.

In a statement to the press, Mayor Bloomberg said: “I want to applaud key banks, energy providers and nonprofits who have entered into groundbreaking partnerships and whose commitment will save lives and improve the quality of living in New York City. By phasing out heavy heating oils, we are closer to achieving our PlaNYC goal for the cleanest air of any major U.S. city.”

Unfortunately, over 10,000 buildings in the city still use heavy heating oils and as such, are contributing heavily to air pollution. Con Edison and National Grid have said they will help buildings in the conversion by making it easier for them to upgrade their infrastructure to run on natural gas. Hess Corp., who is one of the largest suppliers of heating oil, also said they will provide new incentives to switch to cleaner burning fuels such as ultra-low sulfur No. 2 heating oil and biodiesel.

Looks like New York’s air is about to get a lot cleaner!

Click here to watch a video of the announcement.

+ New York City Office of the Mayor

via Crains New York

Images:  Center for American Progresssmith_cl9,  Massachusetts Dept. of Environmental Protection