News and Events

At HeartShare, we believe in keeping you aware of news and events throughout the agency. Be sure to visit our Events Calendar for important upcoming dates that may be of interest to you.

Environmental Justice for Low-Income New Yorkers

November 16, 2017

In The Media

New Boiler Conversion Program Helps Eligible Families Shift Away from Oil Fuel Detrimental to Health

“I’m a single parent of a son with autism. I never could have afforded this on my own,” shared Renee, recipient of the oil to gas conversion program and Staten Island resident. (left to right) David Hernandez (Community Liaison to Councilwoman Debi Rose), Renee Batiancela (Applicant) and Tanya Jones (Director of Energy Assistance and Community Development Program at HeartShare Human Services of New York).

HeartShare’s Energy Assistance Program–already reaching thousands of households across New York State–will now administer an oil to natural gas conversion program through National Grid.

Low-income families can apply for the conversion, which will be installed at no cost to the applicant. The conversion typically can cost thousands, depending on the existing pipeline infrastructure in the home or residential building, and often deters low-income families from making the switch.

“HeartShare is choosing to administer this program, so that low-income families have equitable access to affordable, convenient, and sustainable energy options,” said Joe Guarinello, Vice President for HeartShare’s Energy Assistance and Community Development Program.

The program already is positively impacting families in need. “I’m a single parent of a young man with autism. I never could have afforded this on my own. This program is perfect for me,” shared Renee, who learned about the National Grid oil to gas conversion program from Councilwoman Debi Rose. Gene, another applicant, expressed the struggle of caring for his mother. “My mom is hearing impaired and wears two hearing aids.  I was going to switch (to natural gas) a few years ago, but it was very expensive,” he explained.

According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, nearly 60 percent of New York households use natural gas, while nearly 30 percent still use fuel oil. Heating oils create pollution resulting in particulate matter that can adversely affect respiratory health. “HeartShare is trying to bring environmental justice to low-income families. Households unable to afford the conversion are being subjected to poor air quality among other health hazards,” said Tanya Jones, Director of HeartShare’s Energy Assistance Programs.

HEAP opened their boiler repair replacement program on Monday, November 6th and HeartShare is accepting applications for the oil to gas conversion program now. If you live in Brooklyn, Queens or Staten Island, call 718-422-4211 to set up an appointment. Select district offices of Senator Marty Golden, Senator Andrew Lanza, Senator Leroy Comrie and Councilwoman Debi Rose are also serving as intake sites for the new oil conversion program.

If a client has been awarded HEAP, or has Medicaid, SNAP, Family Assistance, Public Assistance, SSI, Veterans Disability Pension, Veteran’s Surviving Spouse Pension or Child Health Plus, they can apply. They must also live in the downstate National Grid service territory, which is Brooklyn, Queens and Staten Island. National Grid will do all the work and provide the new gas heating equipment at no cost.

HeartShare’s core utility assistance programs, in partnership with National Grid, Con Edison, NYSEG and RG&E, open in February.

Learn more about HeartShare’s Energy Assistance and Community Development Program.