As we all move together towards a more sustainable future, Pennsylvania has recently strengthened requirements for boiler emissions. The new General Operating Permit No. 1 (GP-1) for Natural Gas and No. 2 Oil-Fired Small Boilers will take effect on April 1st, 2023.

GP-1s are general permits issued by the DEP to help regulate combustion processes that are a source of air contamination.

Once the permit comes into effect, all new installations of boilers and hot water heaters with a fuel input rate of 10,000,000 BTU and up will be subject to the new GP-1 requirements. This is generally going to apply to larger boiler installations. The most significant change is the reduction in maximum allowable Nitrogen Oxides for gas fired equipment. This change will require that all new and reauthorized gas burners are classified as “Ultra Low NOx” to meet the new requirements.

The new guidelines are implemented in an effort to reduce the amount of pollutants created by heating equipment. These requirements would not have a major effect on equipment efficiency and fuel consumption but will potentially increase the upfront burner costs approximately 10-15%. Retrofitting an out of spec burner after it has been installed is considerably more expensive, and sometimes impossible. In these scenarios a new burner would be required.

To ensure you get it right the first time, you should consult the right Professionals when planning equipment installations and replacements. At The Falcon Group, our team of experts stands ready to assist your association in preparing for these changes.

As your central heating plant equipment ages and nears the end of its useful life, Community Associations should update their reserve studies to factor in these increased costs and properly budget for anticipated equipment replacements.

At this time, these emissions requirements will not be retroactively applied to existing equipment. However, oil-fired equipment previously undergoing a 5-year re-authorization will be subject to testing, and the DEP is also requiring annual boiler tune-ups and emissions reporting.

Our expertise and knowledge of the governing codes and guidelines will ensure your combustion equipment installations and replacements comply with all applicable standards. The national push to reduce pollutant production has led to rapid changes in the energy landscape, and The Falcon Group will continue to keep you up to date on how legislative changes may affect your communities.