Research Project Information

Research Project Summary Information

Three-pass, high-efficiency, oil-fired, residential, hydronic boiler(ST4457-1)

Utica Boilers, Inc.


New York State is a major fuel oil user with three million households (representing about one-half the population) using oil for heat. These oil customers represent one-quarter of the U.S. oil heat market. Improved oil-fired heating systems offer the potential for significant energy and emissions savings in the State. Several manufacturers of oil-fired heating systems are located in New York. Typical oil-fired boiler efficiency is limited to about 87% with standard sulfur (2000 ppm) heating oil. The condensate from heating oil is highly corrosive (due largely to the sulfur) requiring condensing systems to either use special alloys or to be significantly overbuilt resulting in a very expensive boiler out of reach of most consumers. This will change in 2012 for New York due to an ultra low sulfur (<15 ppm) mandate which will allow for a lower cost, condensing system with an efficiency of about 95%.

Map Error

Project Description

The project initially called for developing a higher efficiency warm air furnace. Prototypes of the furnace were developed, however, ECR and their partners deemed the product unmarketable. Product development then focused on a higher efficiency oil-fired, residential boiler. As a foundation to development, ECR carried out customer input surveys to provide guidance on the development of the new boilers. The surveys indicated that serviceability was a high priority. It is a three pass low mass design which minimizes standy losses and has an AFUE rating of 85-86.5% meeting Energy Star requirements.


ECR is a New York manufacturer thereby providing economic benefits to the state. The relatively high efficiency of the boilers reduces consumers fuel requirements. For example a homeowner upgrading from an 80% to 86.5% efficient boiler can expect to save about 52 gallons of heating oil per year based on annual consumption of 800 gallons. At today's prices (1/10) this represents a savings of $178 per year- if consumption or prices are higher the savings will increase. Sales of the boiler for 2008 were between $1-5 million. In 2009, 610 units were sold, 200 in NYS.

Project Results

A residential, Energy Star boiler was developed by a New York state manufacturer. It received all necessary certifications and was fully commercialized. The boiler is available in four sizes and marketed under two brand names, Utica and Dunkirk.


Utica Boilers, Inc.
2201 Dwyer Avenue P.O. Box 4729
Utica, NY 13501

Principle Investigator

Ed Johann

Universities Involved


Project Type:

Product Development

Technologies Types:

Building Systems
Heating, Ventilation, & Air Conditioning

NYSERDA Contact Information

Nathan Russell


R&D - Buildings Research

Contract Details

Start Date: 1/11/2010
Project Status: Active
Contract Number: ST4457-1

Last Updated: 10/2/2014