KeySpan, a distributor of natural gas in the Northeast, met with boiler manufacturers to present a possible deal that would essentially cut out the wholesaler, according to an industry insider. In the deal, the natural gas company is looking to buy 10,000 to 15,000 boilers per year from one manufacturer and then offer them for free to any homeowner that is willing to switch from oil boilers to gas boilers. While this would mean big financial gains in the short term for the selected manufacturer, this is not so good for the local wholesalers.

In his October 2002 article in Plumbing & Mechanical, Dan Holohan reports that KeySpan would likely receive the invoice directly, thus cutting the wholesaler out of the equation. This move would cost wholesalers a large chunk of business and money, and set a precedent for future dealings with energy companies and manufacturers.

While many boiler manufacturers reps attended the meeting held by the energy company, industry sources said KeySpan is adamant that no particular manufacturer has the inside track on this business.

KeySpan, an investor-owned company, has 2.5 million gas customers and more than 13,000 employees with headquarters in Brooklyn, Boston and Long Island.

For more on Holohan's column, visit