Connecting Street Vendors to the Grid

There are thousands of street vendors in NYC using gas generators for their electricity. Each vendor burns 2000 gallons of gas per year on average, releasing 18 metric tons of CO2 equivalent.[1]

This pollutes our air with CO2, nitrous oxides, particulate matter, volatile organic compounds, and other toxic gases, hurting public health and contributing to climate change.

By enabling vendors to connect to the grid, the city's air quality will improve, we will reduce emissions to meet the state's ambitious target of reducing emissions by 60% by 2030[2], and improve the lives of street vendors.

Vendors are often parked right next to street lamps, so we can install an outlet box for around $5000 with a meter. Using an app, vendors can unlock the outlets and be charged for the electricity they use. Electricians have said that this is feasible as long as DOT and ConEd approve.

This initiative is endorsed by the Street Vendor Project, and there are vendors eager to be in this pilot.


Electricity from Generators


  • 10/23/23 Feasibility assessed with electricians
  • 10/31/23 Meeting Mohamed Attia (Street Vendor Project's Managing Director)
  • Meeting with MOCEJ
  • 12/18/23 Manhattan Community Board 1 Environmental Protection Committee meeting with DOT, ConEdison, and MOCEJ
  • 2024 Pilot program


[1]12 hours × 3 kWh × 300 days a year = 10,800 kWh × 0.00171 MTCO₂e / kWh → 18.5 MTCO₂e saved per converted vendor per year