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Old 02-14-2013, 11:30 AM
Location: Philly
10,067 posts, read 14,932,369 times
Reputation: 2804


Audit says cooperative overcharges governments to heat downtown Pittsburgh buildings | TribLIVE
In a report released Wednesday, county Controller Chelsa Wagner examined Pittsburgh Allegheny County Thermal, a semi-public company that supplies steam heat to more than 50 Downtown buildings, including the Allegheny County Courthouse and the City-County Building.
Her findings mirrored what some already know: Pittsburgh's steam is expensive and difficult to market, saddling government facilities with higher costs while a declining base of private clients takes price breaks...
But auditors say the steam plant doesn't deliver on promises. Rates now hover around $27.50 per thousand pounds of steam, more than what most buildings would pay to heat themselves. A similar steam setup in Philadelphia charges half PACT's rate...
Read more: Is Downtown Pittsburgh heat system losing steam? - Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
The Center City steam loop, source of the Dickensian sidewalk vapor clouds that have warmed the soles of generations of pedestrians, does not normally evoke images of a modern energy system.
But in the last two years, the system's owner, Veolia Energy, has quietly upgraded its century-old power plant in Grays Ferry to reposition the nation's third-largest district heating system as an environmentally friendly energy source. Veolia is calling it "green steam."..
By installing new natural gas boilers and expanding the pipeline that delivers gas to the plant, Veolia will virtually eliminate the plant's use of high-sulfur fuel oil to produce steam for the system's 300 customers, including some of the city's most prominent buildings.
Natural gas costs less than fuel oil, so the bills for Veolia's customers should decrease. And natural gas burns more cleanly than oil, so the plant will emit 93 percent less sulfur dioxide, 20 percent less nitrogen oxide, and 70,000 fewer metric tons of greenhouse gases a year...
According to filings with the PUC, Penn was exploring options to generate its own steam to lower its costs and achieve its climate-action goals. Veolia proposed the upgrades to woo Penn to renew its supply contract for 20 years.
Cleaner Steam Heat - Page 3 - Philly.com
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