TribLIVE

| News

 
Larger text Larger text Smaller text Smaller text | Order Photo Reprints

Latrobe City Hall may need air conditioning upgrade

Email Newsletters

Click here to sign up for one of our email newsletters.

'American Coyotes' Series

Traveling by Jeep, boat and foot, Tribune-Review investigative reporter Carl Prine and photojournalist Justin Merriman covered nearly 2,000 miles over two months along the border with Mexico to report on coyotes — the human traffickers who bring illegal immigrants into the United States. Most are Americans working for money and/or drugs. This series reports how their operations have a major impact on life for residents and the environment along the border — and beyond.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013, 12:01 a.m.
 

An energy audit presented to Latrobe Council revealed that more is spent maintaining the air-conditioning unit for the building than actually cooling City Hall itself.

Katie Flynn and Cindy Bittel, energy engineers from RCx Building Diagnostics Inc. of Charleroi, gave a preliminary report after conducting inspections on April 12 and 18.

Flynn said 51 percent of the energy used in the three-story, 30,000-square-foot building, erected in 1978, is used for heating, 20 percent for lighting and 9 percent for cooling.

“If we have a mild winter, the energy consumption is something that's going to be pretty good,” she said. “But if it's a bad winter, you're really going to feel that.”

The chiller that sits atop the ambulance garage is original to the building. More energy might be consumed on cooling with an updated system because the current system breaks down during the summer, she said.

“It's been rehabbed along the way, but at this point more money is being spent on maintaining that chiller on an annual basis than it's actually consuming,” she said.

The boiler, which was replaced 10 years ago, and the hot-water tank are running efficiently enough and do not need to be replaced, Flynn reported.

Some air systems run 24 hours a day, seven days per week, which brings in unneccesary cold air during the winter, and some items such as TVs, fans and computers also run continuously.

More “zoned” controls and programmable thermostats could save energy, especially because areas of the building such as the police and fire departments as well as Mutual Aid Ambulance Service are used 24 hours a day.

Insulated garage doors for those departments could also save some heating costs, as well as sealing points where air escapes, such as windows and exhausts.

The company is planning to recommend changes such as occupancy sensors for lights in rooms that aren't frequently in use and replacing less efficient lighting and plumbing fixtures over time.

Bittel said a final detailed report will include a cash-flow analysis that accounts for the energy-saving measures over time, budgetary restrictions, and any rebates available from utility companies.

The report will be presented to West Penn Power on May 22 and city Manager Alex Graziani a few days later, she said.

Graziani said the report will then be available on Latrobe's website for any public comment.

“We've got to save money wherever we can,” he said.

Stacey Federoff is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-836-6660 or sfederoff@tribweb.com.

Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.

 

 

 


Show commenting policy

Most-Read Westmoreland

  1. Southmoreland School director named
  2. Derry man gets 19-year prison sentence for recording sex assaults of girl
  3. Greensburg YMCA seeks soccer sites for fall
  4. Girl, 10, forced to strip in Sewickley Township home invasion
  5. Music on way to Westmoreland’s Twin Lakes Park
  6. Convicted home invader from Monessen wants new lawyer
  7. Contract talks progress in Derry
  8. Extremes in weather hurt crops in Westmoreland
  9. Hempfield murderer serving life sentence promises restitution when he’s released
  10. Kecksburg celebrates its UFO history with annual festival
  11. Kecksburg celebrates its UFO history with annual festival