Latrobe City Hall may need air conditioning upgrade
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Friends of Homeless Felines marks 10 years in Scottdale
- Teen allegedly drunk at time of police chase, crash
- Penn Township man seeking gun permit accused of bringing heroin to courthouse
- Police: Westmoreland women stole thousands to pay for dog show hobby
- Father, son killed in East Huntingdon crash
- YouTube campaign by Latrobe 4-year-old aids Alzheimer’s Association
- Sewickley Township man got food stamps, $206K in gas well royalties, investigators say
- Consent decree that limits weddings at Foxley Farms ruled valid
- Adelphoi resident charged as adult in Latrobe assault
- Murrysville man draws on experiences in starting SAT prep academy
- Latrobe man who admitted role in fatal crash allowed to continue driving