The Wave – September 2019

The Customer Connection

Steve Rambeck

Steve Rambeck

I meet with customers and potential customers every day, and I consistently hear how important it is that District Energy delivers reliable services at the best possible value for your business. Our team takes that need seriously and has made strategic investments in projects that will benefit customers now and into the future. The team at District Energy has been working hard on your behalf, and I am excited to share the highlights I have witnessed in my first 18 months including the efficiency work in your buildings, the distribution system upgrades in the streets, and our production facility progress in Saint Paul.

District Energy team has made energy efficiency in your buildings a priority this past year. We have been able to leverage detailed meter data to identify savings potential and proactively reach out to customers to suggest improvements. We work with building owners to pinpoint and correct issues, with funding available for projects that show quantifiable efficiency gains. These projects ultimately lower the costs for everyone on the system by reducing wasteful water pumping energy and lessening fuel inputs. We want to emphasize our commitment to helping you save money in your building and the resources we can make available to help you with those efforts.

You have consistently told us that reliability is your highest priority. To uphold our commitment to you, our team uses advanced technology to identify potential distribution system issues before they become an emergency. Summer is an important season to complete new service connections, repairs, and maintenance, so that service is delivered efficiently and reliably. The projects that the team completed over the past year has been integral to our commitment to deliver on this most critical priority. This summer, we were excited to have connected the Jax Building, Press House Apartments, R7 Lofts, and the Opportunity Center.

Since our retirement party for coal in March, our team has been working to convert the final two coal boilers to natural gas and fuel oil supply in time for the upcoming heating season. These same team members installed a new chiller this spring and it was deployed throughout the summer cooling season. The chiller project accomplishes two important goals; it adds a highly efficient asset to our fleet and reduces our environmental impact by using next generation refrigerants with significantly lower global warming potential.

The District Energy team will continue to focus on reliability balanced with the cost of continuous system improvements. If you have questions about your District Energy connection, please reach out to me at or 651.925.8115.

Steve Rambeck
Director of Business Development

Prepare Your Systems for the Heating Season

Fall is a good time to prepare your building systems for the heating season. Scheduled and preventative maintenance can keep your building systems running efficiently, extend equipment life, and help to avoid unexpected downtime and costly repairs. The District Energy team has developed a list of recommendations to help keep your heating system running smoothly. These steps can be incorporated into the maintenance program for your building. For personnel safety and to protect equipment, maintenance tasks should be performed by qualified and trained individuals. Preventative Maintenance Check List.

Customer Budget Estimates

Each year our team prepares an annual budget communication package to provide our customers more information about their energy trends and what to expect for their energy budget in the coming year. During the third week of September, customers will receive a budget communication packet that includes information about the annual rate-setting process and our rates. While we prepare this information on an annual basis, we encourage you and your team to touch base with us throughout the year to examine your building performance and discuss opportunities to improve your energy profile and lower your costs.

Save the Date – Operating Engineers Seminar

Operating Engineers SeminarPlease join us for our annual Operating Engineer Seminar on October 30, 2019, from 11:30 AM – 1 PM. This year we will focus on recommendations for HVAC equipment replacements that align with efficiency best practices and help position your building for future energy code updates. Lon Fiedler, PE, Senior Engineer from TKDA’s Mechanical Group will be the featured speaker with the District Energy team on hand. We invite you to join our team to discuss ideas that you can take back to improve your operations. Additional details will be coming soon. Please RSVP to Jenae Batt at or 651.925.8170.

High-Tech Luxury at R7 Lofts

R7 LoftsDistrict Energy welcomes R7 Lofts to the system as of July —utilizing heating, cooling and snow melt services. R7 Lofts is a newly renovated 100-year-old building that offers community living in 48 high-tech, boutique luxury lofts in the heart of Saint Paul. Apartments are available with 1, 2, or 3 bedrooms and feature high ceilings and large windows. Each apartment is equipped with smart technology that allow residents to monitor and control thermostats, lighting, and door locks from any location with their phone. Building amenities include a sky lounge, indoor and outdoor gathering space, fitness center, and on-site co-working space. Located at the corner of East 7th Street and Robert Street, residents will enjoy the convenient amenities of restaurants, grocery, and entertainment as well as easy access to bike paths and parking.

District Energy will provide R7 lofts with heating, cooling, domestic hot water, and snow melt. With all new building systems and residents’ smart thermostats, the building’s management is looking forward to energy efficient operations and consistent climate control. Snow melt will heat all of the property’s sidewalks and driveways to provide safer walkways for pedestrians and clearer surfaces for drivers while eliminating the cost, hassle, and negative impacts of traditional snow removal.

R7 Lofts is nearly finished with construction and actively leasing apartments. To learn more visit their website or call their leasing agents 612-470-4444.

Happy 100th Birthday Hamm Building

Hamm BuildingCongratulations to the iconic Hamm Building that is celebrating its 100th birthday. Since 1996, District Energy has provided heating and cooling services to this cultural hub of entertainment, dining, retail, and offices.

Located at the corner of St. Peter Street and Seventh Place Mall in downtown Saint Paul, the Hamm Building has had a range of tenants over the years and is currently home to 5-star French bistro Meritage, Park Square Theatre, Heimie’s Haberdashery, Landmark Jewelry, the St. Paul Loon, Anthony Scornavacco Antiques, F&B Linens, and Sonnen’s Pets.

William Hamm, owner of Hamm’s Brewery, financed the development of this six story office and retail building originally housing an office for the Hamm Brewery, trendy retail boutiques, as well as the Upper Midwest’s most costly and ornate movie theatre at the time. The building attracted all types of tenants and activities, including some that played on the other side of the law in the 1930’s. Author and Hamm family descendant, John T. Flanagan notes that “at the time of its construction it was claimed to be the greatest single enterprise of a private nature in the history of the city.” The building is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Hamm Building constructionOn September 12th, the public is invited to gather at the Hamm Building to celebrate the significance of the past 100 years and toast to the next 100. This free historical anniversary and event will start at 2 pm, with 1919 inspired food and drink available for purchase on the plaza provided by Meritage and The St. Paul Loon. There will live music by Bellagala, actors dressed in 1919 period costume, and plenty of Hamm Building history.