That changed Tuesday when the Lancaster County Board changed those rules.
“There is excess capacity that might be best utilized by attempting to sell that to private parties,” said Bill Austin, the DEC’s general counsel.
Jason Fortik, administrator for the DEC, said the utility initially plans to sell excess energy from two of its plants, one near the West Haymarket and one near the Capitol.
DEC has four plants that provide heating and cooling for more than 3 million square feet of space in city, county and state facilities. The plants use energy-efficient technology including ground-source heat pumps, condensing boilers and large chillers.
Fortik said he doesn’t expect the DEC will need to modify its existing facilities to provide energy services to private customers, although it may need to install underground distribution piping to move hot and cold water and steam to new customers.