A Vital Rochester Resource For
Rochester District Heating Cooperative, Inc., is the result of a team of visionary professionals and community, business and governmental leaders who sought to create a nonprofit organization with the goal of preserving a unique community asset: the downtown thermal energy district. This was in response to a decision by the local utility to exit the thermal energy business that had supported Rochester for decades. RDH was created in 1985 through a public/private partnership among Monroe County, the city of Rochester, several large and small businesses, the former downtown hospital, and a number of churches. RDH made substantial investments in both the distribution system and the steam generation facility.
Paving the Way
The formation of RDH required several new state laws, including:
- Exempting nonprofit steam cooperatives from regulation by the Public Service Commission
- Authorizing Monroe County to participate as a member of RDH
- Confirming the unique taxable status of steam cooperatives with respect to the payment of gross receipts and franchise, and other state taxes
- An amendment to extend similar tax treatment to district cooling cooperatives that are also members of district heating cooperatives
In 2017, RDH completed a multimillion dollar facility upgrade project. This project replaced legacy equipment to increase efficiencies, reliability, resiliency, and capacity of the RDH facility. With the support of the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) and Rochester Gas & Electric (RG&E), RDH is now positioned for growth and the exploration of new technologies, and to provide new service offerings, including distributed energy, combined heat, power/Microgrid, and chilled water.