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If Connecticut is known as “The Constitution State,” then Hartford is most certainly “The Constitution City.” Hartford’s connection to this venerable document dates back more than 360 years, to the city’s earliest days as an English colony settled by the Rev. Thomas Hooker.
It was here in 1638 that the reverend delivered a sermon depicting his vision of how Hartford should be governed – leading to the creation of the colony’s first constitution, adopted in 1639. This document, called the Fundamental Orders, was the first written constitution establishing the people’s right to representative government. Nearly 150 years later, it became the model for the U.S. Constitution.

Understandably, Hartford citizens take great pride in the former colony’s role in American history. The Hartford Steam Co. shares the sentiment. And, as an integral part of the community’s infrastructure, we like to think we make a significant contribution toward furthering that heritage.

Making Its Mark On History

After all, Hartford Steam serves many of the city’s historic buildings and government facilities.  In fact, the oldest state house in the country – and the city’s oldest public building – is our customer: Hartford’s Old State House was designed by noted architect Charles Bullfinch and completed in 1796 on the site of earlier colonial meeting houses. Now a museum, this brick-and-brownstone treasure is designated a National Historic Landmark. Elsewhere in the city, we count the Supreme Court Library, the Appellate Court and City Hall among our valued customers.

Within the energy industry, Hartford Steam Co. is proud to have made its own mark on history. In 1962, the company was the first in the world to commercially own and operate a combined district heating and cooling system. It all began right at our plant at 60 Columbus Boulevard, which remains the heart of system operation.

Growing To Serve

Today Hartford Steam Co. has two district heating and cooling systems serving two different areas in Hartford: downtown and the South End. The South End system is connected to a cogeneration plant, which further increases energy efficiency. The downtown system uses a 2.1 million-gallon chilled-water storage tank to help supply cooling to downtown area customers. The two systems have the option to use multiple fuels, including electricity, fuel oil or natural gas – whichever is the most cost-effective. All continue to expand, regularly adding new customers.

The company was founded through the vision and foresight of William Jebb, who was president of Hartford Gas in the late 1950s and early ‘60s. The gas company had just connected to interstate pipelines, which made gas readily available year-round. Connecting to those pipelines brought tremendous gas capacity that stood unused in the summer. So Jebb arrived at the idea of developing a gas-based district energy system where gas could be used to produce chilled water to cool downtown buildings in the summer and steam to heat downtown buildings in the winter. With key customers like Constitution Plaza and Travelers Insurance willing to use such a system, the concept went ahead.

Jebb was a driving force behind the city’s redevelopment around Constitution Plaza, using the district energy system as a key infrastructure component to help entice new buildings to the area. Travelers Insurance Company offered its steam plant as an interim facility to serve adjacent development while The Hartford Steam Co.’s plant was being built down the road.
It was an era of major urban renewal projects across the country. More recent development in Hartford has focused on residential buildings, with a boom in apartment and condominium construction changing the face of the city once again.

While Hartford Steam considers its past – and that of our historic city and state – a great source of pride, our eyes are steady on Hartford’s future. The same spirit of innovation that made us unique when we started keeps us looking ahead and planning how to meet the needs of current and prospective customers. Hartford, with more than three and a half centuries of accomplishments to its name, provides us with more than enough inspiration for the challenge. Back to top

A DCO energy Company

The Hartford Steam Company
60 Columbus Boulevard
Hartford, CT 06103-2805
860-548-7350 / 860-548-7360 fax

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