District heating keeps residents warm, lessens impact of rising fuel prices

Teleheating in Kozani, as in other towns near the power plants, has been a godsend that has changed the daily lives of inhabitants as well as providing serious investment for future energy requirements. The 55,000 inhabitants of Kozani are among the privileged in this country who can ignore rising petrol prices. An underground network throughout the town distributes hot water from the three units of the Aghios Dimitrios power plant, providing heating which is 48 percent cheaper than that produced by gas burners. Kozani is also free from the pollution produced by traditional fuel heating, a great benefit to the area, which has suffered considerable damage from pollution. Greenhouses that will use teleheating will also be in operation shortly. The town aims to become not only competitive but a pioneering center for energy and the information society. The fact that the city is the second-largest on the Egnatia Highway has been a great advantage. To deal with increased traffic congestion, electric display panels have recently been installed to inform drivers of parking facilities, and minibuses have been introduced at low rates. Meanwhile, the mayor is planning to give the buildings a facelift. Many believe Kozani’s cultural past and its contribution to Greek language and literature, in particular several well-known writers, are irrelevant to today’s requirements and interests. The town has the second-oldest library in the country containing important manuscripts, unique books and maps, but there is little interest in this cultural heritage anymore.