London Underground heat to be pumped into homes

Waste heat from London Underground tunnels and an electrical substation is to be piped into homes in a groundbreaking scheme announced today (November 15).

The project – believed to be the first of its kind in Europe – is a partnership between Islington Council, the Mayor of London Boris Johnson, UK Power Networks and Transport for London. 

London Underground generates large amounts of heat, which will be captured from a nearby Northern Line vent and piped into the heat network which warms local homes.

The scheme will be run through Islington Council’s Bunhill Heat and Power heat network, which already supplies more than 700 homes in Islington. The expansion will see at least a further 500 homes connected to the network.

The Mayor of London is keen to encourage more locally-produced heat and power from smaller generators like Bunhill and to pioneer further projects that use existing sources of waste heat in the capital, rather than allowing it to be released into the atmosphere. The Mayor has produced a detailed assessment of these opportunities across London in a new study into London’s untapped heat resources ‘The Secondary Heat report’.

Mayor of London senior advisor on environment and energy Matthew Pencharz said: “We need to do everything possible to create a more secure, cost-effective and sustainable heat and power supply for London.

“By supporting locally-sourced energy and heat networks which can reduce bills and lower carbon emissions, we can not only save money but also drive innovation, jobs and growth in this burgeoning sector.”

The news comes as Mayor of London Boris Johnson also launched ‘FoodSave’ today – a new scheme to help food businesses maximise their profits by reducing food waste and diverting surplus food to useful purposes and away from landfill.

To help address the food waste problem, the Mayor is working in partnership with the European Regional Development Fund and London Waste and Recycling Board to support over 240 small and medium-sized businesses in cutting food waste over the next 18 months.

Commenting on the scheme, Pencharz said: “‘FoodSave is a brilliant initiative that can help businesses reduce their food waste disposal costs and become more efficient. I encourage as many businesses as possible to get involved and both save money and help the environment.”

Liz Gyekye

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