Waste heat from the Tube to heat London homes

Even in the depths of winter a morning commute on the Tube can be a hot and clammy experience.

But some of the hot air lurking underground is about to be put to good use in north London, where it will be piped away to heat hundreds of homes.

The project will take heat from a Northern Line ventilation shaft and a substation owned by UK Power Networks, and will pump it into over 1000 homes that are part of Islington Council’s Burnhill Heat Network.

The network already carries heat to over 700 homes in the borough, but the extension means that 500 more will also benefit.

The scheme is the result of collaboration between Islington Council, the Mayor of London, UK Power Networks and Transport for London.

Islington Council is putting up the lion’s share of the funding required, spending £2.7m on the project. An additional £1m has been allocated by the European Union as part of its CELSIUS project, which aims to demonstrate tactics for improving the efficiency and performance of district heating systems.

Islington Council’s executive member for sustainability, Rakhia Ismail said: “Recycling heat from London Underground and the electrical network are exciting new ideas and a boost to our work to tackle fuel poverty and make Islington a fairer place. This cheaper energy scheme is greener too – local communities will see CO2 emissions drop by around over 500 tonnes each year.”

Martin Wilcox, head of future networks at UK Power Networks said: “If it is successful there could be potential to replicate this and increase access to low carbon, low cost energy in other parts of the capital because we have electricity substations dotted throughout London.”

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Readers' comments (1)

  • Ian Middleton

    Great idea! Maybe we could extend the idea to the Houses of Parliament, there's plenty more hot air generated there!

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