The Mayor of London announced an innovative new scheme on Friday that will see waste heat captured from the capital’s underground train tunnels and used to warm hundreds of homes in the city. The first of its kind in Europe, the scheme is hoped to cut fuel bills as well as lowering pollution. According to Islington Council, it is estimated that “carbon emissions will fall by more than 500 tons annually” as a result.
The project – a partnership between London’s Mayor Boris Johnson, Islington Council, UK Power Networks and Transport for London – comes as part of the Mayor’s sustainability drive in the capital. The system will make use of Islington Council’s pioneering Bunhill Heat and Power network, which currently supplies over 700 homes in the borough with greener heating and is forecast to reduce heating costs for locals.
An expansion of this network will ensure the utilisation of two major sources of wasted heat: from a London Underground ventilation shaft, and from a UK Power Networks sub-station. A further 500 homes will be connected to Islington’s heat network as a result.
The Mayor of London’s 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.”
Leader of the Council, Cllr Richard Watts, stated: “The expanded Bunhill Heat Network will cut energy bills for hundreds more local people. With energy prices going up and up, it’s vital we do what we can to cut bills. It’s all part of the Council’s work to help people manage the rising cost of living. Last winter was one of the coldest for decades and record energy prices meant many families on fixed incomes spent it in misery, unsure whether to heat or eat.”
Islington Council’s executive member for sustainability, Cllr 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.”