This is how the Northern line could soon be heating your home

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Chloe Gray
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One London council is taking on the climate crisis (and our sweaty commutes) with this green energy move…

We love London. The restaurants, the greenery, the culture. We even appreciate how lucky we are to live in a country where there’s public transport taking us to and from every corner, and that it’s (semi) reliable. 

But one thing we simply cannot get on board with is the temperature on said tubes. And given this summer’s heatwave, this is very much on our minds. So much so that (whisper it) we’re almost looking forward to winter, just so we appreciate the warm commute.

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But all of that excessive heat could be going to good use, as a council has announced plans to reuse that (excessive) heat.

How will it work?

Islington Council will pipe heat from the Northern Line, where temperatures reached 37⁰C during July’s heatwave, into around 450 homes and businesses. With the Greater London Authority (GLA) estimating there is enough heat wasted in London to meet 38% of the city’s heating demands, according to the Guardian, this is the green news we need. 

Heat from the tube could be pumped into your home

But take a moment for the cherry on top of the cake: during the summer months, the council intends to reverse the process to inject cool air into the tube tunnel, too. Can we get a HALLELUJAH for sustainable energy and cooler tubes?

Also great news is that Transport for London are hoping to find more ways of replicating this scheme. A TfL spokesperson said: “Heat from the London Underground has the potential to be a significant low-carbon energy source. We are also carrying out further research to identify opportunities for similar projects across the network.”

The plan is phase two of the council’s heat network, and the first of it’s kind in Europe. Phase one included the opening of Bunhill Energy Centre which provides “cheaper, greener heat” to around 700 homes in the borough. A map of the network can be viewed here.

Not in Islington, but want green energy?

In 2018 a third of the UK’s electricity came from renewable sources, up from 29.7% in 2017. But how much green energy your house is getting depends on your provider. Demand more renewable energy by switching to BulbGood Energy or Green Energy UK, which are the greenest providers in the UK according to the Energy Saving Trust. 

Images: Unsplash / Getty


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Chloe Gray

Chloe Gray is the senior writer for's fitness brand Strong Women. When she's not writing or lifting weights, she's most likely found practicing handstands, sipping a gin and tonic or eating peanut butter straight out of the jar (not all at the same time).