This week’s strange but true business energy story. All businesses are concerned about the increasing cost of heating their premises, no matter how large or small the premises or business.
Everyone is trying to think of ways to conserve energy and save money on business gas prices. New ways of gas and electricity generation – from solar panels to using human waste – are being heralded as the next big thing and one has to wonder what the next piece of innovation will be…
Enter the Swedes, who have come up with the idea of using human body heat to warm buildings.
Jernhusen is a Swedish real estate company that decided the natural warmth generated by human bodies was a resource that was going to waste. They decided to use it as a way to keep down business energy costs.
The company used body heat generate inside one of Stockholm’s busiest buildings – the Central Station – to provide heat for another building across the street.
“There are about 250,000 people a day who pass through Stockholm Central Station. They in themselves generate a bit of heat,” head of Jernhusen’s Environmetal Division Klas Johnasson told the BBC.
“Why shouldn’t we use this heat? It’s there. If we don’t use it then it will just be ventilated away to no avail.”
The system works by using heat exchangers built into the ventilation system. They convert the excess heat generated into hot water, which is pumped across the road into the heating system of a second building, keeping it warm.
Sounds fanciful, perhaps even a little maverick, but it has saved the office block in question about 25 per cent on its business energy bills.
“This is generally good business,” says Mr Johansson. “We save money in energy costs and so the building becomes worth more.
While many resources, such as coal and oil, are running ever lower, there is certainly no shortage of people in the world. Perhaps we will see this innovative business energy system being used elsewhere in the not too distant future.
Mr Johansson certainly hopes the idea will spread: “We need to get sustainable with energy if we are supposed to live on this planet for a long time to come,” he concludes.
Of course, schemes like this will take some investment and entrepreneurs willing to develop them. There are more conventional ways to save money on heating your business this winter, with one of them being comparing business gas prices and switching supplier to ensure you get the lowest possible tariff.
Read the full story about the Swedish project at the BBC