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Finding a way out: Southampton Geothermal Heating Company

May 3, 2018 | Madalina Buzdugan

What do you do when your city is ranked the fourth most unfavorable place to live in in the UK? You look at the causes, you understand your situation, and you take action, right?

What is happening in Southampton?

Southampton is one of England’s southern cities that had to find a way out of the uncomfortable situation described above. Known as the starting point of Titanic’s maiden voyage and the country’s capital of cruise ports, Southampton struggled with seriously poor air quality. When they looked into the cause, they found that it was because of the high level of CO2 emissions from local cars, heavy goods vehicles, ships entering the port and cargo trucks. 

On a global level, a 2012 report from the World Health Organization estimated that around 7 million people died in the same year as a result of air pollution exposure. For general reference, that’s one in eight of total global deaths.

The idea

With the problem and causes identified, the Southampton City Council (SCC) partnered up with ENGIE to pioneer a new project called the Southampton District Energy Scheme (SDES). This innovative solution would supply heat, chilled water, and electricity from sustainable sources to commercial and residential energy consumers across the city.

The Southampton Geothermal Heating Company (SGHC) is the entity that has been pushing the project forward over the last 25 years. It now serves more than 45 energy users in both the public and private sectors. Today, SGHC can proudly say that they save 10,000 tonnes of CO2 emissions each year by using heat from a large-scale combined heat and power (CHP) plant, supplemented by geothermal energy and conventional boilers.

They’ve also produced:

  • Over 40 GWh of heat per annum
  • 26 GWh of electricity per annum
  • 7 GWh of chilled water per annum

The next natural step to help the city transition to sustainable energy was to electrify their commercial fleet and team up with EVBox as their electric vehicle (EV) charging provider of choice. With 6 connectors and 3 EVs on board already, the company has built a good foundation. 

Why EVBox?

“It's important that anyone engaged with our organisation knows we are serious about providing sustainable energy solutions—this is a means of communicating that. We were looking for a specialist charging manufacturer who shared our values, and EVBox provided a Smart charging solution that met our needs—and what’s more—the chargers were colour-matched to our building facade too!”

  –Mark Howell, Operations Manager, Southampton Geothermal Heating Company

Want to dive deeper into how they’re building a greener future?

Take a look at our Workplace & Lease Case Study, which has all the input right from the source.

Download case study

Big thanks to Mark Howell, 
Operations Manager of Southampton Geothermal Heating Company, for helping us understand their project and giving us very valuable insights to build up this case study.

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