Photo cred - Stephane Paquet

No matter the season, no matter the weather, Montreal's metro system is always hot as hell. Literally. Actually, I think hell was a few degrees cooler than the metro last time I visited Lu. Right now, all that excess heat is just making us sweaty and smelly, but there could be a economic and environmentally friendly use for the metro's high temperatures.

To make use of the Montreal metro system's overabundance of warmth (created by movement of the trains, passengers and nearby buildings) the city should look to London. The UK's has implemented a system where excess warmth from the city's Northern Line is being used to heat 500 homes, leading to cheaper energy bills and a 500 tonne reduction of CO2 emissions every year.

Radio-Canada asked if Montreal could use the same system, with a mixed reaction from experts. Patrick Dionne, director of energy management at UQAM, believes the idea merits consideration. Place-des-Arts station is believed to be the ideal station, and could heat up connected UQAM buildings.

The STM doesn't have hopes as high for a metro to city heating system, stating that the implementation would be too costly. For a project such as this to be successful in Montreal, it would need to be installed at an entirely new station. All sorts of coordination between the city and the STM would also be necessary, another major obstacle that really shouldn't be one.

Complexity and effort seem to be the major deterrents for Montreal to adopt a metro heating system, which is hardly an excuse, especially given what London's adviser on the environment on energy Matthew Pencharz said about the project. Pencharz believes that if London, a city plagued with an intensely complex bureaucracy, could do it then any city can, Montreal included.

For more on all things Montreal, follow Michael on Twitter @MDAlimonte

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