A community centre in Bristol has become host to the first air-sourced district heating system in the country, providing low-carbon heat throughout the winter months. Easton Community Centre’s renewable heating system, which launched on Saturday, uses air source pumps to trap heat from the summer sunshine underground, which will be stored underneath a local park until the winter months when it will be released for use as central heating. The new system will provide enough heat to fully meet demand from the community centre throughout the winter. Although such systems are already in use across northern Europe, this is the first deployment of the technology using air source heat pumps in the UK. The pumps will be powered using excess solar electricity from rooftop panels on the community centre and neighbouring houses. The pilot project, called CHOICES, cost £700,000 to install and was funded by the Department of Energy and Climate Change through the department’s Heat Network Innovation fund. Plans are underway to extend the scheme to neighbouring homes within the next few years.