Energy efficiency in Whitehall has been boosted with a new environmentally friendly heating system. 23 government buildings, including Downing Street, get their heat from a community heating scheme. Meters in each building are used to calculate charges. Four new high pressure boilers have been installed in the original boiler room 17 metres below ground level. The exhaust gasses from the boilers are discharged to a waste heat boiler to reduce pollution.
The original community heating scheme was planned in the 1930s to replace the heating of offices by open coal fires. Like so many projects it tended to slip and it was not until the 1950s when the first boilers were installed. As a result of tighter project management the whole system was up and running by 1966. It is not known how close the final cost was to the budget.