Reykjavik Utilities Asks Residents To Spare Hot Water Due To Extended Cold Spell - The Reykjavik Grapevine

Reykjavik Utilities Asks Residents To Spare Hot Water Due To Extended Cold Spell

Published January 30, 2019

Andie Fontaine
Photo by
Andie Fontaine

The cold snap that has hung over Reykjavík for the past few days has put a strain on the hot water system, and using it sparingly is being encouraged. Hot water may be in short supply at Reykjavík pools soon.

Iceland bears the rare distinction of being able to provide cheap hot water to its people thanks to geothermal activity. Vents of geothermally heated water provide Iceland with about 25% of its electricity, and 90% of its heating. This has made Iceland a comfortable place for people who like 30-minute showers and keeping it toasty warm indoors.

As temperatures have been well below freezing in Reykjavík for several days now—and are expected to remain below freezing for a while still to come—Veitir Utilities, the company responsible for providing hot water to the city’s residents, have felt the strain.

In an announcement from the company, they disclose that distribution of hot water has reached 16,000 tonnes an hour. As such, Veitir is encouraging the general public to use hot water sparingly.

To help save hot water for heating, they suggest not leaving windows or doors open, and to also be sure that radiators are not blocked in by furniture or thick curtains. They also suggest that those who own jacuzzis in their homes refrain from using them.

Furthermore, Vísir reports that hot water may soon be in short supply at city pools. If sub-zero temperatures persist this week, as they are expected to, pools and other large consumers of hot water may have their supplies restricted or cut off altogether.

There is still plenty of hot water under Reykjavík, but these conservation measures are aimed at reducing overall consumption, especially when temperatures stay low for an extended period of time.

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