HANC is a network of heaters which use the processing power of a computer in a distributed computing network to generate heat.

Space heating accounts for 16%1 (227b kWh in 2022) of residential energy use in the United States. Without even counting the potential energy use saved by eliminating cooling costs, replacing all home heaters with computing machines saves as much energy as the entire country of New Zealand uses in a month.2

Distributed computing utilizes a network of computers connected together through the Internet for processing work together as opposed to using just a single, large computer.

Distributed computing is used in some volunteer programs that provide researchers with computing power for scientific purposes, such as protein folding (used to develop cures for diseases like COVID-19) and mapping segments of the night sky.

Because each node can work independently, distributed computing has the benefit redundancy (should a node fail, another can take its place). Distributed computing networks are also infinitely scalable, whereas traditional datacenters are limited by physical space and energy infrastructure.


Benefits of HANC against traditional datacenters:

  • directly heating homes directly saves a massive amount of energy
  • can reuse older hardware
  • energy use is decentralised
  • amount of nodes provides redundancy
  • unlimited expansion potential

Being able to reuse hardware components is much more important than it sounds.3 By allowing older hardware to gain a second life, we can indirectly offset a substantial portion of energy use.

A 2011 EPA report found that over 142,000 computers and 416,000 mobile devices were sent to landfill daily4 – this number has only gone up since.
A report by the United Nations5 put the environmental cost of manufacturing a single computer and monitor at 530 pounds of fossil fuels and 1.5 metric tons of water (more than a car!) on average.
81%6 of the energy a computer uses stems from the creation of its components – not from using it.

  1. EIA Energy Consumption Statistics
  2. OWID Global Energy Consumption
  3. Facts and Figures on E-Waste and Recycling
  4. EPA Waste Management Baseline Report
  5. UNEP Environmental Alert Bulletin
  6. Energy Intensity of Computer Manufacturing