Waste to energy  

Siemens has supported the development of a ground-breaking greentech solution called HERU which converts what was everyday rubbish into energy. The HERU is equipped with Siemens technology, e.g. the controller which, in the eyes of the inventor, is the  ‘brain’ of the device.

If you took a tree or a dinosaur, burry it, and wait five to nine million years, the Earth’s heat will turn it into gas, oil, and coal. “We do exactly the same, but instead of five to nine million years it only takes five hours,” Nik Spencer says. He is the Creator of HERU.


The 19-litre domestic HERU (Home Energy Resources Unit) is a washing machine-sized appliance that takes everyday items typically destined for landfill, such as packaging, plastics and uneaten food, and uses pyrolysis to transform them into energy to heat water. The initial commercial HERU is 240 liters in capacity.


The HERU was invented by Nik Spencer and developed and manufactured in partnership with The Manufacturing Technology Centre (MTC), Manik Ventures and Siemens.

Winning energy at the location of consumption

“My first impression of HERU just made absolutely sense to me,” Prof. Alan Norbury, Chief Technologist at Siemens in the UK, says. “Turning material into energy at the location of consumption.” With no transportation from our home or industry into recycling the CO2 carbon footprint is reduced drastically.

Controller is the “brain” of the HERU

“The controller from Siemens is the ‘brain’ of the device,” Nik Spencer says. “And a Siemens display unit on the front of the machine allows the interaction with the customer.”


Siemens also developed a finance solution for those interested in the HERU. “For all of the customers who want to use the HERU but want to have it off the balance sheet we can actually finance it,” Alan Norbury says. “There’s no real costs and the savings pay for the finance.”

First industrial use of hybrid water heating system

Siemens will be one of the first companies in the world to use this innovative technology in an industrial setting. Other early adopters of the innovative technology in a commercial setting are hotels, restaurants and care homes.

Reduced energy costs and CO2 emission

HERU significantly reduces the amount of valuable resource, which cannot be recycled, from being sent to landfill. It can generate up to two times more energy than is required to operate it, which means a reduction in energy bills and CO2 emissions.

Solving a huge problem for the environment

“There is so many general household plastics out there which are really difficult to recycle economically and these are creating a huge problem for the environment,” says Tristan Carmichael, Manik Ventures. “I think if every home was to have a HERU this would be a big step in tidying up this mess which we are currently in.”



November 2020

Inventor Nik Spencer and his team of dedicated engineers partner with numerous businesses and academics across Europe to develop a world-first global solution to avoid waste and create energy.

The HERU turns everyday resource into energy. Coffee cups, nappies, and plastics, amongst many other things, can be pyrolysed for energy for the boiler using the game-changing HERU.

Nik’s aim is to bring HERU to the commercial and domestic market over the next few years.


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