Snow cleared from roads in winter could be used to cool large buildings when it's hot, replacing traditional air conditioning.
A computer-modelled study showed channelling air through "snow dumps" - where snow and ice is piled after being collected from highways - reduces the need for air conditioning units and could save businesses money.
The system works by insulating large amounts of snow collected in colder months, and then directing a building’s air handling units through it when needed.
A Canadian (naturally) researcher found the snow-based system would reduce electricity consumption, therefore making for smaller bills.
Use of this alternative cooling method could also reduce the amount of greenhouse gases released by traditional air conditioning units.
The scientist’s price breakdown also took into account equipment costs, and the snow system still turned out cheaper than conventional air con.
Rehan Sadiq, a professor of engineering at the University of British Columbia, said: “Aside from making good use of waste material, this type of system could eventually help large organisations recoup some of the considerable costs associated with snow removal."
Despite being a solution to the very Canadian issue of excess snowfall, this concept could still work for office buildings this side of the Atlantic. British Columbia gets 25 inches of snow a year on average - but London isn't that far behind, with 18 inches.