With climate change and reducing our carbon footprint high on the agenda, a Bradford company is supplying technology which it says can reduce emissions by around 30 per cent.

The environmental division of Shorts Industries, based on the Bradford Business Park on Canal Road, is the main UK distributor for a range of heaters and chillers that offer a low carbon alternative to traditional equipment.

But it's not new "whiz-kid" technology that offers buildings services engineers an energy efficient way forward - Shorts is marketing the products as a "back to the future" solution to tackling the UK's carbon footprint.

The Italian-made Robur products use gas-fired heat pumps based on a system invented and patented in the United States by Albert Einstein more than 80 years ago.

Eric Asquith, Short's national sales manager, said although the equipment was not much to look at, it provided a reliable method of reducing energy use.

He said: "The heaters and chillers we supply don't look much and the technology inside was invented by Einstein in 1925.

"The heat pump consumes 35 per cent less energy than traditional condensing boilers. The equipment also uses renewable energy by sucking in the air around it which enables them to achieve 140 per cent efficiency."

Mr Asquith said the concept of absorption cooling has been around since the late 18th century but the origins of today's high efficiency gas-fired absorption heat pump dates back to work carried out on domestic refrigerators by Albert Einstein in the 1920s. Since then more than four million absorption refrigerators and around 300,000 commercial chillers have been sold worldwide but the potential to adopt the technology to help meet targets for reducing carbon emissions was enormous.

Mr Asquith said: "In the last five years there has been a real technological leap forward with Robur's development of the gas-fired absorption heat pumps for heaters and chillers.

"These units turn all efficiency, running cost and environmental arguments on their head."

Shorts is currently talking to Stockport Council about installing its systems in civic buildings and is hoping to convince other local authorities, including Bradford, of the benefits.

The Government has encouraged local authorities and provided funding for biomass boilers, which use wood pellets for fuel, but Mr Asquith said this would not go far enough in reducing carbon footprints. He said: "The pellets to fuel the biomass boilers have to be imported and delivered by the truck load, and the boilers create ash so the system is not so environmentally friendly "We will be trying to convince local authorities and other public bodies that the gas-fired heat pump system is more energy efficient and cheaper to run."

Shorts is also looking to supply schools, swimming pools, offices and buildings sites.

Mr Asquith said heat pump technologies were part of the Government's recommended method of cutting carbon emissions and improving energy efficiency.

He said: "We are marketing equipment that uses old technology that has come into its own. It is a case of going back to the future. As 40 per cent of greenhouse gas emissions emanate from energy used in buildings this system can play a part in helping achieve reduction targets."