The Social Open-Source Heater


The SOS Heater project is a social impact initiative based in Lisbon, aiming to make heating more accessible and sustainable.

Energy poverty affects people’s health and well-being globally. Only in the EU, 40 million people can’t afford to heat their homes. With the rise in energy prices and living costs, the problem is growing.

Cold indoor temperatures are associated with increased health issues, contributing to excess winter morbidity and mortality. In Spain, for example, energy poverty causes more deaths per year than traffic accidents.

In addition to the health impacts, the lack of proper heating can affect people’s ability to work and study, leading to lower productivity and poor academic performance. This can exacerbate existing inequalities and create new ones.

The ecological impact of heating is another concern. The production of energy often involves the emission of pollutants into the environment and the depletion of natural resources. Saving energy goes hand in hand with taking better care of our planet.

Affordable and energy-efficient heating solutions are needed to reduce pollution and promote health, well-being, and equality.


SOS Heater is the open-source heater that saves energy and fights energy poverty.

We are developing a portable heater that consumes only 250W of electric power, making heating more affordable and sustainable.

The SOS Heater is fume-free, operates silently, and provides a spot of warm comfort in indoor spaces. Thanks to its low wattage, it can be used in small-scale and off-the-grid renewable energy installations.

We partner with Maker spaces to host workshops where people can build their own SOS heaters safely. Their feedback during the workshops and as real-life testers contributes to improving the open-source technology.

Our model for development is based on the idea that cooperation can be more powerful than competition.

All SOS Heater content is published under Creative Commons for open research.


To increase the reach of our solution, we aim to develop an SOS Heater model that can be replicated in hubs.

Enabling independent manufacturers and ceramic artists from around the globe to produce their own SOS Heater devices locally, encourages a more sustainable, collaborative, and inclusive approach.

Things we have done:

• Product concept

• Design and production of first heater prototype

• Testing the technology in controlled environments

• Project development planning, based on open-source and distributed design principles

• Branding, website, and social media

Currently at:

Growing the community of early users and testers through DIY workshops

• Testing the technology in real-life scenarios and collecting feedback

Where we want to go: 

• Open-Call/Challenge for impact driven Makers, Designers, and Students, to design an SOS Heater model that is replicable in hubs and certifiable for international safety standards

• Incorporation of biomaterials and recycled plastic to increase the sustainability and circularity of the device

• Community Marketplace to find locally produced SOS Heaters

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