English National Heat Map Launched

The National Heat Map was commissioned by the Department of Energy and Climate Change and created by The Centre for Sustainable Energy. The purpose of the Map is to support planning and deployment of local low-carbon energy projects in England. It aims to achieve this by providing publicly accessible high-resolution web-based maps of heat demand by area.

The heat map in split-screen mode, showing total heat demand in Hereford (the 'hotspot' is a public swimming pool)

The heat map is primarily intended to help identify locations where heat distribution is most likely to be beneficial and economic. It is important to note that it should be used as a tool for prioritising locations for more detailed investigation – and not as a tool for designing heat networks directly or for querying energy bills.

Residential heat demand over South Manchester. Note the absence of data for the industrial estate in the centre of the image

With the exception of public buildings, the heat map was produced entirely without access to the meter readings or energy bills of individual premises. As a result it contains no personal information whatsoever. This means that once a location has been established as having potential, it will always be necessary to obtain directly metered data on the relevant sites. With the exception of public buildings, the maps are based on data that has been modelled down to an individual address level, but none of the information used in any way constitutes personal data.

Commercial and government heat demand in Portsmouth

This approach to modelling allows aggregation of results upwards without losing accuracy, whilst preserving the ability to drill down to finer scales at chosen locations. At high map zoom levels the outputs are at sufficiently fine scales to allow users to identify individual buildings and groups of buildings which could benefit from heat distribution installations, taking account of the relative accuracy of modelled data.

Individual features like CHP plants and thermal power stations can be identified. Here, the CHP station at Boots' HQ in Beeston, Nottingham is flagged

The National Heat Map is a free and publicly accessible resource providing high-resolution maps of heat demand across England.

It aims to help local authorities, community groups and other users identify locations where heat distribution projects are most likely to make a difference – by cutting carbon emissions and reducing heating costs.

The heat map is based on modelled estimates of annual heat demand at every address in England, and is extremely detailed as a result.

This detail allows users to investigate energy use patterns at the level of individual buildings and streets: exactly what’s needed to support the development of local, low-carbon decentralised energy projects across the country.

Once a potential opportunity has been identified using the heat map, the next step is to approach local stakeholders to develop interest in the project, and to obtain directly metered heat demand data for use in a feasibility study.

About the National Heat Map – DECC

Launch of National Heat Map – CSE

Other articles:-

DECC Blog – Putting Low Carbon Heating on the map

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