We publish English and Welsh public building energy data

Energy data for 40,000 buildings placed in public domain

2 March 2011

CSE has published the full Display Energy Certificate (DEC) Register for all public buildings in England and Wales, making it publicly available in one place for the first time.

It can be downloaded from a new ‘open data’ page on our website: www.cse.org.uk/data

The dataset includes the address, floorspace, heat and power consumption, carbon emissions, and energy efficiency rating of 40,000 sites. Until now, the information could only be obtained for one building at a time, and only in PDF format, making strategic assessments and estate-wide analysis almost impossible.

Update | June 2012
We've received many enquiries about whether we'll be pursuing updated DEC data. The answer is yes, if we have time. We don't know yet if our successful Freedom of Information request from 2011 means that the data will be released routinely in subsequent years. If we do get our hands on this lovely data, we will of course make it available on this site, and announce it via our enews or twitter feed.

We obtained the data (which is not personally or commercially sensitive) from the Department for Communities and Local Government (CLG) under the Environmental Information Regulations, building on the efforts of BBC journalist Martin Rosenbaum who obtained a partial dataset in 2009.

The Display Energy Certificate information has been collected by CLG following the introduction in 2008 of a law requiring all public buildings of over 1,000m2 to be assessed for their energy performance. Each building is also required to display this information in the form of these now-familiar certificates seen on central and local government buildings, hospitals, schools, plus some leisure centres, museums and theatres.

CSE’s Head of Research Joshua Thumim explains why CSE has taken this step:

“This data belongs in the public domain. It took a lot of time and effort to persuade CLG to release it to us, and we are now pleased to be able to share it so no one else has to jump through all of those hoops. We hope that researchers, policy-makers, public agencies and others working in the field of sustainable energy can make effective use of the full dataset now that it is finally available.

"In that spirit, we'd be interested in hearing about the different uses people find for the data.”

Operational rating: A to G

A building’s Display Energy Certificate presents its energy performance as an ‘Operational Rating’. This compares the CO2 emissions attributable to the energy consumed on that particular site to benchmark (i.e. ‘typical’) emissions for a building of that type. The comparison is expressed as a percentage, so if a particular public library emits 50 tonnes of CO2 a year, and emissions from a typical library are 100 tonnes, the Operational Rating is 50. So the lower the rating, the better the energy efficiency performance.

Operational Rating values are mapped to a scale from A to G: 0 to 25 = A; 26 to 50 = B; 51 to 75  = C; 76 to 100 = D; 101 to 125 = E; 126 to 150 = F; Greater than 150 = G.

Update | September 2012
Take a look what Carbon Visuals have done to visualise the public buildings energy data we extracted from government 18 months ago: click here.

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