Energy Company Obligation data in a usable format

Download a spreadsheet of qualifying areas here

18 July 2012

Here at CSE we're keen on data and we like to share.

So we're pleased to make available, in an Excel spreadsheet, the list of over 4,800 Lower Super Output Areas (LSOAs) published recently, but not in an easily accessible format, by the Department of Energy & Climate Change (DECC).

These are areas of the UK that will qualify for Carbon Saving Community Obligation (CSCo) support under the ECO element of the Green Deal.

Ian Preston, CSE's senior analyst, said: "It doesn't sound like much, but we think what we've presented here will be very useful for energy agencies, local authorities, energy suppliers, insulation contractors and the like. It's the information that DECC published, but in a more usable format "

We've also added three columns to the England and Wales spread sheet – ward name, ward code and region – to give the data extra value. But please note that LSOAs are smaller than wards, and so for a given ward not all parts of the ward may qualify for CSCo.

Click here to download the spreadsheet for England and Wales

Click here to download the spreadsheet for Scotland

The data can be re-used free of charge in any format or medium, under the terms of the Open Government Licence. Here's an example of the kind of data is provided:

E01006028Tameside 028A00BTTameside District00BTFNHyde GodleyNorth West
E01027552Wansbeck 007G00EMNorthumberland35UGGHSleekburnNorth East
E01004787Bolton 013A00BLBolton District00BLFCBradshawNorth West

... and so on for 4,800 rows.

DECC has published a list of CSCO low-income areas in pdf format. To make these more user-friendly, we've provided them in spreadsheet and shapefile formats. Shapefiles can be viewed in a GIS system such as ArcGIS.

Shapefile England & Wales
Shapefile Scotland

NB These are zipped folders, and the England & Wales folder is quite large (17MB)

Why has Decc published this list?

As noted above, it's to do with the Energy Company Obligation (ECO). More information about this can be found in the DECC document 'Energy Company Obligation. Carbon Saving Community Obligation: Rural and Low Income Areas'. Click here to download.

In brief, the ECO is 'designed to complement the domestic Green Deal' and is effectively a grant provided to householders in cases where Green Deal finance alone doesn't cover the upfront cost of the low-carbon measures that a particular home has installed.

The ECO will also be used 'to provide insulation and heating measures to low-income and vulnerable households and insulation measures to low income communities', and it is these areas that are identified by the data.

The part of the ECO that will do this is called the Carbon Savings Community Obligation (CSCo) which 'will focus on low income households and areas and will contribute to removing families from fuel poverty through ensuring that their properties receive energy efficiency measures'. It is expected to deliver  around 250,000 major insulation measures by March 2015.

And what is a Lower Super Output Area?

Lower Super Output Areas (LSOAs) are a sub-ward divisions averaging approximately 1500 people. Because they are of consistent size and with fixed boundaries (unlike electoral wards, for example) they are particularly suitable for the publication of data.

Update | We like data, and we like to share
In fact we like data so much that in 2013 we expanded the Open Data section on our website; you can check it out here.

Photo: Gene Ward, reproduced under creative commons 

Stay up to date with our work - sign up for our fortnightly newsletter