National Heat Map

New web-based tool to support low-carbon energy projects

Project duration: January 2010 to April 2018

The National Heat Map, which was commissioned by the Department of Energy and Climate Change - now Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS) - and created by CSE in 2010.

Its purpose was to support the planning and deployment of local low-carbon energy projects in England by providing publicly accessible high-resolution web-based maps of heat demand by area.

The uniqueness of the National Heat Map lay in its detailed address-level modelling of demand data and the tools for analysing this. It combined a very detailed geographic model of energy use with a range of user-friendly visualisation and reporting tools, providing sophisticated GIS functionality to non-technical users via a standard web-browser.

In April 2018 the National Heat Map was decommissioned by BEIS and is no longer working. It means we can't show you how it functioned, but you'll get some idea from looking at the images and reading the description below.

The heat map was primarily intended to help identify neighbourhoods where heat distribution is most likely to be beneficial and economically viable. In other words it was a tool for prioritising locations for more detailed investigation – not one for designing heat networks directly or for querying energy bills.

With the exception of public buildings, the heat map was produced entirely without access to the meter readings or energy bills of individual premises, which meant that once a promising location was identified, it was necessary to obtain directly metered data for the homes and businesses with it.

And again with the exception of public buildings, the maps were based on data that has been modelled down to an individual address level without containing anything that constitutes personal data. This allowed for the 'upward' aggregation of results without losing accuracy, whilst preserving the ability to drill down to finer scales at chosen locations.

At high map-zoom levels you can identify individual buildings and groups of buildings which could benefit from heat distribution installations, taking account of the relative accuracy of modelled data.

How it was done

The National Heat Map was built from a bottom-up address level model of heat demand in England. The model estimates the total heat demand of every address in England, but based on published sub-national energy consumption statistics and without making use of metered energy readings.

Heat demand density web maps were produced from this model, covering Residential, Commercial, Industrial, Public Buildings (DECs) and Total heat demand.

In addition point locations for combined heat and power plants and power stations were mapped, along with local authority and regional boundaries.

For both residential and non-residential models, heat demand was first estimated at address level using a range of data sources. These estimates were then used in a weighted disaggregation of known small-area average heating fuel consumption. The inputs to the heat demand model are summarised in the following tables.

Table 1 | Non-Residential Model

 Input  Data source Details used
 Display Energy CertificatesThermal energy use and floorspace
Address level characteristicsValuation Office Agency (VOA) Non Residential Ratings DatabaseSector and floorspace
 Experian PH MegafileSector and employment
 Display Energy CertificatesMetered energy use data
Heat demand weights:CIBSE Guide F and TM46Floorspace benchmarks
 DUKES Energy Use by SIC codeDerived Energy use by Site, Employment and Sector
 Annual Business Inquiry Site and Employment Totals by SIC Code 
AddressingNational Land and Property Gazetteer (NLPG) 2010Address, classification and coordinate information
Dataset cross-referencesNational Energy Efficiency Data Framework (NEED)Cross-reference tables
Small area gas consumption valuesDECC Subnational Statistics 2009Mean gas consumption at MLSOA
Metering statusNational Energy Efficiency Data Framework (NEED)Presence/absence of gas meter (no access to actual consumption)

 Table 2 | Residential Model

Map LayerData sourceDetails used
 Experian Consumer Dynamics at Postcode levelPredominant size, age, built form, tenure
Address level characteristicsCensus 2001Rurality
 Ordnance Survey BoundaryLineRegion and local authority
 English House Condition Survey 2008Model predicted heat demand using size, age, built form, tenure, rurality, region
Heat demand weights:CIBSE Guide F and TM46Floorspace benchmarks by sector
AddressingNational Land and Property Gazetteer (NLPG) 2010Address classification and coordinates. Multiple coincident addresses used to indicate flats
Dataset cross-referencesNational Energy Efficiency Data Framework (NEED)Cross-reference tables
Small Area energy consumption valuesDECC Subnational Statistics 2009Mean gas and E7 electricity use at LLSOA, mean unmetered fuel use at Local Authority (intermediate data values supplied by AEA Technology)
Metering statusNational Energy Efficiency Data Framework (NEED)Presence/Absence of gas and E7 electricity meter  (no access to actual consumption)

 Table 3 | Other map layers

Map layerData source(s)Details used
Regional and local authority boundariesOrdnance Survey BoundaryLineEuropean regions, counties and districts
CHP installationsDECC CHP Database augmented with postcodesPlant size, type and grid reference of postcode
CHP installationsOrdnance Survey CodePoint OpenGrid reference of postcode centroid
Thermal power stationsEnergy Technologies InstitutePlant type, size and location

These are the licenses under which the National Heat Map data was used:

  • Ordnance Survey data © Crown copyright and database right 2012
  • Royal Mail data © Royal Mail copyright and database right 2012
  • National Statistics data © Crown copyright and database right 2012
  • © Local Government Information House Limited copyright and database rights 2012 100049123
  • © Hawlfraint a hawliau cronfa ddata cyfyngedig Ty Gwybodaeth ar Lywodraeth Leol 2012 100049123

For further information contact:

Joshua Thumim | 0117 934 1439


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