An introduction to this data and how best to use it
1) What is this data?
On Tuesday 2nd & Wednesday 3rd March 2010, between 7pm to 11pm (cold, dry and clear mid-week evenings when people were most likely to be in and heating their homes), a plane equipped with a thermal imagining camera flew over Newcastle and took thermal images of the entire city. This image was then colour coded and the outline of buildings laid over the data. This provides a heat loss profile for every building in the city.
All domestic properties have been given a heat loss parameter of between 1 (low heat loss) to 5 (high heat loss). You can see this data in the maps on this website.
2) Why was this survey done?
Newcastle City Council has a range of national, regional and local targets to meet in terms of helping residents save energy and reduce their carbon emissions (see the Citywide Climate Change Strategy & Action Plan, 2010 – 2020, on this website for further details).
To stimulate interest in the issue of energy efficiency and to assist the Council and its partners to meet these targets in the most cost-effective and coordinated way, this survey was carried out (in partnership with Gateshead & North Tyneside Councils) in order to help identify buildings that may have a high level of heat loss and could therefore benefit from improved insulation and other energy efficiency measures.
3) What does the data show?
The images provide a heat loss rating of 1 (low – coloured blue) to 5 (high – coloured red) for all the domestic properties in the City. The images are just a snapshot at one moment of time (2nd or 3rd March 2010) of how much heat a property was losing.
It is important to note that these rating (and associated colours on the map) do not necessarily indicate how energy efficient or well insulated all properties are. The rating (and hence the colour on the map) will be affected by a number of factors, including:
a) Whether the heating was turned on at the time the images were taken
b) How much heating was being used at the time (affected by the number of people in the
home and/or the level of heating set by them)
c) The type of building and building material used in its construction
d) Whether the loft space had been converted for use as an additional room
e) How much insulation there is in the property, especially in any loft space.
In summary, although the data is useful in identifying homes that are losing a lot of heat it is not perfect. A well insulated home with a loft conversion may show up as having a higher heat loss than a similar home without a loft conversion. What looks like a home with very low heat loss may in fact be a poorly insulated home that didn’t have the heating turned on as the occupants were not in when the images were taken. Naturally, if you’ve had home insulation improvements installed since March 2010 then your home will now have less heat loss than before.
4) What does it mean for me?
This data is meant to stimulate interest in the subject of home heat loss and to motivate residents to help save energy and save money (and do their bit for the environment) by ensuring their home is adequately insulated and to think about wider issues of energy efficiency.
These heat loss maps will allow residents to check their own home and see what heat loss rating it had at that time (subject to the limitations of such thermal surveys as outlined above).
Residents can then choose to act to make sure they are saving energy, saving money and doing their bit to help the environment - see below for the next steps.
5) What do I do next?
Please follow the link below to see the heat loss map for Newcastle. This will allow you to zoom in and find your own home and see what level of heat loss is recorded against it.
If you want to make sure you’re home is fully insulated please contact Newcastle Warm Zone – they will carry out a fast, free, no obligation survey of your home to determine if you could benefit from cavity wall and/or loft insulation improvements.
The Warm Zone is a not for profit partnership with Newcastle City Council and Your Homes Newcastle that offer free or heavily discounted home insulation measures and advice for all homes across the City. It has been successfully operating in Newcastle since 2004 and has already insulated 40,000 homes! The Warm Zone is the only home insulation scheme supported and endorsed by Newcastle City Council.
If you wish additional information about the aerial thermal imaging work and the heat loss maps then follow the specific link below. Please do not call Newcastle Warm Zone but instead use the e-mail facility provided on this additional information page.