Leicestershire, UK, 19 November 2015 – An aerial thermal survey to assess heat loss from homes is being used by Herefordshire Council to raise awareness of poor home energy efficiency, reduce fuel poverty and support vulnerable residents. The survey by aerial mapping company Bluesky has been used to produce colour coded heat loss maps that are now available for residents to view on the Council’s website. By simply entering a postcode or address residents can get an instant snapshot of how their house is performing, in terms of heat loss, in comparison with neighbouring properties.
The online resource also links to guidance and advice on identifying fuel poverty, switching energy suppliers, and energy efficiency measures through the Keep Herefordshire Warm scheme – a partnership between Herefordshire Council and Marches Energy Agency. The scheme aims to reduce fuel poverty and support vulnerable customers to heat their homes at an affordable cost.
“The visibility and relative simplicity of the Bluesky data make it an excellent tool for raising awareness of home heat loss, thereby providing a catalyst for discussions around energy efficiency, fuel poverty and related topics,” commented Matthew Locking, Energy Strategy Officer at Herefordshire Council. “Our primary aim is to get residents and stakeholders thinking about heat loss and how it can be improved, as well as providing a route to explore this through our Keep Herefordshire Warm scheme.”
The survey was undertaken as part of the Green Deal Pioneer Places programme. Herefordshire Council was one of 132 Local Authorities to receive funding from the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) under the scheme, which was designed to help stimulate home energy improvements, like insulation, through savings on people’s energy bills.
The heat loss data is also being used by Herefordshire Council within their desktop Geographical Information System (GIS) from MapInfo, and within the organisation wide solution Exponare. By comparing the Bluesky data alongside Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) data, officers can gain a better understanding of home energy use and the resulting carbon footprint.
The Bluesky heat loss maps will also be used by Herefordshire Council’s Planning and Environmental Health Teams, in conjunction with existing registered building outlines, to aid the identification and enforcement of illegal dwellings commonly referred to as ‘beds in sheds’.
About Thermal Surveys
Thermal surveys, such as the one commissioned by Herefordshire Council, are flown during the winter months, in the early evening and after sunset, in order to capture the widest variations in temperature that can occur as a result of poor insulation or excessive energy consumption. Bluesky uses a ‘microbolometer’ thermal camera specifically designed for airborne surveying and ideal for use in aircraft flying at night. It allows measurements of heat loss from property roofs to be recorded with higher precision and produces more consistent results than other systems currently in use in the UK.
Bluesky is a UK-based specialist in aerial survey including aerial photography, LiDAR and thermal data using the very latest survey technology, including two UltraCam Eagles and an Orion M300 LiDAR system. An internationally recognised leader with projects extending around the globe, Bluesky is proud to work with prestigious organisations such as Google, the BBC and Government Agencies. Bluesky has unrivalled expertise in the creation of seamless, digital aerial photography and maintains national “off the shelf” coverage of aerial photography, DTM and DSM through an on-going three-year update programme. By purchasing a world first sensor for the simultaneous capture of LiDAR, Thermal and Aerial Photography data, Bluesky is in the enviable position of being able to provide customers with unique and cost effective solutions. Bluesky is also leading the way in developing innovative solutions for environmental applications, including the UK’s first National Tree Map (NTM), solar mapping and citywide ‘heat loss’ maps and is currently developing noise and air quality mapping products. www.bluesky-world.com