National Heat Map

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

Project duration: January 2010 ongoing

The purpose of the National Heat Map, which was commissioned by the Department of Energy and Climate Change and created by CSE, is to support the planning and deployment of local low-carbon energy projects in England.

It aims to achieve this by providing publicly accessible high-resolution web-based maps of heat demand by area.

The uniqueness of the National Heat Map lies in its detailed address-level modelling of demand data and the tools for analysing this.

Launch the National Heat Map

Watch a 'how to use it' webinar

Request address-level modelled data that underpins the Heat Map (for local authorities)

The heat map is hosted by DECC and can be viewed on Firefox, Chrome and Safari or Internet Explorer version 7 or higher. See below for more on browsers.


On 25 March 2015, the Government announced that 'One million homes could be tapping into clean renewable heat hidden in our waterways'. This was based on a new layer of information which CSE added to the Heat Map covering rivers, estuaries, canals and coastal sites.

On 26 March 2014 the Department of Energy & Climate Change announced that £2.1 million had been awarded to 24 local authorities in England and Wales to support the development of heat network projects. These included four (the city councils of Leeds, Manchester, Newcastle and Sheffield) which had all requested heat map data from CSE.

Tell us what you think | We're very interested in receiving feedback from users of the heat map. Email

The heat map is primarily intended to help identify locations where heat distribution is most likely to be beneficial and economic. It is important to note that it should be used as a tool for prioritising locations for more detailed investigation – and not as a tool 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. As a result it contains no personal information whatsoever. This means that once a location has been established as having potential, it will always be necessary to obtain directly metered data on the relevant sites.

And again with the exception of public buildings, the maps are based on data that has been modelled down to an individual address level, but none of the information used in any way constitutes personal data. This approach to modelling allows aggregation of results upwards 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.

“The National Heat Map represents a big step forward in the use of the web to provide intelligence and support for the development of local energy projects," said Joshua Thumim, CSE’s Head of Research and Analysis.

"It combines 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. We think it’s the future of energy mapping.”

How it was done

The National Heat Map is 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

The small print

Contains Ordnance Survey data © Crown copyright and database right 2012
Contains Royal Mail data © Royal Mail copyright and database right 2012
Contains 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

The National Heat Map does not use cookies. However some parts of the DECC site may use cookies to ensure services are convenient, useful and reliable. Click for details.

This site is best viewed in a modern browser such as Chrome v17, Firefox v10, Internet Explorer v9, Opera v11, or Safari v5. While it does work with Internet Explorer versions 7 and 8, there will be some reduction in performance due to the non-standard implementation of Javascript in those browsers.

The National Heat Map has been developed for the stated purpose making use of the best data and technology available at a reasonable cost. Accordingly, the heat map has an expected margin of error, and should not be relied upon in isolation. Similarly, the map does not reveal personal or private information about any individual home or building. At that level, the map shows modelled aggregated information.

Consequently, DECC gives no guarantee or warranty as to the accuracy or completeness of the heat map and accepts no liability for any inaccuracy or incompleteness. Persons wishing to obtain detailed or accurate information on particular locations or properties must do so by obtaining suitable professional advice, and must not under any circumstance rely on the heat map. In particular, the heat map must not be relied on in the context of any commercial decisions.

The National Heat Map and associated web content are subject to the terms and conditions for the website:

Below is a short (8 min) video 'Things to consider before setting up a district heating project or Esco (Energy Services Company). It is aimed at community groups and was made by CSE for our PlanLoCaL project.

For further information contact:

Joshua Thumim | 0117 934 1439


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