Over four evenings in 2013 and 2014 a plane equipped with a thermal imaging camera flew over Elmbridge and took thermal images measuring heat loss from buildings. The flights took place on Thursday 5 December 2013, Tuesday 25 March 2014, Monday 8 December 2014 and Saturday 13 December 2014. Buildings would have been flown over either on one or two of these evenings. Where a property was flown over twice, the data reported on it will relate to the more recent flight. As a result, residents can use this interactive mapping tool to get an indication of how much heat is lost from their homes.
All domestic buildings have been placed in one of five bands depending on the level of average heat loss recorded. These bands range from properties recorded as having “very low” levels of heat loss to those recorded as having “very high” levels of heat loss. The heat loss score is an average value of how much heat was being lost from the building, relative to the rest of the area surveyed.
If the dwelling you are interested in is one of a number under the same roof (for example, because it is in a block of flats) then please note that the reading provided will relate to the building as a whole rather than the specific dwelling.
Where can I find the information?
You can see the band and the average recorded level of heat loss for buildings individual properties by using the online tool.
Top tips for using the tool
You can either search by using the address finder or by using the zoom facility on the map.
One of the tool’s quirks is that if you click on a building (either through the address finder or the map facility) it may list a number of readings. This is because at a certain scale, the tool will capture and report data on not just the building you are interested in, but others nearby.
To overcome this, zoom in on the building you are interested in and then click on the centre of the building (away from any property boundaries). In most cases, this should result in the production of just one reading, relating to that specific property.
Some points to note
When using this tool, please note that:
- The ratings represent a ‘snapshot’ of how much heat a property was losing at the time when it was most recently flown over
- Any improvements made to properties since the survey will not be reflected in the ratings.
- The amount of heat a building loses can be influenced by many factors, including:
- whether the heating was on during the time of the survey;
- how much heating was being used at the time of the survey;
- the building type and the building material used in its construction;
- whether any loft space had been converted for use as an additional room.
Whilst the tool is useful in identifying properties that were appearing to be losing heat, it is only a guide and there may be cases where the scores generated may not reflect the actual energy efficiency of the property.
For example, a home recorded as having very low levels of heat loss through the survey may in fact be a poorly insulated dwelling which did not have any heating on at the time of the fly-over because the occupiers were away or the property was empty.
What does it mean for me?
The tool is intended to generate interest amongst householders about the heat lost from their homes and to encourage them to save energy and money by taking steps to make sure their homes are adequately insulated to minimise heat loss and improve energy efficiency.
The heat loss maps allow residents to check their own home (and others too) and see what heat loss rating they were given. You can then choose to act to help save energy, money and the environment.
What can I do next if I want to improve the energy efficiency of my home?
There are a number of steps that householders (or their landlords) can take to reduce heat loss, including:
- Installing cavity wall and loft insulation or topping up existing insulation
- Installing draught-proofing measures
- Reprogramming heating systems to reduce energy consumption
Action Surrey can provide free and impartial advice on what energy efficiency improvements can be made to your property and what the benefits are for you and your home. Action Surrey also manages a network of local trusted installers who can install a variety of measures. For more information call 0800 783 2503 or visit their website.
How do I find out more about the thermal imaging survey?
If you have any general questions about this project, contact us but please note that the toolkit has been made available for information only and officers are unlikely to be able to assist with enquiries relating to specific properties.