UK-based aerial mapping company Bluesky has been awarded a number of contracts by UK Local Authorities to map heat loss from properties using thermal imaging technology. The company produces thermal maps that Councils can use to address fuel poverty, improve energy efficiency and reduce carbon emissions. The areas being surveyed by Bluesky include Leeds, North Lincolnshire, East Lindsey, Bassetlaw and Breckland.
The latest thermal surveys will use cameras with a navigation and positioning system together with improved sensor control and user interface so that heat loss from property roofs to be recorded with higher precision and more consistent results than was previously possible. The thermal maps will be supplied ready for use in the Councils’ Geographical Information Systems (GIS) and web mapping services. In the case of Bassetlaw, the thermal data will be used to support the Council’s intentions to reduce CO2 in the area and educate the public on energy efficiency.
Rachel Tidmarsh, Managing Director of Bluesky International, commented that “Local authorities in particular are trying to improve energy efficiency and reduce carbon emissions and the accurate heat loss maps created from the thermal surveys enable better targeted and more effective energy efficiency campaigns.”
It’s not the only area in which Bluesky is helping with energy efficiency. The company is also rolling out nationwide coverage of its Solar Suitability Map. Using thermal imaging the company can map the potential for solar panels on roofs and identify the most appropriate locations. The solar maps calculate the usable roof space of each property, discarding features such as dormer windows, large skylights and chimneys.
A huge amount of energy is lost through the poor insulation of houses, so the easier and more accurate it is to identify houses for improvement the more easily the issue can be addressed. The ability to map information more accurately and even integrate with GIS and other systems makes the data even more useable.
The same is true of solar panels. The use of solar panels is becoming more cost-effective, to the extent that the location of a house, and the suitability for panels, will become an issue in the future. House prices may depend on it.
With the UK’s fickle climate, there is a lot of emphasis on making homes as fuel-efficient as possible - green IT can help.