Coalville, LeicestershireBluesky created and is hosting an online mapping portal to help businesses and residents in Portsmouth identity thermal inefficient properties. Using specialist thermal sensors mounted on a survey aircraft, Bluesky recorded the heat loss from buildings across the city on a cold winter night. This raw thermal survey data was then matched to address records in order to create the easy-to-use postcode look up function. Portsmouth City Council hopes the online thermal mapping will encourage businesses and residents to take action to improve the energy efficiency of their property; save money, reduce fuel poverty and improve the city’s carbon footprint.

“We originally commissioned the Bluesky thermal survey to identify council-owned properties that could benefit from energy efficiency measures,” commented Jasmine Fletcher, climate change and sustainability coordinator at Portsmouth City Council. “However, we soon realized the data had a much wider potential and appeal. Since launching the online thermal mapping portal, we have received more than 2,500 hits and the site continues to be popular with many hits every day.”
By publishing the thermal map, Portsmouth City Council hopes to help residents and businesses understand how they can benefit from energy efficiency measures. They estimate that installing loft and cavity insulation into a property which is leaking a lot of heat could save more than $1,000 (£700) over three years. As fuel and energy costs are increasing, this will help to reduce the amount of money paid on heating bills over the long-term. Increasing the thermal efficiency of properties in Portsmouth will also help towards reducing the number of people living in fuel poverty along with lowering the city's carbon footprint.

“Having entered their postcode and selected the address of interest from the returned list, visitors to the website are presented with a color-coded map of their property and those surrounding it for context,” continued Fletcher. “The visitor can then view a list of frequently asked questions and is directed to other areas of the council’s website for additional advice and support.”

Thermal surveys, such as the one commissioned by the Portsmouth City Council, are captured by Bluesky using a ‘microbolometer’ thermal camera; a system specifically designed for airborne surveying and ideal for use in aircraft flying at night. Combined with an advanced navigation and positioning system and improved sensor control and user interface, Bluesky’s new generation thermal mapping system allows measurements of heat loss from property roofs to be recorded with higher precision and more consistent results than other systems currently in use in the U.K.

To look at the online thermal map, click here: