Shropshire Council

Bluesky thermal maps

A night-time thermal imaging project is helping us improve energy efficiency and affordable warmth levels for residents and businesses across the county.

Undertaken by aerial mapping company Bluesky, and funded by Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC), the thermal survey used specialist sensors to accurately record heat loss measurements from buildings at night. The resulting colour coded heat loss maps are available for residents and business owners to check the performance of their homes and business premises, simply by adding an address or postcode into the search box.

Thermal surveys, such as the one commissioned by us, are carried out during the winter months, in the early evening and after sunset, 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 more consistent results than other systems currently in use in the UK. By combining the Bluesky data with other sources of intelligence, such as demographic profiles, housing stock surveys and benefits claims, we hope to be able to better focus resources and advice to vulnerable and at-risk households.

Using the maps, householders can check the performance of their own property and even compare this with similar properties nearby. Households highlighted as having excessive heat loss – shown as yellow in the map window – can then access further advice and guidance from our Keep Shropshire Warm webpage, and potentially apply for various types of assistance under government schemes to help them improve their property’s energy efficiency and affordable warmth.