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Online Map Helps Nottingham Residents 'Home In' on Energy Savings

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March 26, 2012

Online Map Helps Nottingham Residents 'Home In' on Energy Savings

By Cheryl Kaften, TMCnet Contributor

Most of us know the City of Nottingham as the home of Robin Hood, a heroic outlaw depicted in English folklore who lived in Sherwood Forest with his Band of Merry Men. Today, Sherwood Forest is a National Nature Reserve in the East Midlands of England and Nottingham has become is a bustling urban center with a population of more than 800,000.

In fact, it ranks as the seventh largest metropolitan area in the United Kingdom, with many residential sections and a dazzling variety of architecture—dating back to at least the 11th Century, when Nottingham Castle was constructed.  

Therefore, depending on the age, architectural style and zoning of their property, homeowners may want to consider a variety of options when they plan retrofits to increase energy efficiency. 

This month, Nottingham launched a pioneering online energy tool that can help residents enjoy big savings on their energy bills. The Nottingham Energy Calculator enables residents to select their property and access information on the savings that insulation, double-glazing, new boilers or solar panels can provide. The calculator also offers an interactive map, showing municipal planning constraints and other existing renewable installations across the city.

The Energy Calculator has been developed by the Nottingham City Council, working with Nottingham Energy Partnership and other selected organizations including ESRI (News - Alert) UK, a major provider of geographic information systems (GIS). It has been funded as part of the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) Local Carbon Frameworks projects and supports Nottingham’s key renewable energy targets – specifically, to reduce 2005-level carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions by 26 percent and generate 20 percent of all energy and heat from low carbon and renewable sources.

The interactive energy tool is underpinned by the council’s Local Land and Property Gazetteer (LLPG); together with other Ordnance Survey (OS) Public Sector Mapping Agreement (PSMA) products, available to the public sector. Integrating the LLPG and the OS MasterMap with additional intelligence from third-party suppliers – along with data and survey results from strategic partners – has enabled the city to develop a definitive and reliable property level database, consisting of:

  • Property type,
  • Age of architecture,
  • Footprint area,
  • Average height,
  • Gas supply, and
  • Siting for solar and wind generation, as well as decentralized heating systems.
“Our energy tools are an innovative way of tackling the need to reduce the city’s carbon emissions, increase the energy independence of the city and help our citizens save money on their energy bills,” said Councilor Alan Clark (News - Alert), Nottingham City Council’s Portfolio Holder for Energy and Sustainability. “The Nottingham Energy Calculator will raise awareness of the practical steps citizens can take in their own homes.” The Nottingham Energy Mapping project recently achieved Runner-Up in the 2011 National Gazetteers Green Exemplar Award presented by GeoPlace, a website supporting multiple GIS- and business-related publications.

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