How GIS Can be used to Bring down Your Heating Bill

Here we are, with the holiday season fast approaching. Following right behind, the world will be celebrating the start of a new year–2016. It is simply astonishing how time seems to goes by so quickly. Aside from the winter holidays, the winter season tends to be somewhat depressing. The first things that tend to come to mind for most people are snow, cold, and long, dark days. To make things even worse, there is another item we have to worry about: the heating bill.

It is well known that using heat, especially during a long drawn out cold season, can be a very expensive proposition for most individuals and families. Fortunately, the concepts of GIS can also be used to help bring down our winter heating bills.

This is best exemplified by the Herefordshire Council based in the United Kingdom. With the help of the aerial company known as Bluesky (they were profiled in a previous blog), thermal surveys can now be created that actually map the amount of heat loss in people’s homes.

The maps generated from this technology produce various color codes so the amount of heat loss that is taking place can be quickly and easily seen. These maps are also available on the web, so the end user is able to access the map to determine what he or she might do to lessen the heat loss.

In addition to providing information about energy efficient measures a homeowner might take, the website also provides resources that can cover the gaps where heat is dissipating and information about how to switch energy suppliers.

Through these efforts, it is hoped that the overall heating bill will be reduced from previous years. As nicely summarized by Matthew Locking, Energy Strategy Officer at the Herefordshire Council, “The visibility and relative simplicity of the Bluesky data make it an excellent tool for raising awareness of home heat loss, thereby providing a catalyst for discussions around energy efficiency, fuel poverty and related topics . . . our primary aim is to get residents and stakeholders thinking about heat loss and how it can be improved, as well as providing a route to explore this through our Keep Herefordshire Warm scheme.” (SOURCE:

GeoTel is a telecommunications research and GIS mapping firm that researches and provides telecom datasets for more than 5,500 cities in the United States and worldwide. GeoTel’s expertise includes specialists in economic geography, geospatial engineering, web GIS, and telecommunications GIS Data infrastructure.