A London council is checking up on the energy use of its residents thanks to a nifty web map from Ordnance Survey that details every building. Alex Smith takes a look at his own four walls

I always thought the helicopters that buzzed over our north London estate at night were on Asbo-enforcement duties, but it seems they may have been fighting climate change rather than crime. Thermal images taken from helicopters have been used by Haringey council to compile a heat loss map of its buildings. It’s fantastically detailed. Every house is marked, and coloured one of eight hues to indicate the extent of heat loss.

Homes can be searched for by postcode, and no doubt dinner party guests in Highgate and Muswell Hill will be soon be boasting about the efficiency of their Victorian abodes.

The mapping is provided by Ordnance Survey, whose MasterMap represents every element of the built environment from lamp posts to culs-de-sac. Consultant See IT used MasterMap in conjunction with the thermal imaging map, which was provided by Bluesky.

Judging by the bright orange colours on my local council estate, I imagine this bit of Haringey was a bit of a shocker for the council. The individual houses have much less heat loss than blocks of council flats, and if the council are serious about cutting carbon dioxide emissions they will need to get their own house in order first.

The council is using the map to check for empty properties and whether the elderly are turning on their heating. Roof insulation firms can use it as a fantastic lead generator.

What the eye in the sky saw in Haringey …
What the eye in the sky saw in Haringey …