How much Energy do we use and who uses it?

If we’re going to plan our future energy needs a good point to start with is how much do we currently use. More information on this is being made available and the the available sources are through the Office of National Statistics and, more recently (March 2012), the Department of Energy and Climate Change has published an amazing national heatmap where fairly detailed information is displayed both as tables and contoured graphic maps for every district. I’ve abstracted the data for both Rye and the surrounding villages  and show it below, together with the links to the DECC website so you can make your own analyses.

The detail figures are in the following table:-



The website addresses are listed and should show you a map with the perimeter of each area delineated. As far as possible I have tried to minimise the agricultural land . They are all from the newly published National Heatmap produced by DECC, the Department of Energy and Climate Change. By any standard this is a remarkable work of data collation and presentation – but also see the comments below. If the links don’t work, try copying them into the command line of your browser.

Rye and Playden

Peasmarsh and Kitchenour Lane

Houghton Green & Cliffe Wood

Iden & Rye Foreign

Rye Harbour

Harbour Rd Industrial

Winchelsea & Winchelsea Beach


It has been quite a rapid process of assimilation to take in the detail of the heatmap and so I’m sure I’ve missed a few tricks along the way. I would very much appreciate comments on the data.

So far I’ve not tracked down a decent description of the data sources which have been used to aggregate the data and I have noticed a significant difference between the figures presented here and those available from the Office of National Statistics website. These figures for domestic users are about 60% of those shown in the ONS listings (for 2009). I’m sure there is a consistent explanation for this but it has so far eluded me.

There are some interesting data items – for instance who is the industrial user in the Peasmarsh area absorbing nearly 2000 Mwh per annum? (1 Mwh – Megawatthour – is 1000 Kwh). Each of the figures shown above could stand some detail data analysis, certainly when we come to look at how their energy could be generated in future.

The data have a certain sort of inevitabilty to them in that Residential represents over 65% of the total demand. Although it’s not shown in these tables, the bulk of that demand is for space heating and therefore it highlights where the bulk of the effort should be concentrated – i.e. energy conservation – it’s the most cost-effective form of energy generation in one sense – hence the Government and industry’s big efforts to implement the Green Deal.

About a year ago I attended an excellent series of lectures from David Martin of University College, London, an expert on local Vernacular Building,  where he came up with an astonishing statistic. A property census was carried out for tax purposes about 1625 in the area and identified about 2600 buildings on the register. He has recently checked this register and has identified at least 1300 of them being still there either in whole or in part. This historic legacy is a major part of what makes this area so attractive both to live in and for visitors and tourists. We are still heating and ventilating these buildings and thus a major part of our effort locally must be to adapt and modernise this legacy in such a way that it becomes a both  lot more energy efficient and preserves that heritage for future generations.

I hope in further posts to review the available technologies for local energy generation, in effect a blue sky review of the possibilies, and then move on to some possible scenarios for community energy. All contributions of ideas and insights gratefully received.




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