Who does the Heat Map help?

The London Heat Map is used by a wide variety of people in numerous ways. 

London boroughs

We hope that London boroughs will use the map as a central resource on decentralised energy issues in the capital. We’d like each and every borough in London to use and update their energy data on the map. We’d like boroughs to tell us how the Mayor’s Decentralised Energy for London has helped too.

Boroughs can use the map to create decentralised energy master plans. They can also develop DE opportunities by:


  • putting planning requirements in their core strategy, local development framework, opportunity area planning frameworks and area action plans 
  • placing specific targets in key council strategies and local area agreements
  • protecting existing communal heating systems
  • upgrading communal heating systems in buildings that they own/manage
  • running DE projects via major regeneration or carbon reduction schemes
  • procuring low carbon heat or electricity for buildings they own/manage 
  • encouraging members of the Local Strategic Partnership, housing associations and other public sector partners (schools, hospitals, leisure centres etc) to consider DE options
  • developing local delivery partnerships and energy service special purpose vehicles


There have been huge changes in requirements for low carbon, renewable and decentralised energy in planning for new developments in the UK. This includes the London Plan and boroughs adopting similar policies here.

These requirements have made developers think about fresh ideas for energy solutions. For larger, high density developments, decentralised energy is most effective. It can connect into existing networks, or form part of a wider network through partnerships with others.

The London Heat Map has information on existing district heating systems, plus opportunities for connections to ‘anchor heat loads’ and new network opportunities. Developers can search the area around their site to identify potential opportunities for network connections as well as potential heat customers or suppliers.

It is a live and dynamic tool, and developers can update information and data on the map. By registering to access and download data, developers can also add new information of potential heat loads or supply opportunities.

The London Heat Map will start by focusing on public sector and municipal buildings and projects. These provide the most secure and lowest risk opportunities for longer term heat contracts and network expansion. The public sector takes a longer-term view on investments. It is in a position to commit to up-front capital expenditure for DE networks. This can help reduce the risk for the private sector, with lower costs of borrowing and more potential for their investment.

Utilities and investors

Increasing interest in decentralised energy has created fresh opportunities for utility companies and investors in London.

The London Plan now requires developers to consider connecting to existing or new district heating networks. The Mayor has helped put a fresh focus on decentralised energy.

This has helped create a market for DE projects to succeed. A number of viable projects are now under consideration. 


People are becoming increasingly concerned about the environment. That means issues like climate change, reducing carbon emissions and a secure, reliable and clean supply of energy are being discussed more. The heat map shows where there is potential to create a decentralised energy network across London. This will help to cut carbon emissions by reducing reliance on big power plants. It can also provide a more secure and reliable supply of energy to your home or business.

Other European countries, like Denmark, Finland and Austria have extensive decentralised energy networks as standard. In the UK, we’re used to piping and burning gas in our homes to generate heat with individual boilers. These countries accept hot water instead for their heating systems. This can provide a more secure and reliable supply of heat as such networks often have back up boilers. That means there’s less risk of a cold shower or no heating when a boiler breaks down. This can also reduce overall service charges.

The London Heat Map shows which areas have potential for decentralised energy networks. Generally higher densities and high heat demands are essential elements of a network. However there are several other factors to consider when assessing the potential for DE.

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