Non-domestic analysis: in a nutshell

If you have been following the work we’ve been doing as part of the London Energy Map so far, you’ll have seen that we started our journey by investigating actual energy consumption for the domestic sector. This post summaries the work we have carried out to investigate the measured energy consumption for non-domestic buildings, which has been far more challenging to say the least…

Compared to the domestic sector, the analysis on non-domestic buildings was much more complex. There are 2 main reasons for this:

  1. Address matching – The naming conventions of commercial buildings and company names in addresses makes them difficult to match between datasets.
  2. Building usage categories – The building usage, e.g. retail, restaurants, schools etc. are not standardised between datasets. For example, bars, restaurants and pubs maybe grouped as one category in one dataset, but another dataset may have restaurants and cafes as one category, and bars and pubs as another category. Within this, there is also the added complexity of mixed-use buildings.

To focus our work on the non-domestic sector, the key datasets we reviewed were:

  • Display Energy Certificates
  • Non-domestic EPCs
  • Statistics from the Valuation Office Agency from business rates.

In our analysis, we were surprised to discover the following ‘headlines’ [links to other posts]:

  1. A clear picture of non-domestic floor areas in London was difficult to obtain
  2. DECs, our only source of real energy consumption in non-domestic buildings are not a representative sample of the typical building stock in London
  3. The typical energy use intensity extracted from DECs for each building category are higher than other non-domestic benchmarks, as well as energy performance targets set by other cities aiming for net zero carbon buildings.
  4. The BEIS sub-national non-domestic energy consumption statistics make up of consumption from all non-domestic meters. However, without explicit labelling, it is unclear the proportion at which consumption is from operations of buildings or industrial processes.

If you are interested in continuing our journey, or embarking one of your own, feel free to check out our after thoughts and call for open data on the subject.

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