Which homes in the UK are leading the energy transition? The map below takes into account domestic electric vehicle chargepoints, heat pumps and solar PV.
The transition index for a region is the annual avoided grams of CO2 per household from the technologies above.
Whilst there’s more data out there than ever before regarding the adoption of low-carbon technologies, it often isn’t easy to find – or in one place. In building our agent-based model, we’ve surfaced interesting decarbonisation datasets and have brought them together under one platform to create an index.
This index should build confidence in the fact that things are moving in a greener direction, whilst highlighting how far and fast we still need to go to achieve our climate targets.
Areas that are wealthy and less urbanised are most likely to score highly in the index, less affluent places are less likely to score as highly and more urbanised places are the least likely to score highly.
The top five decarbonised local authorities in the UK for homes are nearly all rural or affluent semi-rural areas, from the islands of Scotland to affluent parts of the Home Counties. The bottom five are all in London, comprising a mix of the most affluent and deprived areas of the capital.
The strongest influencers of scoring well in the index include low population density, large housing size, and high levels of home and car ownership.
Having decided to create an index that measures the decarbonisation of homes, we took a deliberately agile approach to development. This meant excluding lots of datasets and ideas in favour of releasing something sooner which we could refine over time and with the help of partners.
We took three steps to derive the home decarbonisation index (HDI) for each local authority district:
01. Collating adoption statistics per technology
• Air and ground source heat pumps
• Domestic electric vehicle charging points
• Solar PV
02. Multiplying by CO2 avoided annually (based on 20/21 data)
• Heat Pumps (1,452 kg/heat pump/year)
• Electric Vehicles (1,236 kg/car/year)
• Solar PV (175 kg/kW/year)
03. Dividing by number of dwellings
• Housing stock numbers by local authority are collated separately for England (2020), Wales (2020), Scotland (2018) and Northern Ireland (2016)
Running an index with averages for a local authority always runs the risk of treating everyone as the ‘average’ resident of their area. Individuals respond to incentives differently, and we need to use individual-level data, not just aggregated data, to estimate these changes. We would like to supplement the index by regularly publishing anonymised data based on insights from Octopus Energy.
We’re also looking for partners who can provide additional datasets and/or insights that we can feed into this project. So whether you’re a provider of other low carbon technologies, a supplier of electric vehicles, a housing provider or otherwise – we’d love to hear from you if you think you can supplement, challenge or improve this index.