Why where you live is affecting your gas bill

Canary wharf 2-2People living in outer London boroughs are spending more money heating their homes than those living in central areas.

Data on gas consumption over the past 10 years shows that households in boroughs such as Harrow, Barnet, Bromley, Bexley and Richmond are consistently among the highest consumers of gas.

In contrast, Tower Hamlets, Southwark and Islington have the lowest levels of consumption.

In 2014 the average domestic consumption in Harrow was 17,000 kilowatt hours.  In Tower Hamlets it was a little over half that.

Gas consumption map

The nature of the housing stock is likely to be an important factor here.  The larger number of older, bigger homes homes in outer areas need more gas to heat than the smaller flats, both council and privately owned, in inner areas.

Data analysis on areas of the capital with the most energy efficient homes, previously reported by Urbs, shows Tower Hamlets as the leading borough, largely due to the modern development of flats and houses in Canary Wharf and Limehouse.

The area that perform best for energy efficient housing in the map below tend to be the ones with the lower levels of gas consumption in the map above.

energy efficient homes

Source data

See also

Tower Hamlets leads the way for London’s greener homes

Living in the past: The old housing keeping a roof over our heads

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Emission targets at risk as growing population hits greener city plan

aerial river dawnAmbitious targets to reduce greenhouse gases look likely to be missed thanks largely to London’s growing population.

In 2011 the Mayor set out a climate change strategy that aimed to reduce CO2 emissions to 60% of what they were in 1990 by 2025. 1990 is an internationally recognised baseline that countries used in signing the Kyoto agreement.

2015 is the first big milestone in the Mayor’s plan. By the end of this year emissions should be down by 20% on 1990 level. But the most recent data for greenhouse gases in London shows that the capital is off course to hit this target. In 2013 a reduction of only 11% had been achieved. This is better than the 10% of 2012 but falls short of the 13% achieved in 2011.

Emissions annual

In its annual report on the most recent figures the GLA says that 2013 was one of the coldest winters in recent history, which pushed up gas consumption. Without the cold winter a reduction of 13% might have been achieved.

But the record increase in population is the factor that may de-rail the targets. The GLA has admitted that its population estimates at the time that the CO2 reduction strategy was set were “seriously off target”. And more people means higher emission levels.

See also

Tower Hamlets leads the way for London’s greener homes

Traffic pollution battle stalls

London does have the lowest rate of emissions per person of any region in the country. Londoners use cars less and the large number of flats in the housing stock may mean lower energy consumption for heating.

About 40% of emissions are produced by domestic energy use, a similar amount from workplaces and the remaining 20% from transport. All have seen emission reductions since 2000. The largest reduction is in the industrial and commercial sector, which in 2013 was down by 15% on 1990 levels.

emission changes sectors

The Mayor’s strategy to achieve a “cleaner, greener city” is based on 3 pillars – making homes and workplaces more efficient, including retro-fitting existing building as well as ensuring efficiency in new builds; making the city greener with more trees; and improving air quality with measures to reduce transport emissions.

Last year the environment committee of the London Assembly judged that in all areas the Mayor “could do better’. The Mayor will be hoping that London’s success as a growing economy that is attracting more people does not kill off his ambition to reduce its carbon footprint.

Source date


Tower Hamlets leads the way for London’s greener homes

Modern flats

London has a bigger proportion of  energy efficient homes than the rest of England, and Tower Hamlets is the leading borough with 3 times the national average for the top green rating.

Whenever a home is built, sold or let it requires a Domestic Energy Performance Certificate that rates it from A to G for its level of energy efficiency.  11.2% of homes are rated as A or B in London compared to 8.8% for England. For A, B and C ratings London is ahead again – 41% compared to 36%.

Urbs looked at all the certificates on the local authority registers from 2008 to the end of the most recent quarter (Q2 2015). As our borough map reveals there are some wide variations in housing energy efficiency, likely related to the nature of the housing stock.

energy efficient homes

27% of the homes in Tower Hamlets are in the A/B category compared to just 5% in Kensington and Chelsea. Tower Hamlets includes the Canary Wharf and Limehouse areas that have seen a huge expansion in new build houses and flats that are more energy efficient than older homes.

Source data

See also

London house prices more than 100% higher than rest of UK