Some Like It (Too) Hot

Recognise the building in the picture? This strange image is of the Scottish Parliament, and the reason it looks so odd is because it was taken using a thermal imaging camera. These cameras are great for showing how much heat buildings lose, and identifying places where insulation could help to save the building owners money.

Soon we’re going to be in a position to offer Leithers a free thermal imaging survey of their house. That’s right – free! It doesn’t matter what type of house you live in, or whether you own it or rent it, we’re happy to photograph it. This is a fantastic deal, as we reckon that you’d need to pay at least £100 to a private company if you wanted a thermal imaging survey done of your home.

We’re also looking for people who could share with us the ‘energy story’ of their house. Can you tell us about what powers your house, how you use it, and you feel about your fuel bills? Do you think you’re going to use more, or less, energy in the future?

We’re also going to be using the thermal imaging camera to photograph as many of the streets of Leith as we can, with a view to putting together an on-line resource – something a bit like Google Streetview – except using thermal images, rather than normal photos. We hope that this will help us, and everyone else, identify the buildings that could most benefit from energy saving measures.

Even better, one of the project partners is Out of the Blue – and so this first phase of the project will culminate in an exhibition of the most interesting images alongside some interactive exhibits and some of the energy stories of the Leithers whose houses will feature in the exhibition.

Thanks to funding from the Leith Neighbourhood Partnership we’re in a position to be able to put two local volunteers through the fairly technical training required to use the cameras. Changeworks have kindly agreed to fund the technical analysis of the images, and Scottish and Southern Energy have kindly agreed to lend us the cameras.

If you would like us to help you work out the energy story of your home, please contact us and when our volunteers are ready, we’ll get back in touch.

  • James

    Yes and no. These pictures don’t show heat loss, they show warm areas, which may or may not be heat loss. The best illustration of that is this picture of Holyrood. The red areas at the top are where the sun catches concrete: there’s nothing in those structures to lose heat through. Still, it got a good Daily Mail headline..

  • Ally

    Yep, point taken. But that’s why people need to be trained to take photos that mean something and the results analysed professionally. Besides, if you’re going to split hairs the photos show relative variation in temperature. The warm bits can indicate places where buildings are poorly insulated, but they do need careful interpretation. Of course, you have rumbled our secret agenda – we are only doing it to try and get in the Daily Mail…

  • Don

    Thanks for the pic and I understand the qualifying comments made in the existing replies.
    Another building that may also be of interest is the Scottish Executive near Ocean Terminal. I walk around this building in the mornings – about 7am and again in the evening – about 8pm to exercise my dog – and me of course. There are always aleast 50% of the lights on. What sort of an example does this set by a govermnet that promotes the efficient use of energy or is it a case of "Do as I say not as I do"