How do England & Wales Stay Warm?


One of the more spatially interesting datasets on DataShine: Census is about central heating – do houses have it, and what is the fuel source? The table is QS415EW and here’s what one of the categories – proportion of houses with gas central heating – looks like on DataShine (and above). You’ll notice a distinctive pattern, with city centres and the countryside having low proportions of houses with gas central heating (yellow), while city suburbs and towns have much higher proportions (red). City centres may have these low values because they contain either very old houses (which never had it) – and/or very new houses that use more modern forms of central heating, are much more highly insulated, or are blocks of flats where gas central heating systems are perhaps considered dangerous now. In rural areas, some of these places maybe never had a connection to the gas main anyway. It’s the city suburbs, the big expansion of the 60s/70s, where gas central heating was always put in by default.

Oil central heating, being more expensive, is rare in urban areas but a practical necessity in the countryside, such as in rural Wales. Solid fuel is popular in Northumberland.

Barrow Island in the Lake District and Aberdaron in Wales are the two wards that have the highest proportion of households with no central heating at all. Many of the houses in the area at least are holiday houses, which are presumably mostly populated in the summer. It could be a bit chilly there in the winter!

See the live map on DataShine now. Change the fuel type at the No. 3 drop-down on the top right.

Published by

Oliver O'Brien

Welcome to the information blog about DataShine, showing examples and tips from the first project, DataShine: Census. If you have any comments, please let us know here, or you can find out more about the project, and the people behind it, here.

26 thoughts on “How do England & Wales Stay Warm?”

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  9. Fantastic blog, and interesting coming from an area where most houses had gas central heating good to see that it is not as common as I thought. Regards, Alastair Majury

  10. I’m amazed that so many houses still don’t have central heating in the UK. Especially in places like the Lake District where I can imagine it gets very chilly in the winter. I think I’ve fallen into the trap of assuming that everyone has the same level of heating as myself.

  11. Really interesting that the Lake District is an area where there are so few houses without central heating – especially as it rains here more often than anywhere else in the UK!

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