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Real Time Energy Data in Government Headquarters

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From today (1 October) we are launching an energy efficiency competition for the 18 government department headquarter buildings. The competition will run from 1 October and last for one month. The winner of the competition will be the department which uses the least energy in the month relative to the previous month. From Monday October 4th we will publish a live league table here on which shows the relative performance of all headquarter buildings so that the public can track progress. Special recognition will also be given to departments demonstrating the most innovative ways of saving energy and also for measures which contribute the largest single contribution to energy savings. More details about the competition can be found at and the league table can be found here.

August 2010 Energy Use

Departments have now reported two full months of data and it is possible to see the relative energy consumption for each headquarter building. The first graphic (below) shows that in August, the MoD Main Building was the largest absolute consumer of energy out the 18 headquarters; using 2,565,331 KWh. Number 10 was the lowest, using 78,670 KWh. In simple terms one of the main reasons for this difference is the fact that the MoD headquarter is the largest building in this group, and Number 10 is the smallest; more detailed analysis is required to determine whether buildings are performing well; we will expand on this analysis over the next few months.


August 2010 Energy Usage

Rewired State has developed an application which brings together all 18 departments’ energy consumption – see This concept was developed by Isabell Long (aged 16) as part of a Young Rewired State hack day and has been developed into an application which compares day-time and night-time energy consumption and also shows the relative energy consumption of government departments on a map of Whitehall.  The league table will initially be manually prepared, and we are working closely with Govspark, who have developed a fully automated application which links directly to departments’ real time reporting systems.  The systems are relatively new and, as such we will be performing quality assurance on the league table throughout the next few weeks.

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  1. Comment by Anonymous posted on

    It is a good thing to see the RTD online on the web for each of the ministry’s.

    Can you please tell me what arithmetic’s is used to calculate this percentage? Is it from the first 3 days in September compared to the first 3 days in October? Since the first 3 days in September were a Weekday and the first 3 days in October are a weekend therefore the consumption would obviously be completely different.

    In regards to the consumption by each site, I noticed that the Foreign & Commonwealth Office, Cabinet Office, HM treasury and HM Revenue and Customs are all on the White Hall District Heating system but there is no Heat energy data, whereas the Ministry of Defence Main Building has heat meters.

    Surely, in order to compare consumption you need to look at total energy consumed as I’m sure heat will be required in October but probably not September

    • Replies to Anonymous>

      Comment by jenkinsp posted on

      Thanks for your comment. The league table calculation is based on the average energy consumption to date for the month of October, compared to the average daily consumption for the whole of September.

      Until we have data for the full month of October, the dataset will be based on fewer data points compared with the dataset for the full month of September. This means that the average energy consumption figures for October may be skewed according to the proportion of weekend days (where energy consumption should be lower).   The variances will reduce towards the end of the month, although we would expect the number of weekend days in a month will have a similar impact on all departments.

      Energy consumption includes electricity, gas and heat. The buildings have a range of heating mechanisms in place, including the Whitehall District Heating System (WDHS). Departments are expected to report any heat drawn from the WDHS (or other from other systems) and we will include heat figures within the total energy consumption for the competition.

  2. Comment by Anonymous posted on

    Can you explain why there is only one data point for gas in Caxton House and whether this creates a fair comparison against an average daily use across daily data points in October? Might a single data point be a non-representative? 

  3. Comment by Anonymous posted on

    I cannot easily see a) which departments are drawing off the district heating system b) how his heat is measured and converted into CO2 and c)what checks are made to ensure that departments account for use each day?

  4. Comment by Anonymous posted on

    What measures have dwp taken to save so much more energy than other HQS?

  5. Comment by Anonymous posted on

    This is a welcome scheme but given the way in which some departments share buildings which are often fed through a single "fiscal" meter for the purpose of supplier billing and energy "settlements", how are departments assessed on their actual energy performance if they cannot be truly measured where they share a building? (Example - Treasury Building 1HGR and 100 Parliament Street are occupied by a number of departments but their is only one primary electricity meter). 

    Also how are the benchmarks set against which performance is measured? If the target is set using the September 2010 average consumptions, where is the correction for variances in weather - often normalised using degree days? To not use temperature correction makes a mockery of the results obtained, as perhaps evidenced by the movement in results to date between weeks one and 3 of October.

    • Replies to Anonymous>

      Comment by Anonymous posted on

      If you were measuring absolute reductions in energy consumption it would be necessary to take account of variations in temperature (and other variables) but as this competition is concerned with relative energy consumption (with all departments being affected by variations in weather conditions) then I don't agree that it is flawed in this way.

    • Replies to Anonymous>

      Comment by Anonymous posted on

      It would probably have been better for the competiton to assess October 2009 with October 2010 energy consumption. The PM made the 10% reduction announcement on May 14th 2010 so any success in reducing consumption before September 2010 is therefore being ignored. Also whilst electricity use is likely to fall a little anyway between Sept & Oct (less demand for cooled air) heating energy consumption is likely to rise significantly therefore comparing same months in different years is a better measure of energy reduction success.

  6. Comment by Anonymous posted on

    Just wondering what has happened to the MOJ's CSV files? On all the other sites you can access the 24hr data but it seems that it's gone missing from the Live energy data page. Any reason?

  7. Comment by Anonymous posted on

    These Data must be collected and reviewed Periodically.