Thermal Imaging, end of project report

This was a fantastic, worthwhile project, which Energy Efficient Widcombe really enjoyed getting involved in …


  1. Invited to join Transition Bath, who were running this project
  2. Draw up a project plan, including hours required
  3. Source funding – huge thanks to Councillor Ian Gilchrist who gave us some of his Ward Councillor Initiative funds
  4. Secure homes to assess
    1. Door knocking, by Tim – time consuming with not much take up, as student street (Potential if leaflet – then door knock with camera)
    2. Leafleting by Tim and Claire – although the leaflets were good, we didn’t have much take up from these
    3. Asking friends, by Claire – successful in achieving homes nearby each other to test working in neighbourhoods
    4. Email, March 4th – sent to our mailing list secured the required number of homes in just a few hours (had to decline people outside Widcombe ward, to ensure not oversubscribed)
  5. Design a spreadsheet – which linked up the availability of :
    1. Volunteers
    2. Home owners
    3. TI Camera – book on line
  6. Schedule visits – x2 assessors to carry out x2 per evening
  7. Write up reports – time consuming
  8. Feedback to homeowners – reports accompanied by :
    1. Ask if wish to attend a POD ‘neighbourhood’ meeting
    2. Offer the sale of reasonable draughtproofing materials, by Transition Bath
    3. Provide a list of the most common issues
  9. Issue feedback forms
  10. Collate feedback – overwhelmingly positive, homeowners liked having a list of issues with practical, and normally cheap, solutions
  11. Attend the Transition Bath feedback meeting, Monday 28 April
  12. Write up the project



  1. Achieved 15 home assessments in 3 weeks. We were pleased with this number, although we had originally aimed for 20. This was not possible as Spring was progressing, and we hadn’t anticipated that we needed to allow 4 hours per assessment, which includes :
    1. Sourcing the home
    2. Booking the assessment
    3. Carrying out the assessment
    4. Writing up the findings
    5. Feeding back the findings
    6. Collating feedback
  2. Ensure homeowners accompany assessors on the assessment so that they can visually see the findings in situ
  3. Excellent feedback from all homeowners – really felt like we were helping to highlight problem areas and then able to provide practical advice
  4. The thermal imaging did actually motivate people – for example, I have lived in my home for 11 years with 2 open chimneys. Within 16 hours of seeing my chimney cowls glowing with heat escaping – I had blocked both of the chimneys, at no cost
  5. List of common issues collated
  • Drawing curtains and blinds completely keeps in a lot of warmth
  • Block unused fireplaces
  • Check loft hatch and loft insulation – recommended it is 27cm
  • Front doors can be especially draughty – consider letterbox and key hole covers, as well as draughtproofing around the door
  • Seal unused cat flaps
  • Use radiator reflectors behind radiators on external walls
  • Lag pipes and water tanks
  • Uncover radiators
  • Seal draughty gaps between floorboards
  • Fan louvers
  • High energy lightbulbs glowing!
  • Heat generated from appliances left on standby
  • Cold walls for various reasons – north facing, not cavity filled, poor circulation
  • Remember heat will find the path of least resistance to escape
  • Leak tight, ventilate right!
  1. Really useful sharing experiences with other Transition Bath project assessors. We agreed with the comments Fiona Gillison, Bathford Group made (who also completed a lot of assessments)
  2. We had 4 people in our team to carry out assessments, which was excellent.   2 people were needed at each assessment –
    1. For practical reasons, 1 to take the images, the other to write the image number and notes
    2. For safety



  1. Intended to focus on a student street, but not possible as we quickly realized we needed the Landlords buy in
  2. PODS / working in neighbourhoods – we had hoped that by holding local neighbourhood meetings it would encourage the residents to communicate and work as a team, but this has not happened
  3. Door knocking and leafleting were time consuming, to try and recruit homes. The email to our mailing list was really successful. Next time, we could perhaps ask if previous recipients of an assessment know of anyone.
  4. Teething problems loading Testo onto computer (not mac compatible)
  5. We needed to be mindful of intrusion. Many thought the survey took place outside, and were a little taken aback to hear we would be going around the inside of their home. We did always say, if they didn’t want us to go in a room just to let us know.
  6. Start earlier in the year, when the weather is colder. People would then be more motivated to make change, as they are cold and receiving high energy bills. – We will go back to recipients of the survey in the Autumn, when the weather is getting colder, to ask them how they got on with implementing changes
  7. Other suggested ways to enrol people next time

–       Community Centre – Baptist Church

–       Friends of Widcombe Surgery

–       Neighbours

–       Age UK

–       Word of mouth

  1. EEW didn’t charge, but we could possibly charge up to £40 / survey
  2. Next year take the draughtproofing examples with us e.g. draughtproofing strips when conducting the assessment, (also an order form) – Emphasise not profit making


To see some of the visually stimulating images whilst conducting the assessments please click on the link below …



APPENDICES, available on request!

  1. Photos – see link above ‘THERMAL IMAGES’
  2. TI press release, 11 March
  3. Initial email, 4 March
  4. Reports, 26 March
  5. Email accompanying report, 26 March
  6. Client feedback form, 22 April
  7. PODs, neighbourhood meetings + notes
    1. Monday 31 March at 19:30, Lyncombe Hill
    2. Wednesday 30 April at 19:30, Magdalen Avenue