Evaluation of a local area energy mapping tool (LEMAP) in a smart and fair neighbourhood

Jo Hamilton and Patrick Devine-Wright

August 2023

This report is an evaluation of the trial of a Local Area Energy Mapping tool called LEMAP (LEMAP, 2023), focusing on
both the outcomes of the trial, and the process by which it is developed and implemented. 

LEMAP was trialled as part of a community scale energy trial called Project LEO: Local Energy Oxfordshire (Project
LEO, 2023). LEMAP is a powerful and innovative online tool that
integrates public, private and crowd-sourced datasets to enable SLES planning. The trial involved local stakeholders
learning how to use LEMAP, providing feedback on the design and engagement aspects, and using LEMAP to collect
resident data as part of Rose Hill2 Smart and Fair Neighbourhood (SFN) project (one part of Project LEO). The trial
took place between Autumn 2021 – Summer 2022 across the period of Covid constraints.
The evaluation, conducted using a realist approach (Pawson and Tilley, 1997), revealed multiple outcomes from the
LEMAP trial, and different degrees of success for different user and beneficiary groups. Integrating data from the
Distribution System Operator (DSO) has provided greater visibility of the electricity network, enabling planning for
the electrification of heat and electric vehicle (EV) charging. LEMAP has been instrumental in identifying locations
for high density heat pump deployment and will be used for ongoing monitoring of electricity networks.

The LEMAP trial contains valuable lessons for collaborations involving diverse stakeholders who bring a range of
expertise, expectations, and assumptions to SLES. The evaluation reveals the need to further consider how social
and technical expertise is integrated in the design and application of SLES tools, with particular attention needed
to clarify assumptions embedded within terms such as ‘engagement’ and ‘agency’ and their implications for tool