People and Planet Local Area Energy Planning Toolkit


A Local Area Energy Plan (LAEP) is a fully costed plan for a local area to reduce carbon emission. It identifies the most effective changes needed in a local area’s energy system to reach its net zero targets and contribute to the national net zero commitment. City Science was awarded funding by Innovate UK’s Design Foundations competition, to develop a People and Planet Local Area Energy Planning toolkit. The competition brief was to develop a new or significantly improved product that can deliver benefits for people and the planet, aligned with the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

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Our Approach

Embedding the SDGs into Local Energy Planning encourages a comprehensive and integrated approach that considers not only energy supply and demand, but also social, economic, and environmental factors. This can result in more effective and sustainable energy planning outcomes that consider broader development objectives and create positive synergies across different sectors.

Our project utilised Humanity-Centred Design to develop a tool to enhance how LAEPs are produced. In doing so, resulting LAEPs are better placed to address the Cost-of-Living Crisis and deliver affordable and clean energy to communities. Additional SDGs addressed by the tool are No Poverty, Sustainable Cities & Communities, Reduced Inequalities, Climate Action, Good Health & Wellbeing.


We successfully developed and iteratively refined a blueprint for a holistic LAEPs. The selected inclusions ensure that SDG considerations are embedded into the evidence base of resulting LAEPs.
To further support the development of People and Planet-focused LAEPs, we developed the following models, which were integrated into our proven Cadence 360 geospatial mapping tool:

  • Heat Demand Modelling :We developed a proprietary Heat Demand model which is central to our Cadence 360 People and Planet LAEP toolkit. It provides an accurate baseline for understanding existing energy needs anywhere in the UK within a couple of clicks. This information is vital for Local Energy Planning to forecast future needs and to optimally allocate resources, integrate renewable energy and implement energy efficiency measures.
  • Fuel Poverty and Inequality:Embedding fuel poverty and deprivation data into Cadence 360 allows for a targeted approach to address energy affordability and social equity. The layers enable us to identify vulnerable communities, assess energy needs, and design interventions that prioritise wellbeing. The subsequent derived initiatives are therefore more likely to be inclusive, equitable, and considerate of the socio-economic conditions of local populations, therefore, enabling the prevention of fuel poverty and promoted social and environmental justice.
  • Sustainable Development Assets:Our proven methodology provides a robust analysis of areas that are suitable for renewable energy asset development (such as solar PV and onshore wind). With this, we better equip Local Authorities to make informed decisions on the optimal placement of energy assets, and how to maximise local resources and clean energy generation, thereby reducing reliance on fossil fuels.

We are currently utilising this new functionality in four real-world LAEPs. In addition, we have developed a full list of prioritised, SDG-integrated development requirements that we will continue building into the tool post-project. Our aim for the People and Planet LAEP toolkit is to automate as many LAEP baseline and forecasting requirements as possible to ensure every LAEP is truly holistic and enhanced with gold-standard integration of social, economic and environmental factors.

“We are extremely pleased with the work that City Science have completed so far towards our LAEP. They have produced a highly informative and thorough Baseline Report, which provides a clear and concise insight to the demographics of the area and its Energy System. The information provided is easily understood and engaging through the use of mapping visuals that were created using their Cadence 360 tool.” – Carbon Reduction Officer, Carmarthenshire Council.