Data sources

Friends of the Earth uses official government data where possible to drive change in local communities. Find out where we sourced our data for the "Near me" online tool.
  Published:  13 Apr 2021    |      2 minute read

We've used government data where possible to build our "Near me" tool and help you discover more about your local area. Read on to discover where we sourced our data for each section.

Energy efficiency of homes 

The estimate of the current proportion of homes in a local authority area that are well insulated (EPC C or above) is based on the government’s data on energy performance certificates.  Friends of the Earth’s target is for all homes to be well insulated (EPC C or better) by 2030, whereas the government's target is for all homes to be EPC C by 2035. 

Renewable energy

We sourced the amount of renewable energy currently produced in an area from government data. For our calculations, we've excluded electricity generated by biomass and waste as these are not low carbon methods – we present data on onshore renewable electricity only.

The target we suggest is based on more than tripling onshore renewable energy by 2030. This would be met if each area were to match the highest level achieved by similar areas (adjusted for size). Areas are grouped using the Office of National Statistics groupings of local authority areas. Our target for how much onshore renewable energy should be produced is higher than that of the Climate Change Committee (the government’s official advisors), which only recommends a doubling of production by 2030. The government itself does not have a 2030 target. 

Public transport, cycling and walking 

The data on the current situation by local authority area is sourced from the 2011 census. This is the latest data available across all local authority areas. It's likely to be an overestimate of the current situation (2021) due to a decline in bus travel.

Our suggested targets for increasing the proportion of journeys by public transport, cycling and walking is based upon a doubling by 2030, but varies depending on the type of area you live in. The Climate Change Committee has a target for reducing miles travelled by car, which equates to roughly 30% increase in journeys by public transport, cycle and walking from current levels. The government does not have a target. Friends of the Earth’s targets are therefore much more ambitious. 


Data on waste for England is published by the UK government. The latest data was released too late to be included in this version of our tool, but will be updated in our next version summer 2021. We will also update data for Wales in the subsequent version.

Our aspirational target is for 100% recycling and composting by 2030. The UK government doesn’t have a target for 2030. The Welsh government has a target of 70% recycling and composting by 2025, and zero waste by 2050. The Climate Change Committee has a target of 68% by 2030, which is a level already exceeded by several local authority areas in Wales.