This AI can tell if your home is wasting energy — just by looking at it


Two researchers from the University of Cambridge have developed a deep-learning algorithm that could make it easier, faster, and cheaper to identify energy-wasting homes — a significant source of greenhouse gas emissions. 

Trained on open-source data including energy performance certificates and satellite images, the AI was able to classify so-called ‘hard to decarbonise’ houses with 90% accuracy, according to the study. These homes are hard to electrify or retrofit for a variety of reasons including old age, structure, or location. 

The model can pinpoint specific parts of a building — such as the roof and windows — which are losing the most heat, and whether a home is old or modern. However, the researchers are confident they can significantly increase the detail and accuracy of the model over time.