Mnemonic: heating_type
Applicability: Household
Type: Derived variable


Central heating is a heating system used to heat multiple rooms in a building by circulating air or heated water through pipes to radiators or vents. Single or multiple fuel sources can fuel these systems.

Central heating systems that are unused or not working are still considered. No information is available for household spaces with no usual residents.


Total number of categories: 13

Code Name
1 No central heating
2 Mains gas only
3 Tank or bottled gas only
4 Electric only
5 Oil only
6 Wood only
7 Solid fuel only
8 Renewable energy only
9 District or communal heat networks only
10 Other central heating only
11 Two or more types of central heating (not including renewable energy)
12 Two or more types of central heating (including renewable energy)
-9 Does not apply

View all type of central heating in household classifications.


Read about how we developed and tested the questions for Census 2021.

Comparability with the 2011 Census

Broadly comparable

We have added the categories “Renewable energy (for example, solar thermal or heat)” and “District or communal heat network”.

The category “Gas” has been split into “Mains gas” and “Tank or bottled gas”. The category “Wood (for example, logs, waste wood or pallets)”, has been separated from “Solid fuels”.

What does broadly comparable mean?

A variable that is broadly comparable means that it can be generally compared with the same variable used in the 2011 Census. However, changes may have been made to the question or options that people could choose from or how write-in answers are classified.

England, Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland comparisons

Broadly comparable

The variable produced for England, Wales and Scotland does not provide details where there are two or more types of central heating, so can be broadly compared to the variable produced by Northern Ireland.

What does broadly comparable mean?

A variable that is broadly comparable means that outputs from Census 2021 in England and Wales can generally be compared with Scotland and Northern Ireland. Differences in how the data were collected or presented may reduce the ability to fully harmonise on outputs, but some harmonisation is still expected.

Find out more about variables produced for Census 2021 in Northern Ireland and Census 2022 in Scotland.

Census 2021 data that uses this variable

We use variables from Census 2021 data to show findings in different ways.

You can:

Alternatively, you can also create a custom dataset.

Other datasets that use this variable