About Open Energy

What is Open Energy?

Open Energy is a service that makes it easy to search, access and securely share energy data. It covers both Open Data and commercial Shared Data where access requires control.

The Open Energy service comprises Search, Access Control and is co-designed through an industry Forum.

Further, Open Energy brings together domain experts across the ecosystem, including large and small companies, regulated and unregulated actors, and the public sector, into Industry Advisory Groups and a Sector Steering Group to help shape the development of its services.

Our development processes, updates, webinars and related information are available at https://energy.icebreakerone.org

It has been created by and is driven developed and operated by IcebreakerOne.org, an independent, non-partisan non-profit making data work harder to deliver Net Zero. Through its Steering and Advisory Groups, it is supported by UKRIBEIS and Ofgem as well as dozens of industry actors. It has been funded by UKRI, BEIS and a variety of other funders. 

Current operational status: Pilot

We have test implementations of the systems up and running with limited examples Search and Access control based on the industry-defined ‘core use-case’ for development. We are actively working with users on their needs and developing the service based on continuous feedback. Please get in touch if you would like to get involved. Future phases will expand the scope to cover all relevant national energy data and participants across energy and related sectors.

Operational implementations

Energy Data Search

Anyone can search for energy data. This is accessible via both a human interface and a machine interface (API).

Searches can be filtered so that specific data types and locations can be discovered. The data is signposted and the user can see if the data is Open or Shared. If the data is Open, then it can be accessed directly. If it is Shared then it can only be accessed if the user has been given permission by the data supplier, who may also charge for their data.

Energy Data Access Control

Members can publish while maintaining Access Control for others to access their data without requiring a bilateral contract or having to agree to a unique set of terms and conditions every time a new data sharing arrangement is set up. 

Members must be accredited to join Open Energy, which is a trust framework enabling secure access. This requires agreeing to Open Energy rules, terms and conditions, and common data sharing licences. These rules are applied automatically by the service to allow user access to data.

Cutting the cost of compliance for data providers

Deal with the rising tide of data requests

An easier way to respond to requests for access to your data

Cut the cost of responding to data requests

No more lawyers, no more admin: Open Energy reduces the cost of responding to a data request by more than 50%

A simple system that’s fit for the future

Backed by the UK Government and Ofgem as a new part of our energy infrastructure

Frequently Asked Questions

Open Energy aims to revolutionise the way energy data is shared in the UK and create an energy data ecosystem that works for everyone. Building on the principles of Open Banking, we’re working directly with industry to develop the principles and practice to enable data sharing at sector-scale. At present (April 2021) we are beginning user testing around the core use case (a Local Authority Community Retrofit). We are creating an open standard for data sharing in the energy sector by working with two Advisory Groups, a Review Group and a Steering Group made up of a diverse group of sector representatives, and building the technology that underpins it (the Open Energy Governance Platform). In order to increase energy data discoverability of both Open and Shared data, we’ve also built an Energy Data Search.
Open Energy is not an attempt to centralise the storage of energy data – we do not store the data shared through our ecosystem. Instead, we are building the infrastructure to enable distributed parties to share data easily and securely. To do this, we are developing bespoke legal, policy and technical architecture compliant with the Financial-grade API specification (we don’t use a blockchain). We also aim to make our services as inclusive as possible to a sector that is changing quickly and handles multiple types of data – including from legacy systems. This means that we are not mandating the use of any single data schema or data standard in our systems. Rather, we aim to develop an inclusive framework and guidance for data sharing, via the Open Energy Governance Platform, that can support a range of organisations to participate. Finally, Open Energy also aims to facilitate a competitive marketplace for energy data sharing. As such, we do not specify prices for data exchanged through our ecosystem.
Our long term vision is to modernise access to the energy data across industry and address decarbonisation and the climate crisis via economic innovation. Roll out of the Open Energy project and principles will enable actors in the energy industry to interact better with each other, allowing governments, investors, businesses and consumers to make better decisions to drive to Net Zero.
If you are in industry, academia, government, technology or on the consumer side of the energy sector, and want to be involved in building the energy data ecosystem, we want to hear from you! Contact us via email (openenergy@icebreakerone.org), sign up as a beta tester or join the consultation. For a full list of all the ways you can support/follow Open Energy, please see our JOIN page.
Yes. Open Energy is currently governed by two Advisory Groups and a Steering Group. The membership of these groups is designed to represent a range of different types of organisations in the energy sector, and broader digital sector where relevant. Open Energy is guided by our principle of ‘by the sector, for the sector’ and we will review our governance beyond Phase 3 to ensure we continue to align with this principle. Open Energy members can apply to join the Advisory and Steering Groups. However, membership of these groups will not be restricted to members only and non-members may be invited to join in order to balance representation. If you are interested in participating in future Open Energy governance mechanisms please contact openenergy@icebreakerone.org.
Open Energy provides two new capabilities.
Energy Data Search
Users can search for published energy data that meets their specific requirements. Searches can be filtered so that specific data types and locations can be discovered. The data is signposted and the user can see if the data is “open” or “shared”. If the data is open, then it can be accessed directly. If it is shared then it can only be accessed if the user is an approved Member of Open Energy.

Governance Platform
This will enable Members to publish and access energy data easily without requiring a bilateral contract or having to agree to a unique set of terms and conditions every time a new data sharing arrangement is set up. Members must be accredited to join Open Energy, which is a trust framework enabling secure access to energy data. This requires agreeing to Open Energy rules and common data sharing licences, removing the need for bilateral contracts to share data between parties. These rules are applied automatically by the Governance Platform to allow participant access to data.
Introducing these new capabilities will be extremely far reaching and will have a very significant impact. The Energy Data Search capability will make energy data much easier to discover, and the Governance Platform will unlock access to energy data. In combination, these are the key enablers for development of a trusted ecosystem of data providers and energy data service providers. We aim to create an ecosystem similar to that which has developed in Open Banking, where service providers use data to create and market a wide range of propositions. There are over 8,000 organisations in the energy sector, and Open Energy will allow these to become more creative and innovative, and to have far greater levels of insight and analysis than ever before. This will allow easier decentralisation and faster decarbonisation as the UK drives towards Net Zero, and along with other Smart Data initiatives, will be a core enabling capability in the Government’s 10 Point Plan for a Green Industrial Revolution.

Personal data is defined under GDPR as: ‘any information relating to an identified or identifiable natural person (data subject).’ This is either directly or indirectly – where data or information is combined.  Data ceases to be personal when it is made anonymous, and an individual is no longer identifiable. But for data to be truly anonymised, the anonymisation must be irreversible. Data that has been encrypted, de-identified or pseudonymised but can be used to re-identify a person is still personal data.

Open Energy will not enable the sharing of personal data, as defined under UK and EU law, in Phase 3. At present, we are prioritising development of non-personal data sharing in order to satisfy the data requirements of our core use case. Extension of the ecosystem to include personal data will be considered after Phase 3, subject to consultation.

Open Energy aims to serve all actors looking to share energy data, access energy data, or both! We are designing our service to be accessible for all actors – from large companies through small-scale research groups or non-profits. Our Energy Data Search function is free and open to the public. Anyone can use this to discover useful datasets and be linked directly to Open data. Beyond this, actors can join the Open Energy membership as Data Providers, Service Providers, or both. Membership enables sharing of and/or access to more sensitive datasets via our Governance Platform.
We delivered a three-month programme of deep engagement with stakeholders across the energy sector, which was completed in November 2020. Since then, we have been working in close consultation with two Advisory Groups and a Steering Group made up of a diverse group of sector representatives, as we build and shape the Open Energy service and membership model. We also have a Review Track group, again drawn from the energy sector, with whom we consult on an ongoing basis. We publish our work regularly and invite comment from all interested parties. We believe that industry engagement is critical to success, which is why we have taken this collaborative approach. Understanding and answering the user’s needs is what makes our approach different. If you are interested in being involved in our future work, please email us on openenergy@icebreakerone.org.

Because this is what we have heard from the energy sector. In Phase 1, we engaged 200+ stakeholders from across the energy sector who all articulated a need for an open standards-based approach to facilitate the sharing of data within the industry. We recognise that the users’ needs are diverse and encompass millions of datasets from consumers, providers and regulators. Our research in Phase 1 highlighted the risks to implementation unless governance is addressed as well as an overwhelming objection to a ‘single data platform’.

 

Our recommendation is to create a critical piece of innovation (the Open Energy Governance Platform) which will enable a decentralised approach, in which data and metadata is distributed, always up-to-date, and managed real time on data custodians’ servers. This platform will provide the common rules, controls and processes needed for access, discovery, security, commercial applications, privacy and regulatory compliance. This proven approach, novel to energy, will form the Common Data Architecture enabling an energy data ecosystem.

Open Energy is the only service of its nature in the UK. While there are many ‘data portals’ or ‘data platforms’ being developed, Open Energy differs from these initiatives in two important ways. Firstly, we are building the infrastructure to share data held by multiple partners – we do not store any of this data ourselves. Secondly, we are not for profit and guided by extensive sector consultation. This means our membership fees are designed only to cover the running costs and future development of the service in a direction that serves the needs of the sector in working towards Net Zero.

Features

We’re constantly innovating to bring you more, rich features. Do drop us a line if there’s something you’d like to see.

Control Access

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Future-proof your organisation

Automate authentication and legal contracts to scale up sharing as the world gears up for net zero

Peace of mind

Financial-grade security standards to keep sensitive data secure

Request Data

Can’t find what you need? Request it 

Widen your network

Get access to data held by thousands of organisations and institutions

Easy to use

A no-hassle service for organisations of any size