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 UKRI, BEIS and Ofgem as well as dozens of industry actors. It has been funded by UKRI, BEIS and a variety of other funders.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Automate authentication and legal contracts to scale up sharing as the world gears up for net zero
Financial-grade security standards to keep sensitive data secure
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