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R&D: Open standards for the UK energy sector

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Applying the principles and tools of the Open Data Standards guidebook to a data standards project for customer data in the UK energy sector

Open energy: why is it important?

Standards are an important element of our local, national and global data infrastructure. A successful new standard in the UK energy sector can help to change markets, create open ecosystems and implement policy objectives. The creation of this standard is the first step towards consumers having more control over energy data about them, and the creation of innovative new energy services, including those which help people move to a cheaper energy supplier, and find suppliers that use renewable energy sources.

Open standards in practice

As part of our input into the design of this new standard, we are applying methodologies from the Open Standards for Data guidebook developed as part of the ODI’s research and development programme. The insights and lessons gathered by putting the guidebook into practice will help improve it further.

Our approach

The ODI is taking the role of ‘critical friend’ in this collaborative project. In this role, the project team aims to help guide the UK energy sector to use the tools and guidance detailed in the Open Data for Standards guidebook.

More generally, we are bringing our expertise on standards through a mix of advice, coaching, and the running of standards-related activities. For example, we are running a series of workshops across the sector to: flesh our requirements; map the ecosystem and the stakeholders; and understand the facets of the standard development by using the open standards for data canvas.

By observing these activities and the rest of the standards development throughout the early phases of the project, we will create a case study feeding into future updates to the standards guidebook.

Get involved

Early input and feedback into a new standard is crucial for its success. Please get in touch if you would like to participate in future activities in this project, or would like to be notified when new versions of the draft standard are available for review.

The project’s working documents are available online, aligned with the three task forces collaborating on the project. Slides from the three task forces are linked below (note: email address required for access).

Our project partners include: Ofgem, the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, the Alan Turing Institute, Catapult Energy Systems.

This work is part of a three-year innovation programme, running to March 2020 with a funding profile of £2m each year from Innovate UK, the UK’s innovation agency.

Through our R&D programme, we aim to shape future services and promote productivity and growth with cutting edge expertise.

View related reports and blogs from the research, below.

Image credit: Photo by Matthew Henry on Unsplash