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Open Energy Report

Electricity Pylons

Photo: Matthew Henry - Unsplash

Recently the Federation of Small Businesses published a report on modernizing the Energy market. The report entitled “Open Energy - Using data to create a smarter, cheaper and fairer energy market” can be found here. It is a worthy read for any company involved in the Energy market.

The FSB was the organisation in the UK to push for the Open Banking standard back in 2011. It took some years but that standard is now supported by the 9 largest banks in the UK.

The reports main suggestions are

  • The government should give energy customers greater control over their smart meter data.
  • That customers should have easier access to tariffs.
  • That the Energy industry should standardize market price information into machine-readable formats to allow for autonomous comparisons of tariffs.
  • The industry should provide access to smart meter data via an open API.
  • That customer should have the option to delegate contract switching powers to Third party intermediaries.

Combined, the suggestions would form the basis of the Open Energy standard. The aim from the FSB’s point of view is to increase the number of customers switching tariffs to save money. They also see it as an opportunity for “ innovative uses of data, including for demand-management purposes that could increase the proportion of the total energy mix from renewables.”

The current state of data availability and exchange in the Energy Industry is terrible. There is no common data exchange format. Powered by FTP, suppliers silo their data in badly designed and isolated portals. The recommendations in this report are what Open Energy Market has been pushing for. In order for Customers to take control back of their energy data, suppliers need to be made to embrace these recommendations. Open and well governed API’s, customers owning their data and having access to it on demand. I suspect it will take significant time and involvement from Ofgem to make it a reality. But, look at Open Banking and the innovation that is occurring there thanks to the standard.

Customers are back in control and that is spurring competition.

If you would like to discuss the report and how it’s recommendations could be implemented then message me via twitter or email.