Modernising Energy Data Applications

Data is one of the biggest enablers of a decarbonised, decentralised and digitalised future energy system. It is an essential tool to keep the cost of transforming our energy system as low as possible.

In response to the Energy Data Taskforce recommendations, the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS), Ofgem, and Innovate UK launched the Modernising Energy Data programme (MED), as part of the Prospering from the Energy Revolution programme.

The Challenge

The MED programme launched two competitions with the aim of modernising the ways in which the energy sector is able to discover, access, and subsequently use data:

MEDA aimed to create a common data architecture, while the MEDApps funded the development of data applications by innovators that addressed the needs of users and developers of local energy systems. Innovators were required to provide scalable commercial opportunities, and to integrate with the Open Energy data architecture created by fthe winning project of the MEDA competition.

The MEDApps competition was structured as a two-phase competition.

  • Phase 1 covers the discovery and alpha phase, running from April 2021 until July 2021.
  • Phase 2 covers the beta phase, running from September 2021 until June 2022.

The Solution

Given the experience gained through the Energy Data Taskforce, MEDA and the Energy Revolution Integration Service (ERIS) programme, the Energy Systems Catapult was appointed to:

  • Provide tailored support to the projects for testing their solution, liaising with industry stakeholders, and identifying links with other initiatives,
  • Identify and help projects resolve wider system issues such as access to network operators data,
  • Facilitate knowledge sharing, by coordinating events and stakeholders engagement.

Read our final MEDApps report

Modernising Energy Data Applications: Learnings and recommendations

MEDApps phase 1

In the first phase of the competition, the programme funded nine projects covering the cost for their discovery and alpha phase. A range of new applications was proposed, with each of the projects dealing with one of the biggest challenges of the energy transition such as electric vehicles’ uptake, facilitated design of district heating networks, local area energy planning, indoor farming, gas meter leaks detections, and fuel poverty.

Energy Systems Catapult assisted the nine projects in their user research by introducing the projects to potential users and initiatives in the sector, reviewing their business model, and identifying data sources and supporting the negotiations with data providers.

Projects  Launch Event
Supporting fuel poor households through data integration and AI – led by UrbanTide UrbanTide – Phase 1 presentation
AI for low carbon technology site optimisation – led by Alian Alian – Phase 1 Presentation
Net-zero operation map- led by Brits Energy Brits Energy – Phase 1 Presentation
AI generative design tool for low-cost district heating networks – led by City Science Corporation City Science – Phase 1 Presentation
Future energy & transport tool – led by Power My Hub Power My Hub – Phase 1 Presentation
Electric vehicle infrastructure investor app – led by Zuhlke Engineering Zuhlke –  Phase 1 Presentation
Smart metering leak detection – led by DNV GL DNV GL – Phase 1 Presentation
Energy-focused geospatial system using multi-sectoral data to deliver net-zero – led by Mind Foundry Mind Foundry – Phase 1 Presentation
LAEPapps – led by Advanced Infrastructure Technology Advanced Infrastructure Technology – Phase 1 Presentation


MEDApps phase 2

Being a two-stage competition, only five out of nine projects were admitted to the second round, funding the development of the beta phase of these data applications. In the nine months of this competition, the Energy Systems Catapult will provide a wide range of tailored support to these projects from usability testing to overcoming challenges related to data acquisition. Read more about the five phase-2-winning projects in the sections below.

Big Data for Local Area Energy Planning

Advanced Infrastructure Technology – LAEP apps

Aiming to assess the value of a Local Area Energy Planning (LAEP) using big data analysis to help non-technical energy planners to rapidly model energy scenarios in close to real-time using a novel common analysis framework.

The application should build on the common data architecture from recent data projects – accessing, integrating and exploring the datasets from those projects. It should also integrate open datasets that are currently too dissipated and difficult for planners to explore without expensive specialist support.

The service vision is a web GIS single page application which enables users to view, download/upload, and analyse building-level data in order to plan and optimise the siting of any combination of low carbon technologies at scale.

By maintaining this data in up-to-date and geospatially mapped formats, accessible on web-based visualisation platforms, we remove data-as-a-barrier to LAEP analysis. Better whole-system planning with full stakeholder engagement has been shown to reduce cost of capital by 7% saving the UK taxpayer £1.4 billion annually in infrastructure expenditure.

Urbantide – Supporting fuel poor households through data integration and AI

Aiming to combine for the first time, UK-wide smart meter system metadata with multiple cross-sector data sources to identify households in fuel poverty in a completely novel way and those that would benefit from energy efficiency programmes. Propose interventions that can maximise energy reduction toward Net Zero whilst reducing fuel poverty, and support better use of data and advanced statistics /machine learning in delivering benefits to the fuel poor. 

This builds on outstanding results from Phase 1 which included:

  • The first-ever sharing of 18 months of synthetic/ anonymised DCC smart meter metadata from 11 million meters, 
  • Analysis uncovering patterns of behaviour that reveal novel insight on fuel poverty, proving the feasibility and theoretically illustrating better outputs than the status quo approaches for fuel poverty identification,
  • Confirmation of demand for the uSmart:ZERO service through engagement with key stakeholders and prospective customers,

New ethics and Data Governance approvals obtained for S

  • ERL data to be accessed by Accredited Researchers (UCL) for fuel poverty research. 

Read more

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