New Ofgem licence condition to require Data Best Practice by networks

Published: 11 June 2020

By Dr Richard Dobson, data systems practice manager, Energy Systems Catapult

Ofgem has announced their intention to introduce a licence condition requiring network companies to comply with Data Best Practice guidance which was developed with Energy Systems Catapult.

The open letter published by Ofgem: ‘Review and next steps: RIIO digitalisation strategies’ provides feedback on the RIIO Digitalisation Strategies which have been developed by industry[1]. In this letter, Ofgem continue to strongly support the recommendations of the Energy Data Taskforce and confirm that they intend to introduce a licence condition requiring network companies to comply with “Data Best Practice” guidance.

Energy Systems Catapult led an Innovate UK funded project to develop Energy Data Best Practice guidance which was tested and iterated with over 180 industry stakeholders – including network companies – through a series of workshops and direct engagement. The guidance provides 12 principles that together constitute data best practice. The principles are supported by explanations, techniques and examples to help organisations understand how to practically implement data best practice.

One of the headline recommendations of the Energy Data Taskforce was the principle of Presumed Open which is now one of the 12 core principles. Presumed actively encourages open data and data sharing which will enable decarbonisation, stimulate innovation and help feed the growing number of UK based digital energy innovators.

Data Best Practice Principles

  1. Identify the roles of stakeholders of the data
  2. Use common terms within Data, Metadata and supporting information
  3. Describe data accurately using industry standard metadata
  4. Enable potential users to understand the data by providing supporting information
  5. Make datasets discoverable for potential users
  6. Learn and understand the needs of their current and prospective data users
  7. Ensure data quality maintenance and improvement is prioritised by user needs
  8. Ensure that data is interoperable with other data and digital services
  9. Protect data and systems in accordance with Security, Privacy and Resilience best practice
  10. Store, archive and provide access to data in ways that maximise sustaining value
  11. Ensure that data relating to common assets is Presumed Open
  12. Conduct Open Data Triage for Presumed Open data

The full guidance can be found on the HERE, with future updates appearing on the Modernising Energy Data Confluence Space.

This represents another step forward for the digitalisation of the energy sector, where modern data management principles will underpin the move to a more flexible, net zero energy system. This will increase transparency and create opportunities for low carbon innovators to access data which will enable a range of low carbon products and services.

[1] Gas Transmission Network Owner, Electricity System Operator, Electricity Transmission Network Owners, Gas Distribution Owners and Electricity Distribution Owners.