Have your say on Energy Data Best Practice

Published: 1 November 2019

Energy Systems Catapult is to develop a best practice guide for the handling of energy data encompassing a wide range views from across the sector.

Commissioned by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS), energy regulator Ofgem and Innovate UK, the Energy Data Best Practice Guide will provide specific descriptions of what is required from the sector together with more detailed guidance and examples to illustrate how the recommendations can be adopted and adhered to.

Following the publication of the Energy Data Taskforce (EDTF) report, developed by the Catapult, the recommendations have received significant support from across the energy and digital sectors including endorsement from both BEIS and Ofgem. There is now a need to implement the visionary principles proposed by the EDTF and provide practical guidance that enables industry to take the first steps in what is a transformational journey.

In order to test and develop the guidance, the Catapult is seeking input from a wide range of stakeholders in order to build consensus around what represents data best practice.

The Catapult will be convening a number of workshops to draw upon the collective experience from a range of experts and innovators across the energy, digital and other sectors. Many of the challenges faced in the energy sector are not domain specific so some of the concepts and solutions already implemented in other sectors and innovative organisations are likely to be transferable or useful examples of existing best practice.

Below are details of each workshop will cover in order to help stakeholders identify which ones are likely to be most relevant to their skills and experience.

The schedule for the upcoming workshops is as follows:

  • 14th November 2019  (London) – Discoverable, Searchable, Understandable
  • 27th November 2019 (London) – Security, Privacy and Resilience (register here)
  • 4th December 2019 (London) – Topic TBC
  • 6th December 2019 (Birmingham) – Topic TBC

If you would like to be involved in the workshops, or provide input to the work in any way, we welcome you to register your interest via the following email address energydata@es.catapult.org.uk


Workshop Topic 1: Discoverable, Searchable, Understandable Data, including metadata

Date: 14 November 2019

Location: London

The maximum value of data can only be realised when potential users are able to discover it, search for related datasets and understand the content of data. The Energy Data Taskforce made recommendations for the industry wide adoption of a lightweight metadata standard and the development and deployment of a Data Catalogue to help address some of these issues.

Within this workshop we will test and develop data best practice guidance which enables potential users to find, compare and use data more effectively whilst minimising burden on data publishers. In addition, we will test and develop best practice guidance which enables metadata standards to be consistently deployed across a number of organisations in a way that benefits individual organisations and makes economy wide data discovery, search and understanding more efficient.

Individuals and organisations with experience of making data accessible or standardising metadata within or across organisations should register their interest in this workshop.


Workshop Topic 2: Security, Privacy and Resilience

Date: 27 November 2019

Location: Ofgem, Canary Wharf, London

Greater sharing of energy data presents a large number of opportunities for innovation and efficiency within the energy sector and beyond. However, there are important factors which need to be considered in terms of security of the system alongside the personal and commercial privacy of individuals and companies. It is important that we develop Data Best Practice Guidance in a way that respects security and privacy risks but embraces the opportunities and increased resilience that better data can deliver. We are particularly interested in the optimisation of mitigation techniques in order to manage risk whilst maximising the value of data and associated protocols that can be made available.

This session will look to test and develop best practice guidance which explains how privacy and security risks should be identified and then how these risks can be adequately mitigated without stopping the sharing of useful data where possible.

Individuals and organisations with experience of deploying frameworks or processes to identify privacy and security risks as well as the development and/or deployment of effective mitigation techniques should register for this session. Mitigation techniques could be technical or procedural in their nature but should aim to share data as openly as possible with minimal burden.

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Workshop Topic 3: User Needs and Interoperability

Data is not an end in itself, it is an enabler of efficiency and innovation which can in turn deliver products and services that provide benefit to consumers. This workshop will test and develop data best practice guidance which describes how organisations should interact with and understand the needs of their data users in order to provide data which is of the right quality and format to enable valuable use cases across sectors. This will include consideration of data interoperability which may be standards based (interface or data structure) as a key technique to maximise the value of data.

Individuals and organisations with experience of identifying user needs, developing and deploying interoperable digital and data solutions and assessing and improving the quality of data both within and outside of the energy sector should register for this session.


Workshop Topic 4: Open Data Triage

A key principle of the Energy Data Taskforce is that data should be Presumed Open. This means that data should be as open as possible with access or use of data only being restricted when there is a compelling reason to do so. The EDTF report identified 4 legitimate reasons for reducing the openness of data: Privacy, Commercial, Security and Negative Consumer Impacts. Where issues are identified, mitigation techniques should be recommended which can reduce the sensitivity and make useful information available as widely as possible. In the case where data cannot be open then the issues identified through the triage processes should be documented.

This workshop will test and develop the Open Data Triage concept (and identified issues themes) in order to provide a principles-based definition of the requirement for issue identification and assessment alongside a detailed example of an open data triage implementation. The session will be based around example datasets which will be used to stress test and evolve the proposed framework.

Individuals and organisations with experience of systematically identifying risks, applying data sensitivity mitigation techniques (such as anonymisation, aggregation and redaction) and legal/regulatory expertise should attend this session. We are particularly interested to draw on experience from other domains or sectors where similar techniques have been developed and deployed either within an organisation or more widely.