FAQs

We will be updating these FAQs on a regular basis. If you can’t find information you are looking for here or elsewhere on the website, please contact Michelle Brook on michelle.brook@icebreakerone.org.

Open Energy is an ambitious project to modernise access to energy data. This project intends to break down this barrier by creating an Open Energy Standard and Governance Platform that will make it easier to share and access data about energy supply and demand, so the UK can drive towards decarbonisation.

Learn more about this on 'What is Open Energy'

Open Energy is Icebreaker One’s competitive solution to the Modernising Energy Data Access (MEDA) initiative launched by a cross section of government departments (BEIS, Innovate UK and Ofgem) in 2019. This is a £103m project that aims to revolutionise the way data is shared across the diverse energy sector in the UK.

The Open Energy project is one of two finalists in competition with Siemens to secure substantial investment for the project in 2021.

Our long term vision is to modernise access to the energy data across industry and address decarbonisation and the climate crisis via economic innovation. Roll out of the Open Energy project and principles will enable actors in the energy industry to interact better with each other, allowing governments, investors, businesses and consumers to make better decisions about decarbonisation activities.

A consortium of three key partners: Icebreaker One, Open Climate Fix and PassivSystems.

During Phase 2 of the MEDA competition Open Energy is focusing on high-level stakeholder engagement. The team has convened a group of 60+ experts from the energy sector and beyond to collaboratively tackle the MEDA challenges. The experts make up four different Advisory Groups that each focus on a different area of the energy sector: Industry and Providers, Regulators and Legal, Policy and Consumers and Market Facing Organisations.

If you are in industry, academia, government, technology or on the consumer side of the energy sector, and want to be involved in building the energy data ecosystem, we want to hear from you! Get in touch with our community manager, Michelle Brook, or sign our Expression of Interest form

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MEDA Phase 1 was primarily a research phase. We spoke to over 200 individuals, via webinars and 1-2-1 interviews, to find out what modernising the energy data system meant to them.

Our research found that the energy data ecosystem is a detailed web of information that is only going to increase in complexity as the system becomes digitalised and data-driven. Interviewees from Phase 1 expressed the need for a clear roadmap to transition from a fragmented data landscape to a robust, decentralised, federated data infrastructure. They also believe that “there can be no single platform for all data and use-cases” and “there will be significant barriers to adoption around the centralisation of commercial data”.

Find out more about the background to this work.

A set of Advisory Groups made up of over 60 industry and sector experts came together to guide the development of an Open Energy Standard and Governance Platform prototype, which enables the share data securely while making it easily searchable and usable. We are inviting comment on the work done by our AGs and the Icebreaker One led consortium, to help us shape our plans for future work.

We delivered a three-month programme of deep engagement with stakeholders across the energy sector, which was completed in November 2020.

We believe that industry engagement is critical to success, which is why we have taken this collaborative approach. Understanding and answering the user's needs is what makes our approach different

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If you are interested in being involved in our future work, please sign our Expression of Interest form.

The overall purpose of the Advisory Groups is to work on and develop the Open Energy Standard, and provide feedback and advice on other elements of the energy data infrastructure being developed as part of the project. Each Advisory Group has two Co-Chairs - one from the Icebreaker One/Open Climate Fix/Passiv Systems consortium, and one specialist from industry. The Co-Chairs meet on a regular basis to talk about developments and updates. Over the three month period, all members of the Advisory Group are meeting three times to discuss findings, challenges and next steps.

Because this is what we have heard from the energy sector. In Phase 1, we engaged 200+ stakeholders from across the energy sector who all articulated a need for an open standards-based approach to facilitate the sharing of data within the industry.

We recognise that the users needs are diverse and encompass millions of datasets from consumers, providers and regulators. Our research in Phase 1 highlighted the risks to implementation unless governance is addressed as well as an overwhelming objection to a ‘single data platform’.

Our recommendation is to create a critical piece of innovation (the Open Energy Governance Platform) which will enable a decentralised approach, in which data and metadata is distributed, always up-to-date, and managed real time on data custodians' servers.

This platform will provide the common rules, controls and processes needed for access, discovery, security, commercial applications, privacy and regulatory compliance. This proven approach, novel to energy, will form the Common Data Architecture enabling an energy data ecosystem.

A single use-case about shared energy data to improve carbon contribution to the environment from social housing is being worked on by all the Advisory Groups.

We welcome feedback on the use-case.

MEDApps Competition FAQs

The Modernising Energy Data Applications (MEDApps) competition is a £2m funding competition launched by SBRI, part of Innovate UK. The purpose is to help accelerate digitalisation and complement the MEDA programme.
MEDapps data applications help enable the complex coordination of infrastructure upgrades through the energy transition. Integrated approaches across energy, transport, telecoms, water and other sectors are becoming increasingly important. The interactions and optimisation of infrastructure types across sectors will be vital to achieve deep decarbonisation, outstanding user experiences, and an efficient transition to a net-zero society that works for people from all backgrounds.
A MEDapps service provider must be onboarded to the Open Energy Governance Platform (OEGP). The conditions for this are under development and will be an output from our Policy, Regulatory and Legal Advisory Group. Once onboarded, the MEDapps service provider will be able to request access to data from a data provider, according to pre-agreed terms and conditions. The OEGP ensures that only authorised service providers can access the data, provides the control point over the specific datasets, signposts the API endpoints, and allows the data provider to recognise that it is a legitimate request from an authenticated MEDapps service provider.
It is the mechanism by which Open Energy will be made accessible and secure for the widest possible range of participants: it is the central foundation of trust for the Open Energy ecosystem. The OEGP is built on the same principles and technology approach of the successful Open Banking (UK) Directory which now enables around 300 participants to share data from over 500m API calls every month. It ensures all approved parties can establish and provide trusted identities for their organisation and for their related Applications. It also provides a rich set of functional technology services to support the lifecycle management of all entities and related credentials, encryption keys and digital certificates for organisations, their human contacts and API platform software instances. It removes the risk of fragmentation of standards and avoids the need for participants to duplicate effort, which is vital for scalability and interoperability.
There are two parts to the technical requirements: the functional specifications and the security specifications. The functional API specifications describe what format any data will be made available, and the Security specifications confirm which security profile should be used. The API specifications are being developed as part of the Icebreaker One Phase 2 proposal, by our technical Advisory Group, and will evolve over Phase 3 and into a fully live ecosystem.
MEDapps will be highly secure. The core security profile will be the tried and tested OpenID FAPI standard, which is acknowledged as the global gold standard for sensitive data sharing. It is the standard already used successfully in the UK by the Open Banking ecosystem, so is a familiar standard for many companies.
The Open Energy Governance Platform will include a Sandbox environment which will be open for participants to register themselves and their apps. Once registration is complete, onboarding to any registered provider is straightforward (and can be automated) for testing purposes.
Part of the Open Energy Governance Platform is the Energy Data Search. The tool aggregates information about available datasets and offers rich search capabilities to find just the data you need. It offers querying by various parameters such as geospatial boundaries, the license a dataset is governed under, files types and many more. Under the hood the Energy Data Search crawls metadata from different decentralised sources to keep track of the energy data landscape. It also allows data owners that currently do not advertise metadata about their datasets to create metadata in a matter of a few simple clicks. Nobody needs to worry about learning new standards and codifying information by hand.