ODI Leeds and UK Power Networks team up on Open Data

ODI Leeds and UK Power Networks are excited to announce a new partnership to improve and develop the network operator's open data offering. Together we're aiming to drive the distribution network operator's 2021 digitalisation strategy and action plan forward and building the skills and knowledge needed to publish more open data than ever.

There are three key drivers behind the plan. By sharing more data with collaborators electricity providers like UK Power Networks can improve its performance and deliver real benefits for customers. Becoming more data-centric will also help electricity providers better handle increased distributed renewable generation and demand from low carbon technologies like electric vehicles and heat pumps. Regulation is changing too; Ofgem is increasingly requiring energy companies to release more open data to improve the quality, efficiency and transparency of the entire sector.

To achieve this, there is a need for the sector's understanding of open data and related publication processes to move forwards. UK Power Networks has recognised a need to:

  1. understand its stakeholders and their needs more deeply,
  2. develop the tools and practices to publish and maintain open data,
  3. be considerate of the tension between security and privacy, and the benefits of openness.

UK Power Networks and ODI Leeds are excited to be working together and, building upon prior work, exploring how ODI Leeds' practices translate to the energy sector. This work forms part of an overarching programme for UK Power Networks called #EnablingOpenEnergyData, which includes Regen, The Open Data Institute and Opendatasoft. Through the project, UK Power Networks will accelerate the delivery of its open data services and help lead the energy sector; supporting cross-sector action that helps drive towards net zero carbon emissions.

What are we doing together and how?

ODI Leeds will support UK Power Networks to share developmental work openly and get feedback from wider stakeholders. We'll challenge UK Power Networks to both release more of their open data and support them to practically do so.

Our collective aim is that by the end of 2021, UK Power Networks will deliver against ten data-related commitments stated in its digitalisation strategy, directly resulting in an increased amount of openly published network and asset data.

Working in an agile fashion, so ODI Leeds can respond to emerging needs, we have already identified several areas where we will be collaborating over the next 8 months. This includes:

  • Further developing UK Power Networks framework for assessing their open data maturity and assessing their current status;
  • Building on its existing data triage processes; ensuring resources and tools for data desensitisation are being used;
  • Releasing open data sets using appropriate metadata standards;
  • Collaborating to build a rich understanding of open data licensing practices, and exploring how this relates to broader work on Modernising Energy Data, including the Open Energy work carried out by Icebreaker One
  • Convening across the energy and wider utility sector, to share knowledge and good practice.

What's next?

UK Power Networks and ODI Leeds will be releasing a series of blog posts over the coming months, detailing the work we're doing, our plans, and providing thought leadership on the subject of Open Energy Data. We'll be inviting feedback on early versions of the Open Energy Data Assessment Framework and the Data Triage process, as well as other work that emerges.

We are aiming to be open from start to finish so join us on UK Power Networks #EnablingOpenEnergyData journey by signing up for ODI Leeds' newsletter or following us on Twitter. If you would like to learn more about ongoing energy-related projects, please get in touch with Michelle on michelle.brook@odileeds.org