The data landscape is evolving across the energy sector. Effective use of data can provide valuable insight for consumers and marketplace intermediaries. Ofgem is doing its part by encouraging better use of data to modernise regulated activities by the market and regulation itself.
We are promoting more effective use of data, including increasing its openness, providing this complies with data privacy requirements. We are also promoting different data sets being made interoperable with one another to lower the barrier to insight being created between parts of the market.
We expect this better use of data to be made while continuing to ensure essential services adhere to legislation on its safe and secure use.
Here you can find information about our data agenda, plus guidance and our progress updates as we define and deliver regulatory data best practice.
Data best practice
We are facilitating industry coordination around data best practice to promote competition and transparency in the energy market, as well as lowering barriers to the innovation of new and better products and services. This involves:
- Developing regulatory data best practice
- Ensuring that regulations meet data best practice and facilitate as it delivers data-driven improvements for consumers
- Improving our own direct work digital and data work and so leading industry by example as the energy sector undergoes a cultural change.
Work we are already carrying out to meet these goals includes delivery of a modern digital infrastructure for exchanging data that is provided to us by industry or data shared by us with our external users. Our Data Exchange is now being tested with early adopters in the energy industry who provide data to us.
The Energy Data Taskforce
The independent Energy Data Taskforce, commissioned by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS), Ofgem and Innovate UK, has made recommendations on digitising the national energy system to enable modern best practice use of data.
Working with the energy sector and data experts from other markets, the Taskforce has made five recommendations for how to make the most of data for the benefit of energy consumers. Overall, it urges digitisation of Britain’s energy system and openness when working with its data. Through this the energy system will deliver better services for consumers.
We welcome the Taskforce’s report and believe data plays a crucial role in enabling competition and innovation to drive down prices for customers and provide them with new products and services. We will be working with BEIS, consumer groups and the industry to ensure that better use of data unlocks a brighter future for energy consumers.
Coordination between regulated markets
Data best practice is highly transferable between markets, and we encourage common data best practice across regulators. We are working with the UK Regulators Network’s, Data Strategy Workstream to help deliver data best practice consistently across markets. We believe this will enable wider British industry to deliver data-driven insight to meet consumers' overall needs from regulation across marketplaces.
Modernisation through thousands of small changes
Since data is used in all parts of the energy market, there is a huge amount of work to do to ensure it is used to best effect. We want modernisation to have an early impact, lowering bills through a reduced regulatory burden on industry and also through reduced barriers to innovation.
Our current understanding of the value of data is informing the changes we are already making to our organisation and regulation, and we are researching how improved use of data will potentially further help consumers.
We are adopting increasingly agile approaches to delivering our work, as encouraged in the government’s Industrial Strategy. This includes methods like working with the direct users of our data, improving data-driven policies throughout their development, and releasing lots of small changes to rules and working practices instead of single large ones. Additionally, we are seeking frequent feedback from users through formal public consultations and direct engagement with data users.
Ofgem and cyber security
On 10 May 2018, the Network and Information Systems (‘NIS’) Directive was transposed into UK law as The Network and Information Systems Regulations 2018 (‘NIS Regulations’). It applies to the water, health, transportation, digital and energy sectors. Follow the link to view our guidance for operators of essential services.
The NIS Regulations impose new duties on Operators of Essential Services (‘OES’) and give relevant Competent Authorities new powers and responsibilities to ensure OES are meeting those duties.
Ofgem has been designated in the NIS Regulations as joint CA with the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (‘BEIS’) for the downstream gas and electricity sectors in Great Britain.
OES are those electricity and gas operators who are determined by thresholds defined in the NIS Regulations and BEIS.
If you have comments about our work on data, we’d welcome you views. Please contact OfgemDataServices@ofgem.gov.uk.