Please note this programme is currently paused. We will review when to re-commence the programme in Spring 2022.
What is midata?
Midata in energy (midata) will put domestic energy customers in control of their data so they can quickly, securely and easily share their energy data with trusted third parties. This will allow third parties to develop new products or improve existing services, and help consumers to use their energy data to confidently engage with new types of tariffs and energy products. For example, midata will enable faster, more accurate tariff comparisons and allow customers to use their half-hourly consumption data to make an informed switch to, or between, time of use (ToU) tariffs.
Why is midata needed?
Currently, consumers are unable to realise the value of their energy data.
At the moment, there is no standardised way for energy data to be shared with third parties. A consumer cannot consent to a third parties accessing this data on their behalf. Their data is scattered across the industry in different formats and varying quality.
The process to enter data into a third party service relies upon consumers having access to this information from a bill or online account, which presents a barrier for users and may cause them to end the journey prematurely. They may also approximate or use inaccurate data. This leads to poor quality results of the end service and potential errors, as the service is unable to tailor to the needs of the consumer and provide them with the insights to their energy they need.
Midata will resolve these issues, unlocking the ability for consumers to share this data and enabling a new wave of innovative, accurate and tailored services for energy consumers.
What products and services will midata enable?
Midata will streamline the tariff comparison process by removing the need to manually find and enter the required information. This could be with Price Comparison Websites (PCWs) or competitor suppliers providing a tariff quotation. Midata will enable a more accurate comparison based upon the customer’s actual details (i.e. historical usage) – and customers, if they choose, will be able to provide ongoing consent - to authorise the third party to regularly access their data and routinely provide insight into whether they are on the most suitable deal for them.
As the energy market continues to evolve, particularly with the rollout of smart meters, midata will enable consumers to use their half-hourly consumption data to make an informed switch to, or between, time of use (ToU) tariffs.
This will lead the way for many more innovative products and services that may not have been possible before. Midata will be open to accredited third parties, and we expect it to evolve and expand with the market over time, as companies devise new ways to help consumers.
How and when will midata be delivered?
The midata project is using an agile, phased approach, with each phase building on the work before.
Ofgem's retail market programmes, particularly the Switching Programme and Market-wide Half-Hourly Settlement (MHHS) programme, will be enacting or designing significant changes to the energy data landscape progressing over 2020 and 2021. Given the synergies and potential overlaps between activities for these programmes and activities required to deliver midata, we have paused development of midata in 2020/21.
This is to ensure that what is developed continues to deliver benefits to consumers as the market evolves, and also manages the level of system development we are requiring of suppliers. We are also keen to ensure midata utilises existing data access systems and frameworks where possible, so will be considering how we can best achieve this given the current retail market changes.
Ofgem will provide stakeholders with an update when work on the midata programme recommences. We appreciate the vital role of industry, TPIs and other key stakeholders in developing, supporting and delivering transformational retail market programmes, including midata, as part of an ongoing, robust and productive relationship. We look forward to continuing that relationship as we work together to make the retail market transformation a success.