We are creating 'Data Best Practice' guidance

Correspondence and other

Publication date

Industry sector

  • Supply and Retail Market
  • Distribution Network
  • Offshore Transmission Network
  • Transmission Network
  • Generation and Wholesale Market

Why are we creating 'Data Best Practice' guidance?

Our work and work by energy companies increasingly involves using data. At Ofgem we:

  • collect and use data to help us make better regulatory decisions;
  • provide digital services that need data (such as our administration of environmental schemes) and;
  • create regulatory rules that include requirements for how energy companies use data and how they make data available for others to use.

Clear, widely adopted guidance will improve how data is handled as well as ease data exchanges between parties.

This is part of our wider collaboration with Innovate UK and BEIS

We started collaborating on the theme of Modernising Energy Data in late 2018 by calling for the independent Energy Data Taskforce, which published its report in June 2019.

This current work to define 'data best practice' guidance is distinct from, but complements, our recently announced Innovate UK £1.9M Modernising Energy Data Access Competition. The best practice guidance will define our overarching expectations for how energy data is best used, whereas the competition is challenging innovators to deliver solutions that will ease access to and the exchange of energy data between organisations. Ofgem and BEIS plan to jointly own and iterate this guidance to ensure continued alignment.

We plan to share more about Ofgem's overall Modernise Energy Data work soon.

Our approach to creating the guidance

No single organisation has enough knowledge to define best practice, so we are making sure it is created based on broad and inclusive views. This is going to need expertise from many perspectives and specialisms including cyber security, information law, energy, data management, digital services and economics to name but a few.

Another key to success is continuous improvement. If we were to wait until the guidance is 'perfect' before we used it, a lot of time will pass and that means opportunities for better and more coordinated work will be lost. To get the most benefit, we are creating this as the first of many iterations. This approach will help Ofgem and those people who work with energy data benefit from some guidance early and will help them coordinate sooner. By following the guidance in practice ourselves, we will also more rapidly learn how to make improvements to future versions.

We are also encouraging everyone who contributes to the guidance to take other regulated markets into consideration. By writing this guidance in a "neutral" way, we can take steps towards lowering the barriers that make it challenging for energy data to be used jointly with information from other traditionally separate markets, such as transport and water.

How we expect to use the guidance

Ofgem intends to ensure our own work with data meets the guidance's expectations and will plan to evolve our work where we find it doesn't. Ofgem is minded to use the guidance as part of its regulatory rules, such as for licenced energy market activities. We have already set this expectation in recent regulatory position papers, you can read about this in our previous Modernising Energy Data Update.

How you can get involved

If you have opinions, we want to hear them.

To help gather views we are working with the Energy Systems Catapult (ESC) and Laura Sandys, who created the Energy Data Taskforce report. They are facilitating an inclusive marketplace-wide conversation that spans the energy and data industries to ensure that our guidance best supports consumers’ needs. The easiest way to contribute is to get in touch with the ESC directly. Go to their website pages and Have your say on Energy Data Best Practice.

You can contact them any time, and for your convenience, here are the dates of the public workshops they have planned so far.

  • 14th November 2019 (London)
  • 27th November 2019 (London)
  • 4th December 2019 (London)
  • A 4th workshop is planned, data TBC. It is expected in January 2020 (this was origininally scheduled for 6th December 2019)

If you want to contact Ofgem directly, we will be happy to hear from you too, please write to OfgemDataServices@ofgem.gov.uk.