Enabling the smart revolution – data accessibility is key.

At the end of 2017, Utility Week published a piece that discussed the development of the Energy Data Taskforce (full article here). Data is the key to unlocking a smarter energy future, but ownership of data is critical – the governmentt and regulators are behind the curve in recognising the importance of data to the energy revolution. People either need to engage with their own data but more likely we need the market to innovate and provide valuable services that makes energy easier for them. And in order to do that they need access to smart meter data.

The question today is how do we solve the conundrum of data ownership, engaging consumers and delivering the right technology and services to deliver great customer experience, whilst lowering bills, reducing energy consumption and carbon into our atmosphere – because that is the only way we’ll make a success of smart metering and provide tangible value to the consumer.

We must not leave this task to the government or regulators – interventions here typically take years to create impact – and we haven’t got that sort of time. Indeed, a recent report by the IET and Energy Systems Catapult identified that the existing hodgepodge arrangements of codes, legislation and standards were causing a bottleneck to innovation and development.

There are already a range of businesses creating innovative products and services – such as Verv, Chameleon, Labrador, GEO – all taking advantage of smart metering data. Currently they have to access this data through complex third parties or use yet more hardware as well as having to manage the complexity of regulatory compliance, mandated consumer consent mechanism and a historically high cost service ecosystem . This all adds cost and complexity that provides a barrier to innovation and delivering value to the consumer.

Providing easier access to data means we can encourage entrepreneurs to look to solve many of the engagement issues we currently have. Our industry is undergoing a revolution – one that will leave the slow moving incumbents far behind!

Matt Roderick, founder of n3rgy and head of Wondrwall Energy.