Midata in energy project

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Data is a currency and we are empowering consumers to realise the value of their energy data. Midata in energy will enable residential consumers to quickly, securely and easily share their energy data with trusted third parties.

Consumer energy data such as tariff name and consumption information is currently stored by energy companies in different formats and in varying quality. Accessing this data is often cumbersome and time-consuming for consumers. Moreover, there is no standard format for suppliers to export and share data with a consumer, so it is often unusable by comparison sites and other third parties.

Currently consumers see little to no benefit in accessing their energy data. Midata in energy will change this.

What is midata?

The midata in energy project is led by Ofgem and BEIS (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy), in collaboration with a range of government and business partners.

The midata framework will encompass:

  • An open data standard to establish a set of rules to ensure that data being shared is consistent across all suppliers. This will include a dictionary to define the language around data fields, integration mechanisms, security and customer experience.
  • An accreditation framework to ensure that data is only shared with trusted and appropriate third parties.
  • Supporting operational arrangements to monitor compliance with the standard. A governing body will also allow evolution of the standard as innovation and demands require.

The resulting framework allows consumers to choose which accredited third parties can request data from their supplier instantly and autonomously. This could be one-off or recurring data requests, and consumers can revoke ongoing consent permissions at any time.

What products and services will midata enable?

Initially midata will focus on improving the tariff comparison process to increase switching and drive competition. Consumers will be able to share the data their current energy supplier holds on them with accredited third parties, such as Price Comparison Websites (PCW) and competitor suppliers. This will make the process of comparing suppliers and tariffs quicker and easier for consumers, while third parties will be able to provide more informed comparisons and recommendations to consumers. Consumers may also choose to provide ongoing consent, so PCWs can regularly check that they are on the most suitable deal .

Additionally, midata will support innovation by enabling services that may not have been possible before. We plan for the midata standard to evolve and expand over time, to support third party requests and facilitate more use cases for consumer benefit.

Who does midata apply to?

A new Standard License Condition (SLC) will require all domestic gas and electricity energy suppliers to adhere to the midata framework. Ofgem will ensure monitoring is in place to ensure compliance with the SLC, and take appropriate measures for non-compliance if needed.

Third parties who are keen to utilise the midata framework will be able to apply for accreditation from mid-2019.

How will we deliver midata in energy?

We are delivering the midata project in accordance with the following principles:

  1. Open and transparent . The midata standard will be developed in a transparent manner. We will have a consultative and collaborative drafting process, which is in line with the Open Data Institute’s (ODI) Guidelines for developing open standards and the principles of open policy making. We will share our thinking early and often.
  2. Lean and iterative. Content within the standards documentation will be as lean as is practicable, particularly for the first iteration. This will mean a balance between detailed specifications and principles-led guidelines, to ensure that there is sufficient standardisation without being overly prescriptive or stifling.
  3. Empowered stakeholders. Stakeholders are critical to the success of the midata project. Our three working groups comprise a wide variety of representatives including energy suppliers, PCWs, and consumer groups. The working groups focus on consumer outcomes, industry delivery and standards development to collectively develop the midata framework.

The launch of the first iteration of the midata standard and the associated SLC change is planned for Autumn 2019.

Want to know more?

Find out more about the outputs of our working groups:

To sign up to our mailing list for regular updates or join a working group email consumerdata@ofgem.gov.uk.

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About the author

Nick Grogan

Based in Edinburgh, I have 18 years experience in the UK energy industry. Experienced working with both new and existing businesses. How can I help you today? http://www.energybrokers.co.uk or call me on 0131 610 1688

By Nick Grogan

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