We are seeking feedback on a system of data classification proposed for the Open Energy ecosystem. Comments are welcomed from all energy sectors organisations and users of energy data. Feedback will be used to shape the Open Energy data classes policy and inform subsequent development of data access and licensing policies (to be consulted on in due course). The consultation is open until 30 April 2021 and can be accessed here.


Open Energy aims to modernise access to energy and related data and break down barriers to data sharing. Open Energy will make it easier to both share and access data, supporting the sector’s drive towards decarbonisation, as well as related social and economic benefits. The project aims to serve all energy sector actors looking to share data, access data, or both.

Open Energy builds on learning from Open Banking – identifying which elements are transferable to the energy sector, and which require adaptation or fresh thinking. Our ethos emphasises openness, transparency and sector engagement to ensure that the project meets the widest possible variety of needs. We are now seeking feedback on the first of a set of three policies aiming to navigate one of the most significant differences between Open Energy and Open Banking: the diversity of datasets shared within their respective ecosystems. 

Open Banking only handles two categories of data: open data and personal data. By contrast, Open Energy will incorporate more categories of data that have varied levels of sensitivity. In order to handle this complexity, and to ensure data is appropriately protected, Open Energy is developing a system of data classification. This consultation focuses on sharpening the descriptions, examples and criteria forming the data classes proposed. Follow-up consultations exploring data access and data licensing will take place later. 


We propose a system of six data classes, graded across three dimensions of sensitivity: personal, commercial, and security. Proposed classes are presented in Table 1 of the consultation document. It is proposed that – once finalised – a definition, specification and dataset examples for each class will be provided in the Open Energy Operational Guidelines. Data Providers (organisations sharing data via the Open Energy ecosystem) will then assess their datasets and self-allocate them to a class, prior to sharing them via Open Energy. 

Open Energy data classes are designed to supplement, not replace, the Modernising Energy Data Best Practice Guidance (current version Point 12) determining whether data should be made Open, Shared or Closed. In particular, Open Energy data classes are designed to provide nuance to different classes of Shared data, with different sensitivity profiles.

How can you help?

We are seeking feedback on the proposal through our consultation here. It takes around 30 minutes to respond. The consultation explores questions including: 

  • Are proposed data classes appropriate and clear?
  • Are example datasets given for each class are accurate?
  • Are any types of sensitivity missing from our analysis?

The consultation is open until 30 April 2021 and responses are encouraged from all actors in the energy sector, or who work with energy and related data. Any queries should please be directed to