In an industry first, Icebreaker One is working in partnership with Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks (SSEN) Distribution to build the digital and data-sharing functionality needed to support the net-zero transition.

The deployment of innovative data-sharing techniques and services will be essential for electricity networks to manage the additional electricity demand caused by the uptake of electric vehicles (EVs), the charge points that will power them, and other low carbon technologies. 

With nearly 16 million EVs expected to be on the UK’s roads by 2030, hundreds of thousands more charge points must be rolled out. Installation at this scale can only be achieved efficiently through access to robust, reliable data which facilitates understanding of consumer demand and electricity network capacity. 

The link-up between SSEN and Icebreaker One aims to identify and tackle data silos and develop data-sharing opportunities, such as two-way flows of new EV registrations and network capacity information, whilst ensuring customer privacy and cyber security measures are managed. Through two initial trial projects deploying in-depth interviews and innovation workshops, the team will identify better ways of: 

  1. identifying key datasets needed
  2. understanding barriers within SSEN around effective access to, and sharing of, data
  3. finding innovative new ways to overcome any data-sharing challenges 

This project marks the first time Icebreaker One has partnered with an electricity network operator to formally understand what data sharing will be needed for key net-zero projects.

Andrew Roper, Distribution System Operations Director for SSEN Distribution said: 

“As a network operator we are responsible for holding and managing energy data. Sharing our data in a carefully agreed manner with other network users can play a major role in helping to plan and prepare for the arrival of low carbon technologies on our network. We are learning from other sectors such as the UK banking industry, which developed more open banking processes that increased competition and innovation, creating better service and more value for customers. 

“We are delighted to be working with Icebreaker One on this initial project, which should facilitate data sharing and support efficiencies which will ultimately deliver a more cost-effective net zero transition.”

Laura Sandys CBE, Chair of the Energy Digitalisation Taskforce, said: 

“It is crucial that networks make their data shareable and adopt the presumed open principle and SSEN is doing some exciting work here with Icebreaker One. We are hoping that all networks will be making their data accessible and as open as possible to ensure that we can crowd in new actors and companies to support the management of a decarbonised grid.”

Gea Mikic, Co-Founder and Programme Director at Icebreaker One, said:

“Rolling out the charge points we need to support the transition to EVs relies on connecting data across a network of organisations, and energy networks like SSEN are at the heart of it.

“This partnership will speed up the UK’s energy data revolution by identifying how SSEN can access and share the energy data needed to get more electric vehicle charge points installed in homes across the UK. 

“Better access to data is crucial to delivering net zero, from installing more electric vehicle charge points to adding more renewables to our energy grid. This is why we’re determined to make data work harder to get to net zero.”