Open Energy in the UK

Energy Systems Catapult (who authored the Digital Spine report), in collaboration with Ovo Energy, Clean energy retail: The role of energy retailers in the net zero transition states:

The regulator should mandate Open Energy as an industry-wide data sharing mechanism. Open Energy has, via a competition run by government, created a service that enables trusted actors to share data in a consistent way across the energy value chain. Mandating this solution would accelerate its adoption and make consistent an approach, reducing costs and barriers to entry.” (page 20)

What is Open Energy?

Open Energy makes it easy to search (via, discover, access and securely share energy data using a Trust Framework. It covers both Open Data, commercial Shared Data with pre-authorised access controls, and commercial Shared Data where access requires control.

Icebreaking is a process to co-define rules through collaborative, multi-stakeholder engagement.

Licences and Protocols are codified rules of the market (legal, technical, rights, liability, communication, and policies) that can be implemented in the market using a Trust Framework.

Verification/Assurance tests to what levels an organisation, or its datasets, are compliant with the rules as implemented via the Trust Framework.

Note that data always flows from a data supplier (e.g. meter data) to a data user (e.g. application). It never goes via the Trust Framework. Open Energy helps members agree how they wish to share data by verifying they have agreed to the rules. Open Net Zero is a search engine (‘catalogue’) entry point to aid data cataloguing and discovery across sectors and markets, is a ‘view on’ on that catalogue for the energy sector.

Open Energy for Shared Data with Permission (or ‘Consent’ in a consumer context)

The process is identical for assurable Open Data, or pre-authorised/agreed Shared Data, and just removes the “explicit permission” layer.

Icebreaking — collaborative design of rules

Icebreaking brings together domain experts across the ecosystem, including large and small companies, regulated and unregulated actors, and the public sector, into Industry Advisory Groups and a Sector Steering Group to help govern, and shape the development of its services. Trust Framework Services include Search and Access Control, co-designed through the Icebreaking process.

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Open Energy is part of Icebreaker One’s solutions to bring together data governance and enable data sharing across industry (e.g. water), finance and the environment.

Outputs & reports


The easy way to find, use and securely share energy data​

Open Energy allows you to find and use data. It streamlines data access and secure data sharing, while automating compliance processes. Distribution network operators, startups, researchers, and stakeholders across  industry can drive efficiencies and innovation with the Open Energy approach. Open Energy is funded by public and private sector, and operated by Icebreaker One, an independent non-profit making data work harder to deliver net zero. 

Francis Maude at COP26:

To watch the whole keynote click here section.

FOR DATA CONSUMERS​ — Powerful search to discover energy data.​
Easily search and filter data to quickly find the right result. Open Energy’s Metadata standards ensure that files contain useful attributes which help describe datasets across a range of providers and consumers. Clearly find licence information and links data via tags and related search results, and follow data providers as they post new datasets, and report issues with a dataset.

FOR DATA PROVIDERS​ — Financial-grade security means your data is able to flow.​ Secure and compliant data-sharing is our priority. If you share your data with Open Energy, your data remains in your databases under your management. With Open Energy, commercial data flows through a secured financial grade API (FAPI), designed for the banking industry and others that require higher API security; open data flows through a public/open API (OAPI).

COMING SOON · FOR DATA PROVIDERS​ — Control who can access your data with a push of a button.​ Using Access Control, Open Energy Member data providers can publish it securely, knowing their data will only ever be shared according to the rules and policies they’ve agreed to. Set your terms and security requirements once, and Access Control (addressing Consent Management) will apply those rules to every organisation that wants to use your data.

Open Energy value points — why you should get involved

Strategic value

  • Set and be at the forefront of UK-wide secure energy data standards 
  • Set the bar for data leadership in the industry
  • Address market needs at sector-scale
  • Deliver Net Zero more quickly

Operational value

  • Understand and communicate use-cases that demonstrate value & catalyse innovation
  • Save £M’s on digitalisation through the use of open standards
  • Reduce friction in supplying both open and commercial data to the whole market
  • Reduce friction in finding, accessing and using data from third parties for internal use


  • both Open data and Commercial data value propositions
  • internal data silos – unlock internal data flow & efficiencies
  • internal and external value as a data provider and a data user
  • regulatory directions from Ofgem and RIIO-ED2 quickly and efficiently

Reports & outputs:

For more background on the UK SBRI MEDA competition, including our output reports and presentations, please see here

If you have any questions, please get in touch at

Who are we?

Icebreaker One is a non-partisan non-profit. It convenes domain experts from across industry to enable the discovery of, and access to, energy data (whether commercially Shared Data or Open Data).

Its team includes a combination of experts in data governance, energy and systems, including the architects behind the Open Data Institute and the Open Banking Standard. It is focused on helping align everyone around data interoperability and helping to operationalise this to create an open marketplace for energy data, and shape the development of an Open Energy Standard.

About energy’s digital revolution

Energy generation and supply are core to everything we do. However, damage to the environment and changes in the ways energy is created and used means that all over the world £billions are being invested in modernising energy systems. 

What’s changing?

We used to generate all our electricity in the UK from a few big power stations. These fed into the national grid to make sure there was enough electricity for everyone, but not too much so that things don’t explode. This energy feeds homes and businesses, hospitals and schools.

We will have millions of things generating electricity (e.g. solar panels, wind turbines), so the job of getting it all balanced properly across our national grid gets really complicated. Some of these are in the sea (wind turbines) and some are in our homes (e.g. solar panels). 

At the same time, we are electrifying all of our transport (cars, buses, trains, trucks), so not only millions of homes and businesses will use electricity but millions of vehicles too.  A big chunk of our national electricity will be driving around. 

It’s complicated

We need to make sure that the lights stay on and we need all the energy used to be green. This means millions of things talking to millions of other things to make sure that the energy flows in the right amount, at the right time, with the right people getting paid. It needs to be safe and reliable, affordable and simple.  

It’s all about the data

At the heart of this energy revolution is data. Data and software will be needed to build systems that can continuously automate balancing supply and demand. With millions of systems, our infrastructure will have to ‘self-heal’ (e.g. a hospital’s lights need to keep on even if it’s cloudy).

It’s all about open

To enable all these millions of systems to talk to each other (all the time), they will need to be open in different ways.  Some will need to be open to access and control by each other (but not by you!), others may need to be open to your street so that everyone can work out if they should put in another solar panel. We use ‘openness’ in this context to cover both openness to access and share (where payment or control may be needed), as well as open licensing (where things are free for anyone to access, use and share).  

It’s about you?

Over the coming years, we need a whole generation of people working on making sure that our energy systems work for everyone, and don’t destroy the planet. Is this you?

Why call it ‘Open Energy’?

There are many reference points:
CC-BYMIT or equivalent)

  • It opens up the market around energy data
  • It enables open interoperability and cohesion across energy ecosystems
  • It is an open standard: the standard itself is licensed openly*
  • It mandates Open Data for information that should be public
  • It mandates open access to Shared Data for private and confidential data
  • It mandates open APIs for shared & common technical implementations
  • It’s for the energy sector and those using energy data

To learn more about our market-design approach for data sharing, please see:

For more on the history and origins (for public interest archive purposes) please see