Digitalisation and data are critical foundations to the energy transition. Coordinating a secure and affordable energy system of diverse renewable and distributed technologies, with consumer services at the centre, is achievable - but depends on the opportunities that digital technologies and data bring.
The ESB Strategy plays a critical role, integrated with the broader energy reform program. It provides overarching consideration of the energy sector’s existing and future data needs, supporting the needs of consumers, industry and policy makers in the energy transition
The Data Strategy responds to an urgent need for energy-sector data reform to enable benefits to be realised for consumers as the sector transitions.
- Data and digitalisation provide unprecedented opportunities to transform the sector into a smarter, more flexible and affordable system which is responsive to consumer needs.
- But existing regulation and capabilities have not kept pace with the digital transition. Decision makers across the sector need better access to data – enabling improved outcomes for consumers in the form of reduced costs and fit for purpose customer protections. Changes are needed to enable accessing and sharing of data to support efficient decision making.
- Emerging technologies and services increasingly depend on better use of data and digitalisation to be affordable, reliable and sustainable. Unlocking access to data is critical to improve consumer outcomes through more efficient planning, lower costs, reduced consumer risks and innovation.
The Strategy provides a necessary coordinated sector-wide approach which supports Post 2025 market reforms.
- Economy-wide digitalisation and national data reforms create significant opportunities for energy and energy data capabilities are growing rapidly across the sector.
- But despite this progress, existing markets and governance are not resolving identified needs, due to a range of regulatory barriers, market failures and coordination challenges.
- As the digital and energy transition continues, new technology and data needs will continue to emerge. New arrangements are needed to identify emerging gaps, risks and opportunities for customers and decision makers. Reforms to regulatory frameworks are needed to put in place adaptive principles-based approaches that support data sharing and enable flexibility to meet changing consumer needs.
The Data Strategy recommendations were released 27 July 2021, along with the ESB’s Post 2025 Market Design Jurisdictions agreed to support implementation of the Strategy on 3 December 2021.
The ESB Data Strategy objectives are to:
- Manage changing data needs in the energy transition, and
- Optimise the long-term interests of energy consumers in a digitalised economy.
The Data Strategy has also agreed New Energy Data Principles, to guide and align reforms and decision maker. These principles seek to support a paradigm shift in energy data policy, towards more open and transparent data to inform decision makers. These principles state that:
Frameworks governing management and use of data across the energy sector should:
- Drive outcomes consistent with the energy market objectives and the long-term interest of consumers
- Ensure appropriate privacy and security safeguards are maintained
- Capture benefits of a transparent, innovative and informed digitalised energy market
- Be fit-for-purpose, flexible and cost-effective for a digitalised market
- Be coherent with wider national reforms on data
In 2022 – 2023, implementation focuses on two critical workstreams:
- Energy data access & sharing – to reduce barriers to data access to inform policy, planning and research
- Priority data gaps: DER – designs options to address emerging data needs for DER in the transition
Energy Data Access & Sharing:
Work underway in 2022 includes:
- Initial reforms: proposed in this consultation paper to reduce barriers to data access for trusted policy makers and research
- New Data Services: designing options to support new capability, resources and processes needed to facilitate greater access and sharing of data, including with trusted bodies under Initial reforms.
Future work under Energy Data Access and Sharing, to begin in 2023, includes:
- Common Guidelines: to streamline facilitation of access and sharing
- New Energy Data Framework: will design a longer-term fit-for-purpose regulatory framework to support agreed Energy Data Principles and provides ongoing flexible management of emerging data needs and capabilities.
Priority data projects:
Three priority projects for development in 2022 focus on data needs to support effective DER planning and consumer protections
- Network visibility for market planning: to inform the market in optimising benefits from DER and network assets for all customers
- EV visibility: to plan for and manage EV growth efficiently
- Billing transparency: to support better consumer protections and understanding of consumer needs in the market transition
Further priority projects will be considered from 2023:
- Consumer metrics: Updating ongoing consumer research to address critical gaps in understanding changing consumer needs and behaviours in the market transition
- Overvoltage impacts: to support more efficient assessment of network monitoring system, by development methods to estimate the benefits of addressing over-voltage in local networks.
The Data Strategy was developed over 2020/2021. Supporting work included:
- Review of energy data frameworks and international cases studies in data reform
- Consultation on an ESB Data Strategy Options paper
ESB has released a consultation paper on Initial Reforms recommended in the Data Strategy. These reforms are proposed to unlock benefits for consumers from data in the near-term, through better planning, policy and research.
They focus on reducing regulatory barriers to effective use of data held by market bodies and supporting greater safe, timely and appropriate access for public-good benefits.
These reforms include:
- Prescribed access for a range of trusted bodies
- Clarifying market body powers and liabilities as data holders
Submissions are due 19 August 2022.
The ESB held a stakeholder webinar on 27 July 2022.