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Third party access to energy data. Should we enable marketplaces?

In this, my second part of the series on third party access to energy data, I focus on ‘Services’.  Decisions made regarding Services will drive how the end to end solution is to be designed.  The objective of a Service is to create something a consumer is aware of, something they perceive to be of value, and comes from a source they trust.

When I discuss this topic with peers, the conversation invariably focuses around what Services could be offered?  This is understandable for a couple of reasons.  By identifying what Services can be delivered, you can put together a business case to justify the investments required in the underlying systems.  Knowing what Services will be provided helps to understand the data you will need to source.

On the flip side, a question rarely discussed is “from who should a consumer be able to access a service”.  I feel this is the more important question that needs to be answered.

Let me elaborate.  At its most basic level, the idea behind providing third party access to energy data is so consumers can select services they want.   These services can be provided by a wide range of third parties, but who does the consumer go to, to access these third-party services?  Often it is the Utility.  The consumer would log into their utility’s web portal and select the third-party service they want.  This can work well, but for some consumers, who may not trust their utility, or do not have a good relationship with them, shouldn’t they have other options?

Isn’t this the perfect opportunity to enable the creation of energy services marketplaces?  Shouldn't government departments, utilities, and private enterprises all be able to have the same level of access to energy data that has been approved by a consumer?  This would allow anyone to develop a platform and create a marketplace to bring together consumers and service providers.

A third-party who has created a Service, leveraging a consumer’s energy data, would then be free to decide if, in addition to offering that service directly to consumers, it could offer it via one of the available marketplaces.

Do you believe we should be designing third party access to energy data in a way that supports the creation of energy services marketplaces?

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I'm excited to announce, my latest book ‘The Digital Utility’ is now ready for pre-order.  

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Sign-up at www.chapel-group.com so you do not miss my future blog posts or contact me, wayne.pales@chapel-group.com, to find out how to develop your Digital Utility roadmap or how to design and deliver successful demand response programs.

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