In this, the final post in the series on designing third party access to energy data, let’s discuss the decisions that need to be made ‘under the hood’.

You may recall in an earlier post I talked about four components.  Source, Transport, Store, and Service.  I have covered Service in previous posts, so let’s look at the other three elements.

Firstly, Source refers to where the data is coming from and depends on what information is required.  For this post, I am talking about energy data retrieved from smart meters.  In most countries, the Utility would source the data. In Australia, I would argue this should be the Meter Data Provider.  They have the role of collecting meter data, and to me, it makes sense they should perform this task.

Secondly, Transport is the element that moves the data from point A, the source, to point B, the organisation providing the service.  If we look at the US, this is once again the Utility.  In Australia, I would argue this should be the role of the market operator (AEMO, or Australian Energy Market Operator).  AEMO already has the governance structure in place along with the systems and processes to securely move smart meter data from point A to point B.  Work would need to be done to the current systems and processes, but the foundations are there.   From the perspective of the third party delivering the Service to the consumer, this would be of enormous benefit.  Instead of having to develop connections to every MDP to source the data, they can engage AEMO.

Finally, Store covers where the data from all the smart meters will reside long term.  I would suggest there is not one place to house the data, but many.  Let me expand on this with some examples.  Let’s assume a Government department has created a marketplace, and they want to collect all smart metering data into one place.  If they have the approval from the consumer, and the funding to do so, then this should be allowed.  If a third-party service provider decides not to use that Government marketplace and instead offers a service directly to a consumer, then once again, so long as the consumer approves access to the data, that third party should be allowed to store the data securely.

When I look at the structure of the Australian energy market, this approach is a pragmatic way to get something meaningful up and running, in a reasonable timeframe and at a reasonable cost.

How would you implement third party access to energy data in Australia?

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Are you in Melbourne on 2nd March?  I’d love for you to join me for the launch of my latest book ‘The Digital Utility’.
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