[open-energy] Possible open data project UK non-domestic emissions

Jonathan Gray jonathan.gray at okfn.org
Sun Apr 17 17:36:33 BST 2011

Sounds great!

What are next steps?


On Fri, Apr 15, 2011 at 1:37 PM, Javier Ruiz <javier at openrightsgroup.org> wrote:
> Dear all
> some people in the Dept for the Environment and Climate Change are
> interested in exploring an open approach to the data and modelling of
> non-domestic emissions. This could potentially be a huge step in terms
> of open government and climate.
> I copy here the original message from my contacts at DECC:
> In overview, DECC is seeking to build better models for non-domestic
> emissions, as our existing models and data have significant
> limitations (by "non-dom" we mean public and private sector). There
> are potentially two aspects to this (i) making the new data and the
> new models available to everyone (ii) using some form of crowdsourcing
> to get the information to inform the models, or to constructively
> challenge the data underpinning them.
>  At this stage this is just a concept, which has not yet got approval
> to proceed - and in any case, the budget to deliver it will not be
> very large, even if it were to get approval. I think the first part of
> the above is relatively straightforward, though would welcome expert
> input as to how this should be done most effectively and cheaply. (Ie
> putting them on DECC website delivers the objective in the crudest
> form, at almost no cost - but are there better ways? What else should
> DECC be mindful of?) The second element is potentially more
> interesting but significantly more challenging to figure out exactly
> how this could work.
>  As a guide to the kind of information we are envisaging, we are
> likely to want to put most of the following on the site:
>  Assumptions:
> ·         Fuel prices
> ·         New building
> ·         Demolitions
> ·         Building numbers by type
> ·         Building numbers by sector
> ·         Energy using equipment
> ·         Abatement costs and technologies
> ·         Price elasticities
> ·         Floor space
> ·         Etc.
> The model would be in equation form and possibly in a format
> compatible with econometrics packages, such as Eviews.  This would be
> complemented by a diagram and description of how the model works.
>  We would also want to fly some kites by putting propositions or
> papers on the site for which we could generate a discussion thread.
> For instance,  commenting on the way in which buildings most commonly
> use air conditioning systems, or garnering views of whether green
> leases are possible.
>  I am not aware of any models freely available on the Internet,
> although the Item Club use the Treasury’s model to generate
> alternative projections.  The ONS’s web site has a lot of freely
> available data within in (www.statistics.gov.uk).
>  Hopefully this gives you a good feel for the general approach we
> would like to take.
> ------------
> After some conversations it seems that there could be the following
> main lines of action:
> - publishing all available public government data (open format, OGL)
> and initial model (xls macros? + full documentation)
> - open up and crowdsource the improvements and checks on the model.
> Although this could be done with big fanfare as "everyone is invited",
> the truth is that very few people can really add to such complex
> model, mostly academics and energy managers, so it would need a double
> strategy of involvement.
> - getting the private sector to input their own data and partial
> models. This means getting suppliers of electrical products,
> facilities management companies, supermarkets, etc. to put part of
> their internal energy saving models on the public model
> - get independent developers or analysts to build apps and services. I
> showed my contacts at DECC the Guardian climate model and they said
> that what they are doing is a lot more complex (they had their own
> version of that at DECC, a lot flashier and probably outrageously
> expensive), but that maybe some subsets could be converted into user
> friendly dashboards. An ideal outcome could be an open tool similar to
> AMEE http://my.amee.com/developers
> I think this initiative could be a great thing for open data and
> participatory policies involving civil society, private and public
> sector.
> At the moment is at a very early stage and I have been asked totally
> informally to put together a small group of people from the fields of
> open data, participation and crowdsourcing, etc for an initial meeting
> with the people in DECC working on this so they can explain their
> ideas better and to see what could be achieved, etc. They would be
> happy with any help, even just how to best publish the data. Once they
> get an idea they can make a proper plan and budget. She said they had
> little money but I think that we are in different orders of magnitude
> from our small org budgets, so that would be part of the discussions.
> Would you be interested in being part of this?
> best, Javier
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Jonathan Gray

Community Coordinator
The Open Knowledge Foundation


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