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

Javier Ruiz javier at openrightsgroup.org
Sun Apr 17 18:41:59 BST 2011

Getting a meeting with people at DECC. Who else would up for it?
On 17 Apr 2011 17:36, "Jonathan Gray" <jonathan.gray at okfn.org> wrote:
> Sounds great!
> What are next steps?
> J.
> On Fri, Apr 15, 2011 at 1:37 PM, Javier Ruiz <javier at openrightsgroup.org>
>> 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
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