The Energy Data Initiative
To help harness the power of American ingenuity to solve our pressing energy challenges, the Obama Administration has launched the Energy Data Initiative.
The Energy Data Initiative is an Administration-wide effort to “liberate” government data and voluntarily contributed non-government data as fuel to spur entrepreneurship, create value, and create jobs in the transition to a clean energy economy.
The goal of the Energy Data Initiative is to fuel entrepreneurs with newly available and previously untapped data—both government and non-government data—to spur new products and services that help American families and businesses save money on utility bills and at the pump, protect the environment, and ensure a safe and reliable energy future.
Data aren’t what most people think of when we talk about developing American energy resources such as wind, solar, oil, and gas. But data are also essential components of the President’s energy strategy.
Led by the U.S. Department of Energy, in close partnership with the White House and other agencies, the Energy Data Initiative seeks to:
- Work with data owners inside and outside of government to make energy-related data available, machine-readable, and accessible, while ensuring personal privacy is protected, and
- Collaborate with private-sector entrepreneurs and innovators to ensure they are aware of these existing and newly available digital assets and encourage them to include these data as inputs into their new products, services, and product features that improve our energy productivity and catalyze the transition to a clean energy economy.
For example, existing federal databases of solar resources and incentives can fuel new or improved online services to help consumers with buying or financing solar panels.
Similarly, existing federal databases of the energy performance of TVs, washing machines, and other ENERGY STAR household products can fuel web sites and mobile apps that can help consumers choose the most efficient products, helping them save energy and money over the product lifetime.
Open data from the private sector, made available to consumers, can also spur innovation. For example, enabling energy customers to securely access their own household or building energy data in a standard consumer-friendly and computer-friendly format—via a Green Button on their own electric utility website—can also fuel the next generation of energy efficiency and energy management products and services.
To celebrate private-sector energy innovations that use open data, the Administration is planning the first ever event around open energy data: an Energy Datapalooza!
As similar efforts in health and public safety have demonstrated, data from various government and non-government sources can literally fuel new companies, new products, and new features that can improve Americans’ lives. For example, the third annual Health Datapalooza, held June 5-6 at the Washington Convention Center in Washington DC, featured an “American Idol”-style competition where more than 240 applicants competed to demonstrate their product on stage. Each product demonstration was judged by a panel of 70 health and health care professionals. The event featured applications and tools targeting consumers and patients, providers and payers, or public health and communities.
For more information on how the Energy Datapalooza is part of an Administration-wide strategy of making government and non-government data available and accessible—while rigorously protecting privacy and national security—read about the Open Data Initiatives.
If you are interested in getting more information about the Energy Datapalooza, please contact DataInnovation@hq.doe.gov
Let us know about your Energy Apps!
Are you building apps (or products or services) that empower people to make informed decisions about their energy use, help them save at the pump, or protect the environment?
Have a great example of private sector innovation (a product, service, website, app, or feature) that uses open data as an input? We’re interested to learn about great open-data fueled innovations, both consumer- and business-facing, in a variety of energy industries—including the built environment, energy generation and distribution, and transportation.
(Examples of open data include freely available data from federal, state, or local government, or data given to customers using an open industry standard, like Green Button.)
We want to hear about them! Let us know by sending an email to: DataInnovation@hq.doe.gov
Some of the most innovative applications will be highlighted at the Energy Datapalooza.