Open Data for a Clean, Secure Energy Future

Freely-available data from the Federal government and other sources can be a powerful input to private sector innovation. Open data can spur entrepreneurship, empower citizens, and create jobs. As just one example, data from the U.S. Global Positioning System (GPS) have been utilized by entrepreneurs to power navigation systems, precision crop farming tools, and other innovations that add over $90 billion in value to our economy each year and have improved the lives of Americans in many ways.

The Obama Administration recently launched a series of Open Data Initiatives—in health, public safety, education, and energy. The Energy Data Initiative (EDI) aims to help Americans benefit from entrepreneurial innovation enabled by open energy data from the US government and other sources. By working to make energy data more available and useful to entrepreneurs, we’re confident that new products and services will continue to emerge to help American families and businesses save energy and money, protect the environment, and ensure a reliable energy future.

With this goal in mind, staff from the White House, Department of Energy, and the Environmental Protection Agency participated in an “Energy Data Jam” on Monday at the Google offices in New York City. This week’s event was the second “Energy Data Jam” this year and included approximately 50 private-sector leaders from energy companies, finance firms, real-estate developers, Web start-ups, and other digital innovators.

One of the goals of the half-day workshop was to brainstorm how publicly available datasets might be put to use in the continuing transition to a clean energy future. Participants brainstormed ingenious new ideas for products, services, features, and apps that could be built using open energy data as an input. If you have an idea or an example of an innovation (a product, service, website, app, or feature) that uses open data as an input, you can let us know by sending an email to DataInnovation@hq.doe.gov

Open data can also include companies that make private-sector data more accessible to their own consumers using open industry formats. A recent example is the Green Button Initiative, a White House catalyzed, industry-led effort that provides electricity customers with easy and secure access to their own energy usage information in a consumer-friendly and computer-readable format. Thanks to commitments from industry to date, over 31 million  households and businesses will be able to securely download the details of their own energy usage with a simple click of an actual “Green Button” on websites of electric utilities and retail electric providers.

The Energy Data Jam also highlighted the role energy data can play in lowering the cost of and improving access to energy financing, especially around commercial building upgrades. Accurate and robust building energy performance data can help investors and lenders better gauge risk and gain confidence to finance building energy upgrades, ultimately leading to new construction jobs.

Later this year, we plan to hold an event to celebrate private-sector energy and environmental innovation fueled by open data.  If you’d like more details about this upcoming “Energy Datapalooza,” please send an email to DataInnovation@hq.doe.gov

Todd Park is U.S. Chief Technology Officer and Assistant to the President. David Danielson is Assistant Secretary for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy at the U.S. Department of Energy. Richard Kauffman is Senior Advisor to the Secretary of Energy.

Original blog post at: http://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/2012/07/12/open-data-clean-secure-energy-future

11 Responses to “Open Data for a Clean, Secure Energy Future”

  1. Anonymous

    I personally think the current government did a decent work on clean energy issue. Just think about the improvement of car efficiency in last a few years.

    Tracy@Miami

  2. Anonymous

    Great information on data.gov! I heard about the role energy data can play in lowering the cost of and improving access to energy financing. My financial planner told me that as a great investment opportunity. I spent a lot of time trying to find a financial advisor and it looks like I am getting some great advice!

  3. Anonymous

    "I personally think the current government did a decent work on clean energy issue. Just think about the improvement of car efficiency in last a few years."

    Wow! I like that positive thinking. Maybe we should stop thinking about those negative things and just focus think about the improvements our current government has done. I believe there are more positive things we should be thanking of.

  4. jp19online@gmail.com

    Really, all the data available on this site is very useful. I am totally agree that there was a tremendoes improvement in enegry saving among last few years. And today the team is trying hard to add more useful communities. Thais is really an awesome task. And I heard the announcement for geospatial integration and I hope this will be useful for all.

  5. Anonymous

    Having access to this information will help get the US to be energy independent in less time.  This is a great program and I'm really excited the Obama administration pushed it through.

    Frank L. DeFazio

  6. Anonymous

    Its good to know that accurate and robust building energy performance data can help investors and lenders better gauge risk and gain confidence to finance building energy upgrades, ultimately leading to new construction jobs.

  7. Anonymous

    The government realizes open sourcing with innovators has enlightened entrepreneurs and our global ecosystem. Leaders are standing up and taking the innitiative to form our planet into a greener habitat. Great idea and proud commendation. These changes have made it possible for me to work from home as an entrepreneur. Believe to achieve. 

    Cory Anderson, "Global Entrepreneur"

  8. Anonymous

    I just wanted to add a comment here to mention thanks for you very nice ideas. Blogs are troublesome to run and time consuming thus I appreciate when I see well written material. Your time isn’t going to waste with your posts. Thanks so much and stick with it No doubt you will definitely reach your goals! have a great day!

  9. Anonymous

    I also juts wanted to thank for what you are doing, I am writing essay about clean energy and your article helped me a lot! Thank you again

  10. Nirob

    I strongly support the Obama Administration as well as the series of Open Data Initiatives. Thanks for letting us know.

  11. melodyhome

    This is a powerful data, over $90 billion in value to our economy each year.

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