Data Ingredients: smart disclosure and open government data as complementary tools to meet policy objectives. The case of energy efficiency

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8th International Conference on Methodologies, Technologies and Tools enabling e-Government
Raimondo Iemma
25 September 2014

Open government data are considered a key asset for eGovernment. One could argue that governments can influence other types of data disclosure, as potential ingredients of innovative services. To discuss this assumption, we took the example of the U.S. 'Green Button' initiative – based on the disclosure of energy consumption data to each user – and analysed 36 energy-oriented digital services reusing these and other data, in order to highlight their set of inputs. We find that apps suggesting to a user a more efficient consumption behaviour also benefit from average retail electricity cost/price information; that energy efficiency 'scoring' apps also need, at least, structured and updated information on buildings performance; and that value-added services that derive insights from consumption data frequently rely on average energy consumption information. More in general, most of the surveyed services combine consumption data, open government data, and corporate data. When setting sector-specific agendas grounded on data disclosure, public agencies should therefore consider (contributing) to make available all three layers of information. No widely acknowledged initiatives of energy consumption data disclosure to users are being implemented in the EU. Moreover, browsing EU data portals and websites of public agencies, we find that other key data ingredients are not supplied (or, at least, not as open data), leaving room for possible improvements in this arena.

The paper is available in the Conference proceedings.