The importance of local energy data in shaping policy

In today’s data-driven age, local energy data has become a vital element for municipalities and energy agencies that aim to shape more effective policies. While global and national data provide a broader understanding of energy consumption patterns, local data offers insights that are directly actionable at the community level.

Local energy data allows for precise energy assessments, taking into consideration local industries, population density, and geographic conditions. This level of granularity can lead to tailored solutions that would not be possible with a one-size-fits-all approach.

Data collected at the local level is often more timely and easier to analyse. This can accelerate the policy-making process, making it easier for decision-makers to implement changes that are urgently needed.

A few tools for collecting local energy data

Local governments can deploy surveys and questionnaires to collect valuable data from residents, helping to understand local sentiments and behaviors. Online platforms and apps can be used to engage communities to crowdsource information on local energy consumption patterns.

Conducting energy audits by trained professionals can involve on-site inspections, equipment assessments, and data collection to identify energy-saving opportunities.

Analysing historical utility bills for electricity, gas, and water can provide insights into energy consumption trends. This data can often be obtained from utility companies.

Building energy management systems are integrated systems that monitor and control energy use within a building. They often include sensors, meters, and software to track and manage energy consumption.

The development of smart meters and Internet of Things (IoT) devices is making it more and more easier than ever to collect real-time data. Environmental sensors can measure conditions like temperature, humidity, and air quality – identifying opportunities for energy efficiency improvements based on environmental factors.

As the collection of reliable and complete energy data often shows to be a difficult task, the first course developed within the ENERGee Watch programme supports participants to establish an effective energy management system for the public sector, as well as to identify sources and facilitate access to territorial aggregated, and non-identifying energy data.

Non-identifying energy data is valuable for research, policy development, and energy management as it allows for the analysis of trends and patterns without compromising individual privacy or revealing proprietary information. This data is often used to make informed decisions about energy efficiency, resource allocation, and environmental impact at a broader level.

One of the key components of ENERGee Watch is its focus on training representatives from municipalities and local energy agencies to understand and impactfully utilise local energy data. Through its four courses, participants learn how to collect, analyse, and interpret this crucial information.

A major challenge remains in translating data into actionable policy. ENERGee Watch addresses the process of turning local energy data into effective, sustainable policies. not only through the available courses, but as well with the collection of 55 best practices and its guidebooks, methodologies, and reports.