Banking on a new era of open energy data

Energy should be an important consideration in a wide range of consumer decisions, but a lack of transparency over energy data is standing in the way. Until now.

Whether you’re buying a new home, car or dishwasher, the cost of energy should be an important consideration. The total cost of ownership is an increasingly important factor, and it’s no longer just about the purchasing costs. Energy consumption needs to be factored in and accounted for when it comes to making investments in and for your home.

But customers are usually left to make these major decisions using incomplete data. In practice, this means the ratings on incomprehensible energy efficiency certificates and a large amount of guesswork. Surely, there must be a better way. Right?

We think there is. At Eliq, we believe that consumers need to be empowered to take these important financial decisions based on their actual energy usage. We think the world is on the cusp of an era of ‘Open Energy Data’, where customers use the array of energy data gathered by smart meters to influence their other consumer choices. 

The challenge for innovative companies is to work out how to access and makes sense of energy usage from the home.

First, we revealed a partnership with Schneider Electric, where we will work together to accelerate the decarbonisation of European homes and help consumers to lower their energy bills. We will do this by providing working with Schneider to analyse the data gathered by its smart devices, and then deliver personalised energy insights to the devices’ users about how they can reduce energy usage to lower their bills and their emissions. We expect to see more partnerships like this in the years ahead.

And second, we unveiled a partnership with the Belgian bank KBC.
This is our first deal with a banking group, and we expect others to follow because of the important role that energy cost has come to play in personal finance management. We will explain more about that later.

Open Energy Data

So what does Open Energy Data actually mean? To understand the concept, we must first look at the significant digital shifts in the domestic energy sector over the last two decades. The growth of smart meters in Europe means that huge amounts of data are being collected about energy usage but, for many years, consumers were unable to gain any value from this information. This is no longer the case. Utilities are sharing insights with their customers about the financial impacts of their energy decisions. These insights are based on the aggregation of energy-related data from a host of sources, including power price and emissions data; analysing it compared to other energy users which, at Eliq, is in an anonymised database of millions of homes; and then giving tailored advice.

The ‘open’ part refers to the way companies, like retail banks, can access the system that analyses this data and provides insights for consumers. Utilities have been using this technology for years, but other companies including retail banks are now seeing the benefits too. This is made possible by the new open interfaces that allow third-party companies to access data from utility meters. Like “open banking” created a structure for banks to open their customer’s financial data, Open Energy Data is a concept and structure (albeit not on a unified European standard) that opens energy meter data to other service providers to serve customers. 

Over the next decade, we believe it is the companies that unlock these opportunities that will gain a crucial competitive advantage over their competitors. Open Energy Data will drive big changes in many industries – but most companies don’t yet see the opportunities.

Banking on change

One of the next sectors to undergo major changes in energy data is banking. Banks play a vital role in helping customers to make good financial decisions, and more are providing integrations on their own apps to help customers manage services such as Netflix. This can help consumers and thus boost customer retention but also make it easier for consumers to invest in an energy-efficient renovation to future-proof their homes. It enables banks to expand on existing personal finance management (PFM) tools to provide advice and budgeting capabilities for more climate-friendly decisions 

Likewise, greater transparency over energy use data can help banks to report better on their mortgage portfolio and be better prepared to live up to those rising ESG reporting requirements in the future. And speaking of ESG. Helping customers to reduce energy bills goes hand-in-hand with helping them reduce emissions. These benefits will prove to be complementary.

We are only at the start of the era of Open Energy Data, but it will be transformative. The companies that recognise this and adapt now will be best placed to succeed.


Book a demo today to chat about the new era of Sustainable Retail Banking!