Data heaven – plugging into our energy behaviour

By Natalie Kikken

22 September 2016

The EUDM is lighting up the Australian energy data landscape

The EUDM is lighting up the Australian energy data landscape.

We all use energy – from flicking on the light switch when we get home from work to making some toast in the wee hours of the morning (maybe twice, if we burn the first lot). But in Australia, no one-stop shop currently exists to capture energy data all in one place to profile how, when and why we use energy, and what sort of things influence our energy use behaviour. That’s where our Energy Use Data Model (or EUDM for short) steps in, which captures our energy data on a central web platform.

What’s being recorded?

This centralised system will integrate a lot of existing energy data, as well as creating new data sets to bring together half-hourly energy consumption, demographics, building characteristics, appliance uptake, weather and more. The EUDM will help researchers connect all of these pieces together to understand what is driving Australian energy use and to predict the future of our energy system.

Why do we need this data?

So what does all this data have to do with me, we hear you ask? Well, to start with, knowing how as a nation we are using energy, means we can plan for how to use it better in the future – like working out what infrastructure we will need and what sort of governance and business models will deliver reliable energy access for all of us. We also have a robust process for managing energy data ethics and privacy, built by our data experts.

The EUDM will be a one-stop shop for how we use energy as a nation

The EUDM will be a one-stop shop for how we use energy as a nation.

One of our clever researchers, Dr Adam Berry, is like a kid in a lolly shop with this new system and can’t wait to explore Australia’s energy behaviour.

“There is some great energy-use data out there, however, it is scattered across organisations and often difficult to access,” explains Dr Berry. “We have identified some big gaps too, which makes it harder to understand how all the pieces of the energy jigsaw puzzle fit together.

“By collecting brand new energy data sets and bringing them together with existing data, we will be able to tell the full story of how Australians actually use energy – all on one snazzy EUDM web platform!”

The EUDM will help shape future innovation, as the data will identify the need for new products and services to add value to the energy landscape. It will also provide insight into how energy efficiency influences how we use energy, how electricity pricing changes our behaviour, and the way renewable energy is shaping our nation’s energy system.

Dr Berry concludes that our EUDM will put Australia in good stead to “get every part of the energy system right – from energy efficiency through to optimal supply”.

The pilot EUDM is currently underway,  in the meantime you can learn more on our website.

Or if you are a researcher who wants to find out the nitty gritty on how the EUDM might foster future collaboration with us, get in touch with Dr Berry at adam.berry@csiro.au.