About the project
Project Name: Myenergy.ai
Personal energy data service portability and innovation platform.
Team: Dan Leighton, Luke Leighton, Suhas Dattatreya, Kalpitha Nidigal, David Stoughton and Chris Jackson
Apathy and ignorance of personal data among the public is leading to the compromise of democratic principles. Highly technical skills and very large data stores are needed to extract, analyse, understand and act on personal energy data. There are unnecessary technical and commercial barriers to the openness of personal data related to energy consumption. This has led to uncontested markets and unfulfilled user needs. In short, users lack agency in their data – even if they can ‘download’ data, they have no way to look at, use, or understand it. This is just as bad as if it were never downloaded. We consider this a form of de facto data lock-in by default and needs to change to ensure openness and market development.
Achievements from the first phase of the DAPSI programme
We conducted interviews with more than 50 companies on their carbon emissions requirements. In the future, it is highly likely regulations will require all companies to report their Scope 3 Carbon Emissions. Scope 3 emissions are the total of all carbon involved in the delivery of a service or product including supplier carbon costs, not just the direct carbon cost of manufacture (Scope 1) and the carbon cost of energy used (Scope 2). Sources of Scope 3 emissions include those services which support a business without existing directly under their control. Scope 3 emissions can include: business travel, employee commuting, investments, leased assets and franchises, purchased goods and services, transportation and distribution, use of sold products and waste disposal. Travel on business is one of the key items requiring carbon costing which a company can directly tackle.
What has become clear from our work is that accessing the data held by individuals that relates to their business travel and reporting on that travel data in a way which is privacy aware and secure is difficult. Not only this, but there is an upcoming regulatory requirement for businesses to report their carbon emissions within the next few years. However, there are justifiable concerns that employers might have access to data which is unjustifiable in respect to their employees’ right to privacy.
Therefore we consider that a tool will gain traction in this space if it can:
– successfully extract data from the available sources
– allow users to decide which parts of it they wish to share with their employer
– process the data securely
– provide the ability for users and their employers to collate and use the redacted data
– accurately assess the carbon emissions contained in that data
In Phase 1, as well as our extensive user research, we identified the most appropriate energy data ontologies suitable for this space. We developed an API for energy calculations, a frontend dashboard to display that data, and finally developed a prototype tool that allows the data to be extracted from Google Maps location files and for it to be mapped onto the world and the carbon footprint for each journey calculated.
Our participation in DAPSI has been immensely helpful in focusing our attention on a specific real-world problem for businesses dealing with the transition to net-zero carbon. We thank the organisers and the whole team for their hard work and dedication to helping us move to a more open and privacy-aware networked world.John Jones