Rethinking Energy Data Access: Conquering Barriers to Achieve Local Climate Goals

Local governments across the U.S. are leading the charge on a variety of complex objectives, which include developing plans to meet long-term climate goals, improving public health, increasing access to energy-saving programs, and enhancing local resilience to extreme weather. Utilities play an invaluable role in these efforts by collecting and sharing energy consumption and program participation data with local governments. Unfortunately, when seeking data from energy utilities to assist in their progress, local government sustainability staff often run into a range of utility and regulatory barriers.

Rethinking Energy Data Access: Conquering Barriers to Achieve Local Climate Goals synthesizes key recommendations for local governments, utilities, and utility regulators on how to work together to reform the ways in which data is requested, protected, and shared in order to advance critical goals for each party and benefit local businesses and residents.

The Institute for Market Transformation (IMT) and the Urban Sustainability Directors Network (USDN) worked with local governments across the country to identify the biggest challenges they have in requesting utility data, as well as characteristics of successful data projects. Utilities and utility regulators can use this report to raise internal awareness of local government customers’ priorities and needs, engage them around data access, and implement effective data access policies and practices.

The report’s Appendix includes five use cases from which local governments can pull lessons learned to communicate what kinds of data they are seeking from their utilities and why. Click on the hyperlinks below to download them individually.