The Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) have funded a 5 year project to develop a Smart Meter Research Portal (SMRP) to provide vital access to energy data for the UK research community.
- The Smart Meter Research Portal (SMRP) will provide a secure, consistent and trusted channel for researchers to access high-resolution energy data, which will facilitate innovative energy research for years to come.
- Data will be collected via SMRP on a strictly voluntary basis. SMRP data will only be collected with the explicit consent of households who have agreed to provide their smart meter data to SMRP for research purposes.
- Additionally, SMRP’s strict governance framework will ensure that only accredited researchers will have access to anonymized data using established “5 Safes” protocols.
Our vision is to deliver a world leading multi-disciplinary research programme, facilitated by a smart meter data portal. The portal will transform UK energy research through the long-term provision of high quality, high-resolution energy data that will provide a reliable evidence base for intervention, observational and longitudinal studies across the socio-technical spectrum.
The goals of the portal are to provide:
- A consistent, trusted, and sustainable channel for researchers to access large-scale, high-resolution energy data, thereby providing a reliable empirical dataset for research;
- An effective mechanism for collecting energy data alongside other variables from national surveys (e.g. English Housing Survey) or individual research projects;
- A confidential, ongoing repository of smart meter data enhanced with contextual dwelling, household and neighbourhood attributes for use in secondary data analysis;
- An Energy Advice Service for consumers that request use of their smart meter data for this purpose.
The ambition of the research programme is to undertake research that will:
- Support government policy;
- Kick-start the development of new products, services and energy markets;
- Help provide solutions to the energy trilemma (security, affordability and environmental sustainability);
- Facilitate better research by developing best practice guidelines and methods to improve data security and enable innovative uses of smart meter data.
SMRP will also develop best practice for using smart meter data, combining expertise in innovative data science techniques with novel approaches to EUED research.
Frequently Asked Questions
Whose smart meter data will be collected by SMRP?
SMRP will collect smart meter data on a strictly voluntary basis – from households who have explicitly provided informed consent for their data to be collected by SMRP and used for research purposes.
If my data is in SMRP, will it be available for all to see?
Identifiable data from SMRP will never be publicly available. Research using SMRP data will be conducted using anonymised data accessible to accredited researchers only.
How will SMRP ensure data privacy?
SMRP will be fully compliant with the smart meter Data Access and Privacy Framework and abide by all the legal, technical, privacy and security obligations that are mandatory for parties to Smart Energy Code and DCC Users. Additionally SMRP will have extra safeguards to ensure that only anonymised smart meter data can be accessed by accredited researchers using “5 Safes” protocols.
Where will SMRP data be stored?
SMRP data will be stored by the UK Data Archive using the same well-established data management and security procedures that they have in place for other sensitive research data.
How will SMRP ensure that participants’ data is not misused?
Only ethical research demonstrated to be in the public interest will be permitted using SMRP data. SMRP will utilise a strict governance framework that builds on existing UKDA/ADRN processes, which include researcher assessment and mandatory training, so that both researchers and research projects will need to meet strict requirements to gain approval from the SMRP Data Access and Governance Board.
How will SMRP collect smart meter data?
SMRP will access smart meter data via the DCC Gateway. It will therefore be subject to the same extensive mandatory security, testing and compliance processes as other DCC Gateway users (such as energy suppliers).
Project Duration: Mid-2017 to mid-2022
Project funding: £6m from EPSRC
- University College London
- University of Essex (UK Data Archive)
- University of Edinburgh
- Cardiff University
- Loughborough University
- Leeds Beckett University
- University of Southampton
- The Energy Saving Trust