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Energy Social Sciences: Databases

Energy Data Access: Policy Status in the US

To study residential energy consumption behaviors, a valuable resource is the consumption data owned by utilities. In the US, different states have different policies regarding whether and to what extent utilities should make such data available to the public. The American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE) has been monitoring data access policies by state in the US.

At the local level, several US cities have enacted building energy benchmarking policies: detailed scholarly reviews of such policies can be found here and here. Note that not all cities that have a benchmarking policy in place also have a data transparency requirement. Also, not all benchmarking policies cover residential buildings. The Building Performance Database (created by the U.S. Department of Energy, the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, and Earth Advantage) aggregates and visualizes such benchmarking data.

Energy Databases

Open Energy Data and Models

OpenEI is growing into a global leader in the energy data realm - specifically analyses on renewable energy and energy efficiency. The platform is a wiki, similar to Wikipedia’s Wiki, with which many people are already familiar. Users can view, edit, and add data – and download data for free. Developed and maintained by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory.

In OpenEI, one of the most accessed database is the U.S. Utility Rate Database.

An open data platform providing access to datasets and data analytics that are relevant to the energy sector. ENERGYDATA.INFO has been developed as a public good available to governments, development organizations, private sector, non-governmental organizations, academia, civil society and individuals to share data and analytics that can help achieving the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goal 7 of ensuring access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all.

An initiative fostering Open Source and Open Data in energy modeling. Contributed by various universities and research institutes across the world.

The Open Energy Family aims to ensure quality, transparency and reproducibility in energy system research. It is a collection of various tools and information and that help working with energy related data. It is a collaborative community effort, everything is openly developed and therefore constantly evolving.

This project aims to bring energy modeling into the twenty-first century by applying the gold standards of policy-focused academic modeling, maximizing transparency, building a networked community, and working towards a common goal: examining U.S. energy futures to inform future energy and climate policy efforts. Modeling based on Tools for Energy Model Optimization and Analysis (Temoa), an open-source, Python-based energy system optimization model (ESOM).

This database aggregates and visualizes building performance data in the U.S. This project is made possible by the U.S. Department of Energy, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, and Earth Advantage.