Open data and local authorities: how data shapes the city of tomorrow

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Data to meet the challenges of the energy transition

To meet the challenges of energy transition, it is important that local authorities rely on data to assess the efforts to be made and the results of actions taken. More than a regulatory obligation, open data is an opportunity to make the stakeholders of the community work together for the general interest.  The Energisme solution supports local authorities in this new data governance.

What is the energy transition?

The energy transition refers to a set of measures and solutions to move to a sustainable energy model. It is part of the more global framework of the climate transition and responds to two major issues:

  • Fight against global warming and its effects
  • To face the rarefaction of certain natural resources

The energy transition thus marks the transition from a model based on the exploitation of fossil fuels to a model based on two pillars:

  • Energy sobriety and efficiency through the reduction of energy consumption
  • The increasing integration of non-carbon energies, such as renewable energies (RE) in the energy mix


France has ambitious goals in this area:

  • Reduce final energy consumption by 30% by 2030 and 50% by 2050 compared to 2012
  • Increase the share of renewable energy to 30% of gross final energy consumption by 2030
  • Divide greenhouse gas emissions by 4 between 1990 and 2050

And, of course, the State and local authorities must set an example. Thus, some actions directly concern local authorities:

Goals for local authorities
  • Reducing energy consumption, in particular by renovating public buildings and saving energy on urban lighting
  • Reduction of CO2 emissions and development of clean transport, through the renewal of vehicle fleets
  • The development of renewable energies

Mastering data, a major challenge for local authorities

To meet these energy performance challenges, data management is becoming a key skill for territories. Indeed, the collection and analysis of territorial data are essential to monitor the performance of territories and allow decision makers to make informed decisions.

Data to support the energy transition

As they move towards a smart city model, local authorities must reconcile two challenges for the city of tomorrow: the environmental transition and the digital transition. Both a connected and low-carbon territory, the smart city relies on the increasing use of new technologies to serve the public interest.

Data collection and analysis should permit local authorities to:

  • Understand the needs and uses of residents
  • Analyze energy consumption and expenditure factors
  • Prioritize energy efficiency actions and coordinate projects
  • Measure the results of energy efficiency actions

The solution developed by Energisme supports local authorities in this systemic use of data. Indeed, it facilitates data collection via the installation of IoT sensors on municipal equipment, smart metering or smart lighting.

The data is then unstructured and centralized in a single space. The platform facilitates the cross-referencing of the data with other data sources to perform a multi-variable analysis of the community’s energy performance. Finally, the data is accessible in the form of reports and visual dashboards to facilitate sharing and use by public decision-makers.

On the basis of this information, local authorities can prioritize their actions, for example, to renovate buildings or control public lighting.

Data at the service of the general interest

In the smart city, artificial intelligence allows us to extract meaning from data. Secondly, data is intended to feed collective intelligence to facilitate decision-making in the general interest.

In addition to collecting and analyzing data, local authorities face a third challenge: sharing data for collaborative purposes. The use of a solution such as the Energisme platform supports territories in this logic of open data. 

Indeed, the solution :

  • Centralizes data flows and aggregates them in one place
  • Makes data interoperable: it can then be cross-referenced to enhance the precision of analyses and predictions
  • Transforms data into intelligible and usable information: data visualization allows you to produce reports and dashboards that are easy to understand and share

The Energisme solution acts as an open data platform. The data is put to collective use with the actors of the energy sector, citizens and companies. They serve as a common base to design innovative services for citizens in order to :

  • Fight against energy insecurity
  • Facilitate the transition to clean mobility
  • Control to improve air or water quality 
  • Improve the safety and comfort of residents through connected lighting
  • Renovate buildings and improve their energy performance
  • Find solutions with energy partners to adjust energy consumption and better integrate renewable energies

Open data: what are the obligations for local authorities?

The opening of data is a regulatory obligation for communities since the entry into force of the Law for a Digital Republic of October 7, 2016.

Thus, since October 7, 2018, local authorities with more than 3500 inhabitants and employing more than 50 agents are required, in the interests of transparency, to put online:

  • the databases they produce or receive
  • all the data in the publication are of economic, social, health or environmental interest.
  • the rules defining the main algorithmic treatments used in the accomplishment of their missions, when these treatments are the basis for individual decisions

Open data excludes personal data, which are governed by the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

These regulatory obligations reinforce the need for rigorous data management within the local authority. In this context, the use of a data efficiency solution and the expertise of a partner specialized in the collection, analysis and exploitation of data facilitate the task of local authorities. The data journey is largely automated so that decision makers can make the right strategic choices. Furthermore, reporting and dashboarding capabilities make it easy to share data in publicly understandable formats.