Estonian Prime Minister Andrus Ansip said Thursday that making heating bills for respective buildings available to the public could be a new way to improve energy efficiency.
Speaking at the Northern Future Forum in Riga, Ansip said his day of discussions about the green economy and the digital marketplace had given him a notion worth following up.
"Today, I got an idea," Ansip told an audience including leaders from the Baltic states, Scandinavia and the United Kingdom.
"Estonia uses two to three times more energy to heat buildings than Finland. It's because of the bad quality buildings we still have in Estonia," Ansip said, noting Estonian reluctance to renovate their homes without added incentives.
"We have to use an open data solution. Everybody wants to be on the top of all kind of ranking lists. Today, we don't know how much neighbors are paying for their heating in similar houses. So we have to open that data to create those ranking lists, to create possibilities to make comparisons with others."
And Estonians' competitive spirit could be used to force a positive change, he suggested.
"Nobody wants to be stupid, nobody wants to be the last one in all those ranking lists [...] it would be helpful if we could compare our expenditures not exactly with our neighbors, but with those people who have the same type of flats and have the same type of houses," Ansip said.
"Open data is useful in very many areas already, and today I picked up an idea to use this very concrete solution also in Estonia."