The forum refers to the Open Energy Modelling Initiative discussion server located at the subdomain

The admins refers to the forum administrators named under “Our Admins” on the forum About page.

The responsible person is named in a separate section below.


The forum is operated by the responsible person using software hosting services provided by The server hardware is located in Frankfurt, Germany and intentionally within the European Economic Area (EEA) to assist with personal data protection.

The forum was originally established during January 2017 using hardware hosting services provided by Hetzner Online GmbH, again situated within the EEA, under the subdomain The forum migrated to DiscourseHosting and the new subdomain during 9 January 2021.

The forum utilizes the Discourse application software, also described on Wikipedia.

The forum is operated on behalf of the Open Energy Modelling Initiative, a loose collection of researchers and other parties interested in promoting open methods within the energy modeling community. The Open Energy Modelling Initiative is not incorporated under law, nor has it any legal standing otherwise.

The forum is administered by the users listed under “Our Admins” on the forum About page. Application software updates, regular backups, and maintenance tasks requiring shell access are undertaken by DiscourseHosting.

The forum only accepts postings and edits from registered users.

From July 2019 onward, new applicants that do not subscribe using email accounts from recognized institutions are screened for suitability. This includes applicants registering under Google Gmail addresses.

Further background on this forum and other Open Energy Modelling Initiative services can be found at: Services run by the Open Energy Modelling Initiative

Responsible person

The responsible person is:

What information do we collect from you?

We collect information from you when you register on our site and gather data when you participate in the forum by reading, writing, and evaluating the content shared here.

When registering on our site, you will be asked to enter your name and email address. You may, however, visit our site without registering. Your email address will be verified by an email from us containing a unique link. If that link is visited, we know that you control the email address you first submitted.

Users can easily update their name and email address by editing their profile settings.

When registered and when posting, we record the IP address that the post originated from. We also may retain server logs which include the IP address of every request to our server. This information is used solely for security and spam protection and is not used for analytics or tracking purposes.

What do we use your information for?

Name and email address: The forum uses name and email addresses to send notifications on new topics, mentions, or private messages on the forum, as determined by your user profile settings. These settings can be changed by you at any time.

IP addresses: The forum uses IP address data for security and spam protection. This information is not used for analytics or tracking purposes.

How do we protect your information?

We implement a variety of security measures to maintain the safety of your personal information that you enter or generate though your browsing, posting, and account configuration activities.

All personal information is transferred to and from the website using the HTTP Secure (HTTPS) protocol.

Administration of the web server is carried out through a secure shell or via a trusted provider.

Off‑site backups of the forum are encrypted and stored on removable media for a finite time.

What is our data retention policy?

User profile data is stored for as long as a user account exists on the forum.

Off‑site backups of the content of the forum, which includes uploaded files if any, are retained for a maximum of approximately three months to ensure that the forum can be reinstated in the case of a site failure.

Any site‑external email traffic related to your screening as an applicant and containing personally identifiable information is kept until such time that erasure of your personal data is requested.

Do we use cookies?

Yes we use cookies. Cookies are small files that a site or its service provider transfers to your computer’s hard drive through your web‑browser (if you configure this feature in your web‑browser). These cookies enable the site to recognize your browser and, if you have a registered account, associate your browser with your registered account.

The forum uses cookies for the following purposes:

  • to identify a user’s session and protect against Cross‑Site‑Request Forgery (CSRF) attacks
  • to identify whether a user is logged in to the forum
  • to track whether a user has seen and dismissed the welcome message and cookie law notification banner

Sharing with third parties

The forum uses to host this service. Personal data provided by users generated during the operation of the forum are stored on systems operated by this company. DiscourseHosting is based near Rotterdam, the Netherlands.

We do not sell, trade, or otherwise transfer your personally identifiable information to outside parties.

Accessing your personal data

To obtain a copy of the personal information held on you, click on the button “Download All” on your user profile. This feature can only be actioned once per day.

Erasing your personal data

To erase your personal data from the forum, email the responsible person with your username.

On erasure, the following information will be deleted from the forum database: your username, your unconfirmed real name, your confirmed email address, your date of birth if recorded, the current state of your user profile, any identifying photograph or avatar you may have uploaded, and any third party (including facebook and google) authentication mechanism you may have provided. In addition, any IP addresses associated with your user account will be removed.

Any postings you may have written, necessarily published under a Creative Commons Attribution CC‑BY‑4.0 license as per the site Terms of Service, will be anonymized by replacing your username with a random username of the form “@​anon000000”. Any files you may have uploaded to the site, necessarily published under a Creative Commons CC‑BY‑4.0 license, will remain on the site and be publicly available. Please recall that you actively consented to the licensing conditions governing hosted content when you registered for the site.

Any personally identifiable information in site‑external email traffic related to your screening as an applicant will be deleted.

Email notifications sent to other registered users of the forum cannot, of course, be easily located and removed.

Off‑site backups of the forum are encrypted and stored on removable media. These files are deleted within approximately three months as part of our backup rotation process. During this period however, some or all of your personal data may remain present in one or more of these archive files which exist solely to underpin site security.

We will inform you by email on completion of your request for your personal data to be erased from the forum.

Your consent

By using our site and checking the appropriate boxes on registration, you consent to our web site privacy policy and content licensing policy.

Conflict resolution

The European Commission provides a platform for online conflict resolution. We will consider using but are not obliged to participate in such procedures.

Changes to our Privacy Policy

If we decide to change our privacy policy, we will post those changes on this page.


Questions regarding this policy or the forum can be sent to the responsible person.

Document information

This document is licensed under a Creative Commons CC‑BY‑SA‑4.0 International License.

This document was last updated on 14 January 2021 by @robbie.morrison.