Decisions on energy policies and associated investment are among the most difficult facing countries, particularly in developing economies. On them may depend billions of dollars and even determine whether energy services are available to the poor. This paper examines how open data and crowdsourcing – the out-sourcing of tasks to a distributed group of people – can assist developing countries. The paper provides a survey of existing research and explores the potential role that open data can play in both supporting analysis and in enhancing public engagement with energy issues. The paper argues that open modelling efforts can improve the utility and accessibility of energy models and also lower the cost of data collection and management.