James Murphy

James Murphy, Data Analyst

A lot can happen in a year. It seems half the industry is in the Error Failure and Resolution (EFR) process over P272; seven Meter Operators for not sharing the necessary auxiliary Meter Technical Details (MTDs) for Advanced meters to retain their functionality and seven suppliers for being substantially behind their agreed Supplier Migration Plans (SMPs); we haven’t even reached the implementation date yet.

The latest figures from Elexon suggest that at the current rate of completion the programme is likely to over-run and many suppliers will be non-compliant on 1st April 2017[1]. Elexon has already outlined plans for dealing with such non-compliance and Ofgem recently published a second open letter stating that they plan to take their own enforcement action on top of this[2]. This is a clear message to suppliers, one that should be taken very seriously. Hopefully, the element of inertia that has persisted from the outset will be overcome in the final hour.

Furthermore, poor data quality for the meters that have made the switch to Half Hourly (HH) means that many consumers (and suppliers) aren’t experiencing the full and intended benefits of Half Hourly Settlement (HHS).


Stark Data Quality Graph

Elexon data suggests that Industry Settlement Performance for Measurement Classes E, F & G is currently >91% Actual Reads @ SF, this means that ~9% of energy is still being estimated 18 days post consumption. This has likely been caused by appointment mismatches, missing or invalid flows and miscommunication between suppliers and their agents. The knock-on effect is that consumers are still getting estimations on their bills, suppliers aren’t able to forecast demand accurately and highly valuable insight into energy usage and cost is being lost.

Where Stark & WPD have provided a fully managed service for P272 we have been able to consistently deliver >97% Actual Reads @ SF for these Measurement Classes and >99% Actual Reads @ SF across our entire HH portfolio. This means our customers have benefited from high-quality HH data, empowering them to make informed decisions about reducing their energy consumption and cost as well as minimising estimation on their supply bill.

A recently approved Elexon Modification, P347, will reduce the performance standards for Measurement Classes F & G to 90% Actual Reads @ R1, meaning 10% of energy can legitimately be estimated 40 days post consumption. The rationale for this was to create a more lenient regulatory environment to encourage the uptake of Elective HHS amongst suppliers, as some felt the current 99% Actual Reads @ R1 target to be a barrier. Many industry parties opposed the modification on the grounds that it set a dangerous precedent of lowering standards as well as promoting inefficiency in the Settlement process. Citizen’s Advice highlighted the impact this would have on consumers through higher levels of estimation and less urgent meter fault rectification. Thankfully the reduction is only intended to be temporary and the standards will revert back to 99% in 2020.

Stark’s performance in Measurement Classes E, F & G over the last 18 months proves that the current standard of 99% Actual Reads @ R1 is not only achievable but actually lacking in ambition itself. The standard for HHS, regardless of measurement class, elective or mandatory, should be at least 99% Actual Reads @ SF if the full benefits are to be realised. That is why we treat all HH supplies the same and will always strive for the highest possible Data Quality, irrespective of an arbitrary minimum requirement.

If you are concerned about poor Data Quality from your current Half Hourly Data Collector and Aggregator, contact Stark today. 

[1] Elexon, PAB193/05A – Supplier Migration Updates, p2

[2] Ofgem, https://www.ofgem.gov.uk/system/files/docs/2017/02/open_letter_on_p272_and_enforcement_-_january_2017_v.2.pdf