BankEnergi attends Workgroup on Multiple Energy Suppliers

BankEnergi’s mission is to allow everyone to obtain the cheapest greenest energy available at any given time.  But this will only happen if energy users are able to buy their supply from multiple suppliers, something that’s not currently permitted.

To help bring it about, the BankEnergi team attended Elexon’s P379 meeting on supplier volume allocation when settling supplier volumes in a multi-supplier scenario – such as a primary supplier and a secondary supplier which could be a local energy company. The workgroup’s full title: ‘Enabling consumers to buy and sell electricity from/to multiple providers through Meter Splitting’.

The attendance was wide-ranging from the big 6 to local energy companies such as BankEnergi to tech platform providers, OFGEM, and of course, the balancing code administrator – Elexon. Did you know they settle £1.7bn per annum! That’s a hefty amount to control – which will only get more and more complex as we try to balance grid supply in the last half hour with more local generators and renewables coming on line. One of the interesting points was: How is the primary supplier’s balance or imbalance position affected by a secondary supplier including for example a wind farm, using a measurement device that is not a settlement meter – who might be trying to gain revenues from flexing – without financially impacting the primary supplier. Forecasting and technology has to play a part in this equation and it has to be fair and equitable across all parties.

Charging an EV at home

Several use cases were discussed, including EV charging. The group discussed, for example, how network charges could be allocated – who is responsible for paying the use of system charges as each supplier would be expected to pay their own volumetric charges, with the primary supplier responsible for passing through capacity based charges. However, this could depend on the premises’ arrangements. Suppliers need to understand the impact to their business.

There was also a need to clarify who owns the meter information and who it’s relevant to, or who is responsible for reading the meter. There are commercial implications to be considered when sharing information across parties. Parties could use this to an advantage i.e. the primary supplier being notified of the EV usage volumes and therefore being able to undertake better forecasting than it could in a business as usual scenario.

And, a change of Supply (COS) process still needs to be worked out. Currently there may be a 1-day gap in making the notification to the Supplier Volume Allocation Agent (SVAA). When it comes to any discrepancies, these will need to be flagged including who is responsible for making corrections to settlement. The key is to have correct data at settlement. With respect to shared SVA meter arrangements, this currently works for large sites but might not work for domestic customers due to the scale and due to the fact that do not tend to have a Half Hourly meter, so more thought needs to go into this. It was noted that the Shared SVA arrangement and Difference Metering does not work for certain parties. This is because the customer is required to have a have a Half Hourly meter to enable Difference Metering arrangements which excludes any and all customers that do not have an HH meter. Whereas, to benefit from SVA Shared Metering arrangements, concerned suppliers and the customer are required to enter into an agreement specifying who amongst them will be the primary supplier and who will be the secondary supplier(s). Such an agreement needs to be novated each time the customer switches away from a supplier thereby creating a bottle-neck to the switching process..

A second use case on exempt supply was also discussed – such as in local energy suppliers and how they may forecast what they are going to generate so that the primary supplier is not exposed to imbalance. It was argued that the secondary supplier should have liability for imbalance, the nature of this liability to be determined in future workgroup discussions! So please keep an eye out for future BankEnergi blogs.