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London UK, 12 April 2016 – ElectraLink, the provider of data transfer services to the UK electricity market, has made two new appointments which will be key to enhancing the offering it provides to its network of customers.

Dan Hopkinson has joined as new Deputy CTO, and Nick Blake has taken on the role of Head of Data Analytics.

The appointments will bolster the company’s senior ranks and will be pivotal in its ongoing drive to provide valuable market insight to a wide variety of organisations operating within the UK electricity industry.

Speaking of his new role, Dan Hopinkson said:

“This is a time of unprecedented change for the industry and my role will be focused on enhancing the service we deliver for our customers – making it more robust and helping to add value for the many organisations who use our dual fuel network.

“What’s important to me is getting to understand what our customers think of us; what works well; what they know or don’t know about us. We also want other key stakeholders in the market to understand how they could benefit from the Data Transfer Network and the Data Transfer Service.

“We’re in a privileged positon as regards the data produced by the industry and we want to be able to use that standing to help our existing and potential customers extract more from the information available. My aim is to encourage anyone with an energy data-related issue to talk to us about how ElectraLink can help. Our aim is to simplify industry processes and there is a lot of value in that.”

The company believes that the introduction of smart metering, smart grids and the increase in renewable energy production are just some of the factors which will fundamentally transform the industry. It maintains that data enabled analytics are going to play an increasing role in supporting industry players because of the insights it can provide.

Nick Blake, Head of Data Analytics commented:

“The information we collate and manage has real ‘sweet spots’, which are of enormous value to our customers. For instance, the smart meter roll-out programme will present a significant challenge for suppliers and DNOs. Identifying which geographical areas to target, understanding all the implementation issues and even issues with specific properties where they’re looking to install a new meter – all of this can create delay and increase costs. Our analytics will be able to help to make the roll-out programme work more smoothly, through better understanding of potential issues, better progress tracking and planning.

“The explosion in alternative forms of energy generation, many of which are coming from small independent producers is also creating challenges for the industry. It used to be that demand for energy was the key forecasting variable. Now we’ve got a situation where renewable energy supply is becoming volatile and this has a major impact on the ability of the industry to effectively balance the two sides of the equation.

“We’re putting a lot of focus on using data and analytics to help improve the accuracy of forecasting of weather-dependent renewable energy generation. It’s a good example of how we’re using third-party data relating to weather, household and demographics to enrich and provide context to the Data Transfer Service data set. I believe that our Energy Market Insights service will drive real business value for the UK energy industry over the next three to five years. My focus is going to be on developing that service – business dashboards; benchmarks; and advanced analytics to help our customers benefit even more from the information being generated by the industry.”