In our regular data insights, we will publish two sets of data monthly drawn from our Energy Market Insights team. Monthly switching data on the number of customers changing supplier, and monthly smart meter data on the number of smart meters installed in a month.
Regular Data Insights:
ElectraLink provides monthly insights into the switching behaviour of customers within the GB energy market. We provide analysis of customer segments and how those impact upon the overall figures and the relative switching between the Big 6 suppliers and challenger brands. We share this monthly report on these pages but also across our social media channels (LinkedIn and Twitter) so follow us to always be kept up to speed with the latest data.
ElectraLink provides analysis of the location of smart meter installations within distribution network (GSP) areas to show the deployment of smart meters across GB and the power of the data carried by the Data Transfer Service (DTS).
The analysis is based on the D0150 data flows which are transmitted across our network and which capture the vast majority of smart meter installations. Our analysis defines smart meters as those models with the capability to handle time of use tariffs and which can be remotely updated.
In our ad-hoc data insights, we will publish different insights on an irregular basis on a variety of different subjects, backed by analysis from our Energy Market Insights team. Below you can see previous insights created.
Half hourly I&C electricity consumption during COVID-19
Industrial and commercial (I&C) energy consumption patterns have changed since the government mandated working from home in a bid to tackle the spread of COVID-19. Our insights team has produced a visualisation of trends in half hourly I&C consumption data to show how the largest consumption sites compare now to the same time last year.
Consumption volume is steadily increasing as lockdown measures are eased further and the economy reopens. The incline to pre-lockdown levels is slower than the drop that occurred in March, but the difference in consumption last week was less than 20 percent under the same time last year.
Half hourly embedded generation exports during COVID-19
ElectraLink has visibility of all the embedded generation that is not connected to the main transmission grid. Using data for the last three months, there appears to be no significant indication of impact on embedded generation as a result of COVID-19 to date. We will continue to monitor and update this as we continue to explore how embedded generation and decreased demand factor into our journey towards net zero.
Daily meter installations
ElectraLink data shows that from the start of 2020, smart meter installations were occurring at the usual rate, but then dropped rapidly as the lockdown came into effect. This followed the announcement that all non-essential metering visits were suspended during this national emergency.
As lockdown measures are eased and the energy industry gears up to hit the 2024 smart meter programme target, the end of May shows a spike in smart and legacy meter installations compared to previous weeks. This is due to more non-essential site visits being carried out as consumers are more comfortable with engineers visiting their homes. We will continue to track the increasing rate of smart meter installations here as well as in our monthly smart meter installation stories.
Daily meter readings during COVID-19
In the section above, ElectraLink highlighted the cessation of non-essential meter installations following the outbreak of COVID-19. Following Ovo Energy’s announcement that they are furloughing over 3,000 members of staff responsible for meter readings, ElectraLink can confirm that meter reads taken by all Data Collectors across the industry have significantly reduced over the past week. We are currently transmitting around 1,000 reads per day, down 98.5% from meter reading activity prior to the nation’s lockdown.
At their peak, the market’s field force collected meter reads only accounted for approximately 10% of meter reads submitted on a daily basis, so the impact on the energy industry’s underlying processes and performance is not anticipated to be detrimental.
The remaining 90% of meter reads submitted for settlement is split between customer reads, smart reads and pre-payment. Our data also indicates a decline in all three of these over the last month which we will explore in the coming weeks.
The Energy Market Data Hub (EMDH), managed by ElectraLink, transfers the data required to support the retail energy market (including electricity smart metering install and smart consumption data). Under the governance of the Data Transfer Service Agreement (DTSA), we are able to make this dataset available to market participants and regulators.
Since 2012, ElectraLink has had an established approach to data sharing – outlined in the DTSA, a well-defined data governance approach that enables us to manage a variety of data access requests from a wide range of utility industry parties.
Our data governance has allowed ElectraLink to improve and democratise the accessibility of our data as the needs of industry changes. This open data page is just one way we are improving the accessibility of our data.
The EMDH holds multiple datasets which can improve the industry’s understanding of the energy market. To reflect this, ElectraLink began its commitment to open data in 2016, which included regularly publishing key industry insights – such as switching and smart meter installation figures – in the public domain. Some of our datasets are not publicly available, as defined in our governance, but this doesn’t mean that they can’t be accessed by industry. The details of our data triage process, which ensures that the right parties can access the right level of data, can be seen below under the question ‘What data is available to third parties?’.
Open data is a key recommendation of the Energy Data Taskforce, which is looking to improve the accessibility of energy datasets. ElectraLink agree with the aims of the Energy Data Taskforce and we are continually working towards meeting the goals of making data more accessible and open. As such, we have taken an agile approach to open data, where we will publish already publicly available datasets from ElectraLink on one page of our website, which will be improved in line with the outcomes of the Energy Data Taskforce work.
Through 20 years’ experience of managing the EMDH, ElectraLink has gained a deep understanding of the challenges associated with the sharing of data and the considerations required when establishing governance arrangements to ensure the effective and secure sharing of those datasets. The EMDH has an agile governance structure defined in the Data Transfer Service Agreement (DTSA) that allows the EMDH to operate data exchanges defined across a number of industry codes (currently SPAA, MRA, BSC). It also allows for the sharing of data between bilateral parties, using flows defined using FlowBuilder.
Since 2012, ElectraLink has the permission (set out within Schedule 9 of the DTSA) to collect and store all DTS flows. Our ability to collect all DTS data flows enables ElectraLink to store, enrich and analyse the DTS dataset, providing insights to drive business value and operational efficiency, support innovation and drive market change for UK energy market participants, regulators and non-DTS parties. Examples of key use cases for access to the DTS dataset, include: National Grid’s (non-DTS party) utilisation of ElectraLink’s embedded generation dataset to support Grid’s forecasting of embedded generation output at MPAN granularity; Ofgem’s tracking of eServe ECO submissions, and ELEXON’s use of settlement data to support their performance assurance.
This role can be performed on a commercial or regulated basis.
A structured, mature governance arrangement for data sharing, such as the Data Transfer Service Agreement that governs the DTS and DTS dataset, reduces data risk (the wrong people accessing the data) and ensures independence and competitiveness, as the industry govern how industry data can be used. The industry, via the DTS User Group and Ofgem, retain oversight of the DTSA and, therefore, have direct visibility of any EMDH performance, service or governance issues relating to data sharing. The rules of data sharing can be updated, as appropriate within the confines of data privacy laws and agreed by the industry, and this mechanism has been used to provide data to a range of market actors.
The rules of data sharing under the DTSA are relatively simple:
- If it is ‘your’ data, i.e. you sent it across the EMDH and you are the data controller, you can access it subject to a Data Analysis Service (DAS) framework.
- If it is aggregated to a level where the consumer or an individual DTS User cannot be identified, again it can be accessed subject to a DAS framework.
- In certain exceptional circumstances data can be provided under the legitimate purpose justification as set out in data privacy laws.
- Individual data can be provided with the data subject’s consent. Any consumer consent use case is subject to user group approval and subject to a DAS framework.
- If you are the subject of the data you have the right to access your own data under data privacy law and can do so by submitting a Subject Access Request.
The government and Ofgem have launched an Energy Data Taskforce, to be run by Energy Systems Catapult and chaired by Laura Sandys of Challenging Ideas.
The Energy Data Taskforce has been established to address the challenges and opportunities of improving energy data transparency in the energy market. The terms of reference for the taskforce outlines that the role of the EDTF is:
“to develop a set of recommendations for how industry and the public sector can work together to facilitate greater competition, innovation and markets in the energy sector through improving data availability and transparency. This is in line with the Government’s Industrial Strategy, Clean Growth Strategy and the Smart Systems & Flexibility Plan that set out the importance of data and artificial intelligence to a low carbon, flexible and affordable energy system.”
ElectraLink is supportive of the role of the EDTF and will continue to update our approach to Open Data to reflect the principles outlined in the EDTF.