Settlement reconciles discrepancies between a supplier’s contractual purchases of electricity and the demand of its customers. Generators and suppliers trade electricity in the wholesale market in half-hourly periods. Currently, most customers are settled on a ‘non half-hourly’ basis, as they do not have meters that can record consumption in each half-hour period. They are settled using estimates of when they use electricity, based on a profile of the average consumer (within a given Profile Class).
Smart meters can record the amount of energy consumed or exported within every half-hour of the day. This is an opportunity to make the settlement process more accurate and timely, and to deliver positive outcomes for consumers by facilitating lower bills, reduced environmental impacts, enhanced security of supply and a better quality of service. We expect that we will need to mandate all suppliers to settle their customers on a half-hourly basis to realise the full benefits.
This consultation sets out our plan for moving to mandatory half-hourly electricity settlement. It outlines the aim of the reforms, timing considerations, the regulatory interventions to consider before implementing half-hourly settlement, and who should design and approve such interventions. We welcome views from interested parties on this plan and more widely on the move to mandate half-hourly settlement.