Ofgem Consumer First Panel, year 9, wave 3, half-hourly settlement

Reports, plans and updates

Market-wide settlement reform can expose energy suppliers to the true cost of supply of their customers in any half-hour period and put incentives on them to help their customers shift their consumption to times when electricity is cheaper to generate or transport. We are taking forward market-wide settlement reform to facilitate a smarter, more flexible energy system and to empower consumers to take an active role in the energy system transition as the sector decarbonises.

In order to settle customers half-hourly, suppliers need access to their customers’ half-hourly consumption data from their smart meter. Under the current rules, domestic consumers’ half-hourly data can only be accessed for settlement if they have given opt-in consent, and suppliers can only access half-hourly data from microbusinesses for settlement if they have not opted-out.  In early 2018, we talked to our Consumer First Panellists about thoughts and preferences on access to half-hourly electricity consumption data from smart meters for settlement purposes, in order to develop our thinking on the most appropriate future rules for suppliers’ access to half-hourly consumption data.

In deliberative sessions, we explored consumers’ initial thoughts and preferences on accessing half-hourly electricity consumption data from smart meters for settlement purposes. We also asked consumers about their current thoughts on smart meters, sharing data more generally for other purposes and organisations they are more likely to trust. These additional topics enabled us to build understanding and provided a more detailed insight into consumer’s thoughts on sharing their smart meter data for settlement.

The findings show that most Panel Members were happy to share their data for settlement purposes and saw this as beneficial for the supplier, wider society, and potentially for themselves.

These insights have helped us to move forward with our work on the future rules for access to half-hourly electricity consumption data for settlement purposes, which we are consulting on separately. This consultation can be found in the related links on the right hand side of this page.

To follow up with us on this research, or for anything else related to market-wide settlement reform, please contact the Settlement Reform team at half-hourlysettlement@ofgem.gov.uk.