Coronavirus (COVID-19) – latest information
Last updated: 24 November 2020
See the latest updates regarding how COVID-19 is impacting Elexon and the BSC and what measures have been put in place to help BSC Parties.
Please use the ‘on this page’ option to go directly to specific sections.
On this page
Articles of Interest
Everything is being done to to assure the continuity of the services provided under the BSC and EMR. We are helping to ease the burden of our Parties who may be experiencing difficulties at this time.
We will communicate any major changes to Elexon or the BSC via our regular channels, including this page.
Updated: 23 November
Audits for 2020/21
All Audits will be held remotely for the 2020/21 Audit period.
Delay to finalisation of the BSC Audit
The 2019/2020 BSC Audit is nearly completed and will be finalised remotely. It is likely that there will be a delay to the final audit report so businesses can prioritise critical business as usual work.
The BSC Auditor, Elexon and the PAB will consider the current difficulties and restrictions when agreeing the audit scope for the 2020/2021 audit.
Delay to finalisation of BSC Audit ISAE 3000 Opinion
The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted the completion of the BSC Auditor’s fieldwork testing which supports its 2019/2020 International Standard on Assurance Engagements (ISAE) 3000 Opinion.
At its May 2020 meeting, the BSC Panel approved a revision to the timescales of the report delivery. The ISAE 3000 Opinion will now be delivered to the Performance Assurance Board (PAB) at its September 2020 meeting, and to the BSC Panel at its October 2020 meeting. This is subject to any updated information that may further delay finalising the ISAE 3000 Opinion.
This part of the BSC Audit covers Central Volume Allocation (CVA) Meter Operator Agents (MOAs) and Central Systems and will now be finalised remotely. The delay in the delivery of the ISAE 3000 Opinion allows BSC Parties to prioritise critical business as usual work.
Reviewed: 24 November
BSC payment terms will continue to operate as per usual. If a Party is unable to meet the payment terms, they should contact Elexon for advice.
Building closure and meetings
Updated: 14 August
Remote meetings due to COVID-19
We have decided that we will not be re-opening the Elexon office to external visitors, save in exceptional circumstances, until at least the beginning of 2021 and we will therefore continue to hold all meetings, committees and workgroups virtually. This was decided after viewing the feedback and results from an internal and external survey.
We have some measures in place, when staff start returning to the office.
To recognise this prolonged change to our working arrangements, we have created a set of principles to be followed when holding online meetings. These principles will be highlighted at the beginning of each meeting to hopefully improve your virtual meeting experience.
Changes to the BSC
Updated: 23 October
From January 2021 we will no longer plan BSC Changes in accordance with the COVID-19 prioritisation criteria.
The Panel has reviewed this approach at its June, August and October 2020 meetings. The Panel agreed at its October 2020 meeting that this approach will end at the end 0f 2020, subject to feedback and the evolving situation.
Credit Assessment Price (CAP)
Updated: 15 September
On Wednesday 7 October 2020, the CAP value increased to £56/MWh. As a result, Parties may have noticed a change in their Credit Cover Percentage, and should review the amount of Credit Cover lodged.
The CAP review trigger level value will also increase to +/- £6/MWh.
The CAP is used in the energy indebtedness calculations to convert Credit Cover into an energy value. Electricity generators and suppliers need to post Credit Cover in order to operate in the electricity market under the terms of the BSC.
The CAP has been falling steadily since October 2019, reflecting a general trend in falling wholesale electricity prices.
Reviewed: 3 November
Reducing Demand Capacity
BSC Parties are able to reduce the value of Demand Capacity (DC) (making the negative value closer to zero) of Supplier BM Units up to twice per BSC Season.
We recognise that the coming months will have unforeseen impacts to BSC Parties forecasts and therefore if you need to make a further reduction please contact [email protected]. Where a further reduction is relevant to the ongoing situation with Coronavirus we will consider further requests to reduce the DC beyond the twice per BSC Season limit.
Importance of accurate Demand Capacity
Generation Capacity (GC) and DC values are used in the calculation of Parties’ (if applicable) Credit Cover Percentage (CCP). Accurate values of GC and DC are essential to ensure the accurate calculation of CCP and CEI.
If the DC is overestimated the Party may need to provide a higher amount of Credit Cover than necessary.
Elexon’s day-to-day business
Reviewed: 24 November
Consistent with the general advice of Ofgem, we are continuing to operate the BSC and EMR arrangements as usual. Both Elexon and its subsidiary, EMR Settlement Ltd (EMRS), are working as normal delivering our full range of services under the Balancing and Settlement Code, the Capacity Market and the Contracts for Difference schemes.
The closure of the office has so far not resulted in any issues to our services. However we remain vigilant and continue to monitor the situation closely.
Half Hourly and Non Half Hourly Demand
Updated: 9 November
Half Hourly sites Guidance Note
For Half Hourly metered sites (which are generally larger, or industrial sized businesses) if a Supplier is unable to obtain remote readings, perhaps due to a communications failure, they are currently allowed to submit a new estimate of consumption that reflects the current reduced consumption at a property (again where they have evidence of such a reduction). Suppliers should ensure that all the estimates put in place as part of the derogation are reviewed and appropriately updated in line with the guidance below.
Non-domestic Non Half Hourly sites Guidance Note
For non-domestic Non Half Hourly sites (i.e. smaller businesses) Suppliers are currently allowed to submit a new consumption estimate that reflects the current reduced consumption at a property (where they have evidence of such a reduction). Suppliers should ensure that all the estimates put in place as part of the derogation are reviewed and appropriately updated in line with the guidance below.
Long Term Vacant (LTV) and Site Inspection Visits
The BSC Auditor will take a pragmatic approach when assessing compliance with the LTV process in its assessments for the 2020/2021 audit period, as the ability to keep a property within the process is dependent on site visits. This assessment approach will apply to sites that would require evidence of being LTV between 21 March 2020 and 31 December 2020.
Similarly, Elexon will not consider any non-compliances for site inspections which have not been attempted, if these were due to take place between 21 March 2020 and 31 December 2020.
Market-wide Half Hourly Settlement
Updated: 17 August
With Ofgem’s agreement, we have adjusted the work plans for our two Market-wide Half Hourly Settlement (MHHS) working groups to take account of any industry resource constraints during the pandemic. While we continue activities with these working groups, we will continually review and (if needed) adjust the plans to ensure that they remain achievable.
To get the latest updates around MHHS developments then visit:
Updated: 9 November
Estimation derogations to continue into 2021
Suppliers can continue to provide updated estimates of consumption that reflect changes in usage during periods of lockdown in Settlement for the foreseeable future.
The decision to suspend the ending of estimation derogations was made after the Prime Minister announced England would be going into lockdown for four weeks.
The derogations were due to end on 31 December 2020. Although a new date for ending the derogations hasn’t been agreed, the PAB will consider the right approach to resuming the usual estimation procedures at future meetings.
Suppliers can ignore the three month notice that was issued by Elexon on 1 October regarding ending the derogations.
See Guidance Notes for:
- Half Hourly estimation during COVID-19
- Non Half Hourly estimation during COVID-19
- Non Half Hourly (NHH) Long Term Vacant (LTV) during COVID-19
- Site Inspection Visits during COVID-19
BSC Modification P406 suspended Supplier Charge Serials SP08 and SP04 from the March 2020 Performance Assurance Reporting and Monitoring System (PARMS) reporting period. The decision to reinstate Supplier Charges will be made by the BSC Panel at a later date.
Supplier Charges are liquidated damages that Suppliers incur if they fail to meet Half Hourly or Non-Half Hourly performance levels. They compensate Parties disadvantaged by those who aren’t meeting the defined Standards set out in Section S of the BSC, and are one of the remedial Performance Assurance Techniques deployed by the PAB.
Error and Failure Resolution (EFR)
It was announced in November that the PAB have agreed on a strategy to managing performance issues and applying EFR for Suppliers.
The strategy was agreed after the PAB discussed the challenges facing the industry in relation to obtaining the HH and NHH Settlement performance standards following the first COVID-19 lockdown.
Technical Assurance of Metering (TAM) suspension partly lifted.
At its July 2020 meeting, the Performance Assurance Board (PAB) approved recommendations for the TAM suspension to be lifted in respect to the rectification of Category 1 non-compliances.
This is in light of the rectification of Category 1 non-compliances meeting the PABs priority criteria of resolving Metering issues that have accumulated during the COVID-19 lockdown. Elexon and the Technical Assurance Agent (TAA) will be contacting Parties with outstanding Category 1 non-compliances, requesting updates on rectification progress.
Optional Technical Assurance Desktop Audits and Site Inspections
The PAB has agreed that optional Desktop Audits and Central Volume Allocation (CVA) Site Inspections can be carried out. Elexon has received positive response from the industry, with many BSC Parties participating in the optional audits.
Technical Assurance of Performance Assurance Party (TAPAP) checks
In March 2020 the PAB agreed to postpone TAPAP checks whilst the full lockdown was in place. It agreed to resume the TAPAP technique from September 2020.
Updated: 5 November
We are not recommending any changes to the load profiles – the calculations are designed to handle variance through GSP Group Correction.
There will be some misallocation of Non-Half Hourly volume, but the energy settled for Non-Half Hourly customers will be correct once meters are read.
Further, Suppliers will have used the profiles for their forecasting models and changes could have an adverse impact on their Energy Imbalances. However, we are monitoring the data as it becomes available and will report on any findings.
Inputs to the Profile Coefficient creation
We are not recommending any change to the Regression Coefficients.
Regression Coefficients are built from the previous three year’s Profiling Sample data for that season. Regression Coefficients were approved for use by the Supplier Volume Allocation Group (SVG) for Autumn to Winter 2020-2021 (the start of September to March) in August 2020. These coefficients have been released to industry as part of the Market Domain Data (MDD) process.
The outturn variables used in the daily production of Profile Coefficients are not affected – e.g. Noon Effective Temperature, sunset are determined on a given Settlement Date.
Future Regression Coefficients
The next Group Average Demands (GADs) for Spring to High Summer 2021 (calculated using analysis of the Profiling Sample data from April to September 2020) will be reviewed at by the Profile Expert Group (PEG) in November 2020. Hence, if the load profile shape for a weekday is significantly different to a typical year, the use of the GADs in creating future Regression Coefficients (and therefore influencing future Profile Coefficients) can be assessed.
The GADs are required to be recommended by the PEG to the SVG for approval for use in creating the Regression Coefficients. The use of calculated Regression Coefficients in the Profiling process are also subject to approval by the SVG.
Accuracy of the profiled data
We might see more variation in the Grid Supply Point Group Correction Factors (GGCFs) if the true demand shape is different to that used to build the Regression Coefficients. As part of our market monitoring processes, we monitor GGCFs and will report on any findings.
GGCFs scale the correctable SVA volume (primarily Non-Half Hourly volume) so that the net volume in a GSP Group matches the GSP Group Take (calculated from boundary point metering between the Transmission and Distribution Networks).
More information on Profiling
Reviewed: 20 November
We must continue to operate the normal payment processes for Advice Notes due to the nature of the calculations. What we collect in as Trading Charges is what we pay out, so it’s important that we continue to operate the processes as normal.
Elexon Clear Limited or the Funds Administration Agent (FAA) releases Advice Notes for Trading Charges at different frequencies depending on a BSC Party’s operation. This is determined by the value of the Trading Charges each day. An Advice Note is released when the value totals +/- £500. The Advice Note is then payable in three business days.
Womens Utility Network COVID-19 webinar
Watch Angela Love’s webinar regarding Elexon’s initial response to COVID-19. The webinar was for the Womens Utility Network’s WUN For All series.
The Director of Future Markets and Engagement discusses the measures Elexon took to help customers through the pandemic, as well as preparing for the future.
You can access individual chapters via the small navigation icon located in the bottom right corner of the video (desktop only).
Some information presented in this webinar may have been updated since the webinar was recorded in June 2020.
For the latest COVID-19 information regarding Elexon and BSC activities, please check the specific sections of this page.
If you have any questions or concerns then please contact us via the BSC Service Desk.
Alternatively, you can contact your dedicated Operational Support Manager. You can see who your Manager is via the BSC Signatory and Qualified Persons page.