List of Insights

If significant events or changes occur within the electricity industry we will analyse and offer insight into what has happened and why.

The impartial insight articles are written by our industry experts, who have a wealth of experience and knowledge. These findings are supported by a large amount of industry data.

Latest insights

Update on demand during COVID-19 lockdown
In this Insight, our Data & Insight Analyst, Nick Baker provides an update to the reduced electricity demand during lockdown article with the latest findings. The new graphs can be used to track electricity demand changes in Great Britain as COVID-19 restrictions start to ease. Original Insight below.
(Published: July 2020)

Electricity demand down by 17% during COVID-19 lockdown
Measures put in place by the UK Government to control the COVID-19 outbreak have resulted in electricity demand falling sharply in the GB electricity market, according to Elexon data estimates. In this Insight, our Data & Insight Analyst, Nick Baker investigates the scale of the demand reduction.
(Published: April 2020)

The Code Governance Review
Elexon puts forward options for how the 11 existing gas and electricity codes could be simplified into three codes covering the retail, wholesale and networks sectors.
(Updated: July 2020)

Negative System Prices during COVID-19
The UK electricity market has seen an increase in negative System Prices due to the COVID-19 lockdown. In this  Insight, Emma Tribe explains why this was the case and shows the trends for negative System Prices in April and May 2020.
(Published: June 2020)

Highest System Price in 19 years
The System Price reached £2,242/MWh and £1,708/MWh in the early evening of Wednesday 4 March 2020. This was the first instance of the System Price being over £2,000/MWh since 2001. In this article our Market Advisor, Emma Tribe explains how the System Price was calculated and how it compares to historic System Prices.
(Published: March 2020)

Code Governance and reforms

Independent analysis backs the case for code reforms
Angela Love, Director of Strategy and Communications, discusses analysis which Elexon commissioned from consultants, Cornwall Insight on options for reforming the energy codes. Elexonhas proposed a ‘three code’ model to consolidate existing codes and Cornwall Insight assessed this against other options.
(Published: July 2019)

The BSC Panel, a template for panel constitution?
This Insight artcile looks at why the BSC Panel model is frequently cited as one of the better models for ensuring broad representation of stakeholders to feel they are engaged and their views understood within the code panel.
(Published: August 2017)

Electricity Imbalance and Settlement

Low CO2 fuel sources powered 2019
In this Insight, our Market Advisor Emma Tribe uses electricity generation data to show how 2019 was powered demonstrate how the electricity market is on the road to Net Zero.
(Published: January 2020)

The electricity industry – ten years of change
The 2010s were a period of significant change for both Elexon and the wider industry. The shifts seen during the span of ten years were both unprecedented and unpredicted. Using data we have created four graphs that reflect on significant changes to generation, demand and balancing between 2010 and 2019.
(Published: January 2020)

Interconnector flows in and out of Great Britain
Great Britain is connected to the rest of Europe through five interconnectors, with a combined capacity of 5,000MW. Emma Tribe describes how much electricity flows on theses interconnectors.
(Published: October 2019)

Identifying Settlement risks just got easier
We have listened to concerns of BSC Parties and we’ve implemented two major changes that will help Settlement risk and error. Graduate Business/Design Analyst Callum Chalmers exlapins more. 
(Published: October 2019)

Sub-zero electricity prices in December
Too much electricity generation in Great Britain pushed prices sub-zero for 13 hours. Occurring on the night of 7 December and morning of 8 December, BSC Parties were paid to consume energy. Our Market Advisor, Emma Tribe, uses Elexon’s open data to explain why the prices were negative.
(Published: December 2019)

What is Driving Increases in Electricity Imbalance Volumes?
Daily average Energy Imbalance volumes have doubled between 2014 and 2019. Emma Tribe, investigates the drivers behind the increase in Energy Imbalance Volumes. The analysis demonstrates that increases in Imbalance Volumes have not affected the volume of energy used by National Grid to balance the system.
(Published: July 2019)

Imbalance Charging, where does the money go?
This article explains energy imbalance cash flow and how leftover amounts are redistributed among BSC Parties. It also highlights how we calculate payments that come in and how, as a not-for-profit organisation the way they are calculated means we receive no financial gain.
(Published: June 2019)

Imbalance Prices go negative on 24 March 2019
The 24 March 2019 saw the longest continuous period of negative Imbalance Prices since a single Imbalance Price was introduced in November 2015. In this article Emma Tribe explains what negative Imbalance Prices are, when they have been occurring, and what Elexon’s data shows about the trends.
(Published: April 2019)

Imbalance Prices with new CADL and DMAT
Emma Tribe’s insight article highlights the potential impact of changes to the De Minimis Acceptance Threshold and the Continuous Acceptance Duration Limit which take effect on 1 April 2019. The article explains the changes and includes interactive graphs to illustrate how these changes might affect Imbalance Prices.
(Published: March 2019)

What’s the impact of changing DMAT and CADL? 
Emma Tribe’s insight article highlights the potential impact on prices of changing the De Minimis Acceptance Threshold and the Continuous Acceptance Duration Limit.
(Published: November 2018)

Replacement Price setting the Imbalance Price
Emma Tribe’s looks at how often the Replacement Price is calculated using the Market Index Price (MIP). Where there are no priced actions, the Replacement Price sets the Imbalance Price.
(Published: July 2018)

Zonal Transmission Losses
Background information to the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) remedy relating to the allocation of transmission losses set out in the CMA’s report of its investigation into the energy market.
(Published: April 2018)

The Imbalance Price Olympics
Emma Tribe’s highlights how the Imbalance Price made a high jump in May as it rose above £1,000/MWh between 15:30 and 17:00. The high prices seen in this period were significantly different from £48.93/MWh, which is what the average System Price between 15:30 and 17:00 in May 2017 had been prior.
(Published: May 2017)

Elexon insights: P305 post implementation review
Emma Tribe’s review of P305 is provided to contribute to all interested parties’ understanding of the BSC Modification. The review presents factual information rather than an assessment of the Modification’s success.
(Published: February 2017)

System Prices

Sub-zero electricity prices in December
Too much electricity generation in Great Britain pushed prices sub-zero for 13 hours. Occurring on the night of 7 December and morning of 8 December, BSC Parties were paid to consume energy. In this Insight our Market Advisor, Emma Tribe, uses Elexon’s open data to explain why the prices were negative.
(Published: January 2020)

System Prices in 2018 
Nick Baker, one of our Market Analysts, takes a detailed look at System Prices across 2018. What does the data tell us and were there circumstances that impacted on it?
(Published: January 2019)

Negative short System Price on 18 September 2018
Emma Tribe’s article looks at Settlement Period 9 on 18 September 2018, when the System Price was -£6.25/MWh.
(Published: October 2018)

1 November 2018 changes to the System Price Calculation
Emma Tribe looks at how the November 2018 BSC Modification P305 changes can impact System Prices.
(Published: September 2018)

Impact of temperature on System Prices
Thomas Demetriades looks at how the temperature influences the System Price. When we feel more extreme temperatures (higher than 25°C or lower than 5°C) the system is Short in 66% of Settlement Periods.
(Published: August 2018)

How tagging changes the System Price
Emma Tribe’s takes a detailed look at how tagging affects the System Price calculation. By removing volumes from the top or bottom of the pricing stack the System Price decreases or increases.
(Published: May 2018)

System Prices from 2001 to 2016: a price for all seasons
Emma Tribe’s article, A price for all seasons, time travels with System Prices looking at seasonal trends from 2001 to 2016. It uses analysis from the System Price Analysis Report (SPAR) August 2017.
(Published: October 2017)

Supporting changes in the energy system

How flexibility markets could help trade in unused electricity and spare network capacity
Elexon is proposing that nationwide electricity ‘flexibility platforms’ are set up so that offers to provide ‘demand-side response’, or output from electricity storage facilities can be traded easily.
(Published: October 2019)

Elexon could provide settlement services for low carbon heat
In this Insight piece, Thomas Demetriades, Strategy Analyst, discusses the potential for more heat networks to be developed in Britain, and the support that Elexon could offer towards this. 
(Published May 2019)

Rapid decline in coal-fired generation
Angus Fairbairn, Market Analyst, looks at the data behind the major reduction in coal generation in Britain, which has been making headlines as the GB market aims to phase out the fuel by the end of 2025.
(Published: May 2019)

Our views on the next network price controls
In this insight piece, Jeremy Caplin, Market Architect talks about our response to Ofgem’s consultation on the methodology it will use to reset the network price controls from 2021.
(Published: March 2019)

Unlocking the benefits to end consumers
Nick Rubin looks at the transformations and challenges that exist in the electricity market and considers ways of unlocking the benefits to end consumers.
(Published: September 2018)

White paper on multiple providers
Jon Spence’s white paper offers an Elexon view of how BSC central services could be adapted to offer Settlement solutions in support of individual customers buying electricity from more than one supplier.
(Published: April 2018)

First day off for coal in 130 years
Emma Tribe and David Thomas write about Friday 21 April 2017, which was the first day in 130 years where no electricity was generated by coal in the UK. But what’s filling the gap?
(Published: April 2017)

Managing the BSC

Keeping costs down when Suppliers fail
Roger Harris looks at the number of recent Supplier failures and the issue of Supplier of Last Resort processes and costs.
(Published: March 2019)

Defaults and SoLRs increased in 2018
Emma Tribe looks at the data behind the increase defaults and the 1.85% of electricity meters that have been transferred to a Supplier of Last Resort in 2018.
(Published: January 2019)

Customer service

Reviewing our introduction seminar
Jessica Porter’s explains what is involved on the day and how we use the feedback we receive to develop the event further and ensure we meet customer needs.
(Published: October 2018)


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