300th meeting of the Balancing and Settlement Code Panel
Today (12 March) is the 300th meeting of the Balancing and Settlement Code (BSC) Panel, almost 20 years on from its first meeting on 18 August 2000.
The BSC Panel is a group of industry experts and consumer representatives. Its role is to govern the BSC and ensure that all Parties comply with the code’s rules. The Panel also assesses BSC rule change proposals (called Modifications) and votes on whether to approve or reject a Modification. In cases where the change has a material impact on BSC Parties, the Panel makes a recommendation to Ofgem on whether the change should be approved or not.
Important contributions to the electricity sector
Michael Gibbons, Chair of the BSC Panel, said: “Over the past 20 years the Panel has played a critical role in supporting and driving change in the electricity system. This has included helping the development of new electricity trading arrangements, measures to improve security of supply, and more recently, delivering changes which support innovation and the transition to a smarter electricity system.
“As an independent body which includes representatives from the industry, the regulator and consumer groups, the Panel brings a huge amount of expertise and insights to the decision making process. I am very proud to chair the Panel and I thank all Panel members past and present who have contributed to its work.
“The future electricity system promises to be technology based, with a greater focus on consumers. The BSC will continue to play a pivotal role in it. I look forward to working with Panel members and Elexon to deliver further changes to the BSC, which support a more flexible, decentralised electricity system on the road to net zero.”
Key statistics about the work of the BSC Panel
Over the 300 BSC Panel Meetings
- 284 Modifications to the BSC have been approved
- This includes implementation of 41 out of 43 Self-Governance Modifications that have been tabled. Self-Governance (introduced in February 2011) refers to the Panel’s ability to approve non-material rule changes itself
- 53 (of the 284) Modifications raised by the BSC Panel itself have been approved by Ofgem (where not progressed under Self-Governance) and implemented
The Balancing and Settlement Code Panel (Michael Gibbons is centre left)
Spotlight on the work of the BSC Panel
- In 2002 Ofgem approved Modification P108 ’Enable the BSCCo (Elexon) to prepare for the implementation of British Electricity Trading and Transmission Arrangements (BETTA)’. This followed a recommendation from the Panel. This change allowed Elexon to extend its vires and work with Ofgem in preparation for BETTA. It included planning the transition from the existing arrangements in England and Wales and Scotland, and the introduction of a GB-wide Balancing and Settlement Code.
- Following the banking collapse in 2008, the Panel worked closely with Elexon to manage defaults by some BSC Parties. Also, between 2018/19, the Panel, Elexon and Ofgem managed the exit from the market of 16 more Parties through the Supplier of Last Resort process.
- During 2013 and 2014, the BSC Panel gave advice (using Elexon’s expertise) to Government, in support of the changes necessary to the BSC and its subsidiary documents, to enable Electricity Market Reform (EMR) Contracts for Difference and Capacity Market settlement to be carried out by Elexon’s subsidiary EMR Settlement Ltd.
- In 2018, the Panel gave its backing to Modification P362 ‘Electricity market sandbox’, which was approved by Ofgem in August that year. This sandbox is a key BSC initiative to support innovation by allowing new and existing companies to test their ideas for a set period without having to meet the usual code requirements. It was the first of its kind to be introduced in any of the 11 major energy codes.
- The Panel has given support to Elexon’s plans for our technology transformation through on-going endorsement of our Foundation Programme, which is delivering our new digital platform. The platform will digitalise the customer experience and meter to bank business processes. It is engineered from the ground up to be flexible and scalable to adapt to new developments. As well as smart meters, these developments include increases in the number and type of participants in the electricity market, and changes in how electricity is settled. It will also allow Elexon to offer more efficient and effective BSC services to customers.
- The Panel is giving ongoing support to the industry’s progress towards Market-wide Half Hourly Settlement by responding to consultations and engaging directly with Elexon and Ofgem.
- In August 2018, Ofgem approved Modification P344 ‘Project TERRE’ following the Panel’s recommendation. This change also allowed Elexon and National Grid ESO to open the Balancing Mechanism to independent aggregators in December 2019, a ground-breaking change to support more flexible electricity markets. Project TERRE (Trans European Replacement Reserves Exchange) will create a pan-European market for trading electricity replacement reserves. Elexon is now working with National Grid ESO to deliver the second part of this Modification, which will support National Grid ESO in joining the replacement reserves market.
- In recent years the BSC Panel has, through Elexon, engaged closely with political and legislative developments in the European Union. This includes carrying out, and consulting on extensive planning to manage the potential impacts of Brexit on the electricity market arrangements.
More information about the BSC Panel
Visit the BSC Panel hub page on our website to find out more.