BSC Insight: Update on Settlement Performance during the COVID-19 pandemic

In this Insight article, Mehdi Jafari  provides an update on the Settlement Performance during the COVID-19 pandemic. This BSC Insight follows on from a previous BSC Insight we published to show how COVID-19 pandemic had affected suppliers’ performance in 2020.

Our analysis shows:

  • HH Performance of Import sites shows a slight improvement in 2021 from 2020;
  • HH Performance of Export sites was not affected by the Covid-19 pandemic and has always been higher than 99%. Note Elexon only monitor the performance of Import sites; and
  • NHH performance is also improving in 2021 from last year.

Listen to our podcast summarising the article


What is Settlement Performance?

It is not always possible to use data from actual meter reads in the Settlement. This is because data collecting from some Metering Systems is still dependent on manual reads and site visits. When actual reads are not available Suppliers have to estimate their customers’ energy volume and feed the estimated data into the Settlement Systems. The Balancing and Settlement Code (BSC) requires a specific percentage of actual data in the Settlement also known as Settlement Performance.

Settlement Performance can be defined as the proportion of energy a Supplier settles based on actual, rather than estimated, data. There are two types of Settlement Performance that Elexon monitor, Half Hourly (HH) and Non Half Hourly (NHH).  For HH Settlement, Suppliers are required to have at least 99% of their data feed into Initial Volume Allocation  run (SF) from actual data. In the case of NHH performance by the total energy settled on Annualised Advances, as a percentage of a Supplier’s NHH total energy. Suppliers are responsible for achieving NHH Performance Levels of 30%, 60%, 80% and 97% respectively in the First (R1), Second (R2), Third (R3) and Final Reconciliation Volume Allocation run (RF).

Half Hourly Performance

The graph below shows the percentage of data HH sites settled based on actual data during the pandemic. The graph can be filtered to show the SVA Export (Generation) and Import (Consumption) data or different Settlement Run Types.  It should be noted that Elexon only includes SVA Imports data in the monthly performance monitoring process and HH Export data have just been added to the graph for information. The time slicer also helps to see the data for whatever date range you favour. There are also five cards showing respectively the Actual, Estimated and Total Energy in MWh, Average Performance and percentage of Suppliers who met the SF standard target. Read more on HH Performance in

The data in the graph shows that HH Suppliers provided on average 98.77% of SF data from actual data in 2019, 97.61% in 2020 and 97.87% in 2021. While 41.22% of Suppliers managed to meet the 99% target at SF run in 2019, only 32.59% reached this target in 2020 and 32.88% in 2021.

SVA Half Hourly Exports

HH generation sites contributed to 26.14% of SVA HH data at SF run in 2019 and 30.43% in 2020.  There have been fewer impacts on SVA export performance from COVID-19 restrictions than perhaps expected. For example, while HH generation performance was 99.98% at SF run in 2019, it was 99.92% in 2020 and 99.90% in 2021. Even during the first UK national lockdown in March and April 2020, HH generation performance never fell below 99.32%. In 2019, 99.69% of HH Suppliers managed to submit at least 99% of their HH generation data from actual data. This percentage only fell to 98.38% of HH Suppliers in 2020 and 98.24% in 2021 showing the minimum impact COVID-19 restrictions have had on HH generation sites.

SVA Half Hourly Imports

HH consumption data contribute to 73.86% of SVA HH data at SF run in 2019 and 69.57% in 2020. It should be noted that PAB mainly monitors the SVA Import performance. While in 2019, HH suppliers managed to provide 98.34% of their HH consumption data using actual data, this percentage fell to 96.60% in 2020 and 97.01% in 2021. In 2019, 25.30% of HH suppliers met the HH SF standard target of 99%. This fell to 21.91% of HH Suppliers in 2020 and 20.66% in 2021.

In total, while 41.22% of HH Suppliers met the HH SF standard target in 2019, this percentage was severely affected by COVID-19 restrictions falling to 32.59% in 2020 and 32.88% in 2021. The weakest performance of 95.10% was in April 2020 with only 25.84% of HH Suppliers meeting the HH SF target.

Non Half Hourly performance

The graph below shows the performance of Non Half Hourly sites. NHH performance is the percentage of NHH data provided into the Settlement System based on Annualised Advance (AA) rather than Estimated Annual Consumption (EAC). NHH sites are households, small or medium businesses. There are also five cards showing respectively, from left to right, the AA, EAC, and total NHH energy in MWh, average performance and the percentage of Suppliers who met the corresponding NHH run type standard target. Note if no run type is selected from the filter the last card shows only the percentage of Suppliers who met the RF run target (i.e. 97% of NHH data settled based on AAs). Unlike HH data, we have not split the NHH data into generation and consumption as NHH generation contribute to less than 0.03% of NHH SVA data.


The dip seen in all Run Types (8 January 2020 for RF, 24 to 26 July 2020 for R3, and 2 November 2020 for R2) was caused by a data issue in the runs carried out on 24 February 2021 and this has now been resolved.

As data retrieval processes from NHH sites rely on in person activities, different NHH performance targets per each run type are set except for the SF run type which has not still been assigned a target level. For example, NHH Suppliers are required to provide only 30% of their NHH data from AA data at R1 run whereas this is 97% for RF run.

The process of NHH data collection and aggregation spreads across 14 months after a Settlement Date. The RF run for Settlement Dates in January 2020, carried out in February and March 2021, has seen a low performance of 94.96%. In spite of COVID-19 impacts, other runs have had a NHH performance above the NHH targets. The lowest NHH performance in R1, R2, and R3 was 39.26%, 65.33%, and 82.79% in March to May 2020. The percentage of Suppliers who met the NHH targets fell from 11.72% in 2019 to 8.19% in 2020 on average across all run types. The average performance also dropped from %76.03 in 2019 to %70.02 in 2020.

As we move towards the end of COVID-19 pandemic, the NHH performance is improving. For Settlement Run R1, the percentage of Suppliers who managed to meet the R1 target (30% of NHH data settled based on AAs) raised by 5.29% in 2021 compared to 2020. The average R1 performance also increased by 3.38%. For R2, the performance increased by 2.36% and 81.30% of NHH Suppliers managed to meet the R2 performance target, 7.02% more than in 2020.

Ending COVID-19 derogations: three month notice period from 1 July

As consumption stabilises, as we move out of the COVID-19 pandemic restrictions, the derogations from BSC rules put in place by BSC Performance Assurance Board (PAB) to help Suppliers cope with the impact of the restrictions have been ended. A three month notice period, which ends on 30 September 2021, is in place to enable Suppliers and Data Collectors to process updated EACs which reflect the current consumption levels. . Last year Elexon issued guidance notes on HH estimation and NHH estimation during COVID-19. The BSC PAP have decided to end the derogations taking into account feedback from industry and the loosening of COVID-19 restrictions. Read more on this here.

Elexon and the Performance Assurance Board (PAB) review performance on a quarterly basis and adjust our strategy based on the most recent data and our future expectations. We also look at the impact of estimations on the NHH market including the current decrease in the accuracy of estimates. The latest Thresholds Review can be found here.


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