New digital version of the Balancing and Settlement Code is now live
This article, written by Lawrence Jones, Head of Rules Management at Elexon, talks about a new site we have built so that the BSC and related documents are available digitally. This helps companies and other people to browse the documents using improved navigation, web pages instead of PDFs, and a site search.
First version of the Digital Code is now live
On 31 March, we launched the first version of our Digital Code containing the most popular documents – the BSC, the BSC Procedures (BSCPs) and the Codes of Practice (CoPs). Over the coming weeks we will be adding the remaining documents, approximately 460 in total, equating to 9,000 pages. These digitised documents are easier for customers to navigate and for the first time allow customers to search our entire document collection, or specific types of documents.
Ease of use
It is of course possible to search the code documents already as the PDFs are on our website. However, you can only do this one document at a time. You would need to be determined and have quite a lot of spare time on your hands to search across the PDF collection. Finding a piece of information is also difficult if you don’t know the name of the document that it is contained in.
The feedback we received to our 2021 customer survey shows that BSC Parties want us to modernise our services. We also need to make it easier for innovators, some of whom may not have in-depth experience in the energy market, to understand which parts of the BSC they should consider when developing their ideas.
Future improvements and developments
The Digital Code allows users to complete searches across all of the code documents at once, or within specific documents only. This is the basic functionality that we wanted to deliver in this beta (prototype) version. We are taking an ‘agile’ approach to further development of the site during 2022 and 2023 by focusing on what will deliver the most value first.
For example, we want to use ‘natural language processing’ where the search tool on the site can understand human language as it is written. This will make it easier for customers to find what they are looking for without having to know the precise terms. We will make a Digital Code roadmap available on the BSC website this summer, with support from stakeholders.
Updating the code text will be easier
In the longer term, we expect the digital code to provide other benefits for our customers and for Elexon. When Modifications or changes to the BSC are implemented, we spend significant amounts of time updating the legal text of the documents. The digital code can reduce this by automatically identifying the relevant parts of the code that are affected by each change.
Join the Digital Code user group
Over the past year, we have been developing a new cloud-based data service (the Insights Solution) as part of the roll out of our new digital platform, Elexon Kinnect. We are working with around 160 people across the industry to develop the new data service, which shows how effectively we engage with our customers. We are taking a similar approach with the digital code, and we have set up a user group. If you want to get involved in shaping the next stages of the work, please sign up below.
Web portal for Modification and BSC change process
We want to make it easier for companies to raise proposals to change the BSC. Over the next year we will scope the possibility of developing a web portal for the Modification and Change raising process, and the Workgroup development process (where the proposals are debated and developed further).
Market participants could use the portal to raise changes without having to fill out template forms as they do currently. We could also use the portal to manage the workgroup more efficiently.
Over the coming years the energy sector landscape will continue to change dramatically, and major reforms to the BSC such as Market-wide Half Hourly Settlement will provide a spring board for more innovation and change. We must make it easier for companies to interact with us, and with the code, so that they can meet the needs of customers both for today, and in the years to come.