Spotlight On: the Digital Code

Using the code documents of the BSC is an important part of understanding how your company engages with the electricity market and how it remains compliant with the BSC requirements.

Previously Elexon published all the BSC documents as PDFs, but customer feedback indicated that a fresh approach was needed. So we developed the Digital Code site as a new way for you to read and understand BSC arrangements in a way that makes it easier to access what you need to know.

Our Document Management team upload code changes directly into the site, which are then automatically put through controlled workflows so that the Digital Code features can be applied. This means that maintaining the Digital Code requires minimal manual input, allowing us to scale and change documents more easily.

Get to know the Digital Code

The Digital Code includes the BSC and its subsidiary documents, such as BSC Procedures (BSCPs) and metering Codes of Practice (CoPs), as well as Simple Guides and Guidance Notes.

The Digital Code is made up of 364 documents totalling 10,000 pages – that’s equivalent to 25 packs of printing paper. Its size reflects the broad scope of the BSC, there’s everything from Change and Assurance arrangements to the detailed calculations of balancing and Settlement in there. Around half of the content is value added guidance to help you understand not just the ‘what’ and the ‘how’, but also the ‘why’.

You told us at the start of the year how much you value the guidance we provide around this.

Make the most of improved functionality

Speed and ease

The Digital Code brings with it improved functionality that makes it quicker and easier to get to the information you need, all without a login. Our research showed, against a series of benchmarked tests, that the Digital Code takes on average 50% less time to complete a task than the traditional PDF offering.

Improved search functionality

The powerful search feature allows you to search across the entire document collection. You can search specific document collections like the BSCPs or Guidance Notes, build up search queries looking for ‘exact’, ‘contains’ and ‘does not contain’ words, or do a general search using Microsoft’s powerful  Azure Cognitive Search to semantically search for phrases, key words or questions.

Unique features

Our defined terms feature underlines each defined term, and when you click on it the definition is displayed in a box in the right hand column – secondary definitions, for our power users).

The cross reference allows you to build a thread of up to five cross references meaning you can easily navigate from one to the next without losing your place. And you have control of where you want to see the reference (right hand column, new tab or pop up).

A customisable interface

The Digital Code is highly customisable, allowing you to resize the different zones of the user interface. You can toggle the main features, defined terms and cross references, on and off.

Development of the Digital Code

We worked closely with the Digital Code user group to develop the current system, and we look forward to working with interested users again as we continue to progress the Digital Code. We are excited about the future search enhancements we are currently exploring, such as filtering by industry role (e.g. Supplier or Generator) and the use of Natural Language Processing and Large Language Models. These branches of Artificial Intelligence offer huge potential for users to get the answers they need quickly and efficiently, while also saving us considerable time in maintaining the documents.

Give us feedback

We want to hear your ideas and feedback for the Digital Code to help us keep developing our system. Get in touch via email at [email protected].

Make a request for the Spotlight On series

If there’s an Elexon product or service that you’d like to us to feature in our Spotlight On series, please let us know via email at [email protected]


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