Streamlining the BSC and improving protection for Trading Parties

On 27 February, Elexon implemented seven changes to the Balancing and Settlement Code (BSC) as part of the February 2020 BSC release.

The BSC, managed by Elexon, underpins the commercial arrangements for the electricity market. Altogether, four Modifications (which amend BSC rules), two Change Proposals (which amend BSC subsidiary documents) and one Change Request were implemented.

Some of the changes will streamline the code for the benefit of existing BSC Parties and new entrants. One of the Modifications allows the BSC Panel to take faster action if an electricity company is at risk of financial failure, providing better protection from the cost of bad debt for BSC Parties, and ultimately consumers.   

One of the key changes (Modification P394 proposed by the BSC Panel) removes around 50 pages of redundant legal text from the code as the provisions have either expired, or have never been used by market participants.

Easier for customers

Elexon Chief Executive, Mark Bygraves, said: “Our customers face many commercial and regulatory challenges. Therefore we actively look for practical ways to improve the BSC and the service that Elexon provides.

“The latest changes, which are in addition to the 12 changes we made to streamline the BSC last summer, demonstrate our ongoing commitment to improve the code and ensure that it safeguards the interests of Parties and consumers.”

Details on the changes

Elexon schedules approved changes to the BSC and its underlying systems into three ‘releases’ per year to make it easier for industry to manage the changes.

In addition to modification P394, the six other changes in the February 2020 release are:

  1. P385 ‘Improving the efficacy and efficiency of the Section H Default provisions’ which allows the BSC Panel to take faster action if an electricity company is at risk of financial failure
  2. P393 ‘Disapplication of Supplier Charge SP01’. This charge is paid by suppliers if they do not routinely submit Performance Assurance Reporting and Monitoring System (PARMS) reports to Elexon. Supplier Charges are meant to compensate Parties that are disadvantaged by those that aren’t meeting defined standards. As non-submission of PARMS reports does not directly disadvantage other Parties, the charge has been removed
  3. P391 ‘Introducing Desktop Audits’ will expand the scope of the Technical Assurance of Metering technique to include optional desktop audits, which should be easier for Parties to manage compared with an on-site inspection visit. The change will also ensure that additional tools are available for providing assurance of Metering Systems, which helps to mitigate Settlement Risks.
  4. CP1519 ‘Treatment of Low Capacity Connections for Site Specific Line Loss Factor Calculations’. CP1519 will apply generic losses in Settlement for small supply connections that Parties may be using. This will apply for example to warning lights on top of wind turbines which need to stay on when the turbines are not generating.
  5. CP1521 ‘BSCP70 Amendments for Interconnector Administrator and Interconnector Error Administrator’. This will require both of these Parties to undergo Central Volume Allocation Qualification to ensure that they submit accurate Settlement data. This is important as there are plans for four new interconnectors, with the possibility of more in the future.
  6. CR389 ‘Changes to Elexon Portal Password requirements’. These are changes to the password policy for using the Elexon Portal, which will enhance security. All users who access the Elexon Portal via a web browser or by directly submitting data to comply with European Union REMIT rules (regulation on wholesale energy market integrity and transparency) will be required to update their passwords every 90 days.   


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