BSC Simple Guides

The Balancing and Settlement Code (BSC) is a lengthy legal document. The following guides provide a good starting point for understanding what each part of the BSC covers.

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Acronyms and Defined Terms simple guide

Words or phrases (other than headings or titles) that are capitalised in these summaries generally appear as defined terms in the BSC (either in Section X or in context in the Section to which they relate).

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BSC Framework Agreement simple guide

The BSC Framework Agreement is the agreement signed by those members of the Electricity Pool of England and Wales, BSCCo, the Authority and NETSO (previously Transmission Company) - known as the Original Parties) by which the BSC was made contractually binding the Original Parties in 2000.

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Section A: Parties and Participation

Section A of the BSC deals with Parties and participation. The main issues covered include the capacities that a Party may have under the BSC; the arrangements for admission of new Parties; requirements for Parties to provide information to Elexon, and to register with the Central Registration Agent (CRA); and provisions for withdrawal and expulsion from the BSC.

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Section B: The Panel

Section B covers the establishment of the Balancing and Settlement Code Panel, the appointment and duties of Panel Members, the powers and functions of the Panel, the proceedings of the Panel, Panel Committees, Annual Reports and the Annual BSC Meeting.

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Section C: Elexon and its Subsidiaries

Section C covers the constitution of Elexon and the obligations of the shareholder of Elexon; the powers, functions and responsibilities of Elexon; the management of Elexon; the relationship between Elexon and Parties; the Business Strategy and Annual Budget for Elexon; and Subsidiaries of Elexon.

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Section D: BSC Cost Recovery and Participation Charges

Section D outlines the recovery by Elexon through BSCCo Charges of BSC Costs, which are the costs that Elexon incurs in operating the trading arrangements. Elexon’s costs and the contracted costs of BSC Agents are paid for by BSC Parties as described in Section D of the BSC. The amount each BSC Party pays (Funding Shares) depends on their market role and the volume of energy they generate, supply or trade. Funding Share data by month can be found on the Elexon Portal.

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Section E: BSC Agents

Section E sets out requirements that certain services must be provided by BSC Agents; the role of Elexon in contracting with BSC Agents; provisions relating to the relationship between Elexon, Parties and BSC Agents; and provisions relating to the BSC Services Manager. The BSC requires us to ensure the services specified in BSC Service Descriptions are always delivered.

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Section F: Modification Procedures

Section F sets out the rules and procedures for modifying the Balancing and Settlement Code (BSC, the Code). This includes procedures for proposing, consulting on, developing, evaluating and reporting to the Authority on potential modifications. Section F also sets out rules and procedures for the creation and modification of Code Subsidiary Documents (CSDs) and provisions relating to change coordination and Information System (IS) Policies.

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Section G: Contingencies

Section G of the BSC sets out what happens in certain contingency situations and cross-references Contingency Provisions set out elsewhere in the BSC. The contingencies covered are certain emergencies and unexpected or unusual events, and include: failure of the Energy Contract Volume Aggregation Agent (ECVAA) to receive contract notifications (Section P); manifest errors in the submission or acceptance of Bids and Offers (Section Q); the inability of the NETSO to receive Physical Notifications (Section Q); Black Start Periods (Section G); and the exercise of certain emergency powers for civil emergencies and fuel security by the Secretary of State (Section G).

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Section H: General

Section H sets out arrangements for the initial establishment of Code Subsidiary Documents; the relationship of the BSC with other documents; arrangements that applied to the commencement of trading under the BSC; arrangements covering Default under the BSC; the ownership, use and disclosure of data; audit provisions in the BSC; the limitation of liability of Parties under the BSC; arrangements for the resolution of disputes; and the legal and contractual relationship between Parties.

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Section J: Party Agents and Qualification under the Code

Section J deals with Party Agents and how BSC Parties, Party Agents and CVA Meter Operator Agents (MOAs) Qualify to participate in the Supplier Volume Allocation (SVA) arrangements of the BSC. Unlike Suppliers and Licensed Distribution System Operators (BSC Parties), Party Agents don't sign up (Accede) to the full BSC. The main areas covered in this section are the activities undertaken under the BSC through the use of Party Agents; the responsibility of Parties to ensure that Party Agents perform in accordance with relevant performance levels; the Qualification Requirements which must be met by BSC Parties and Party Agents; and the requirement for BSC Parties to register Party Agents.

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Section K: Classification and Registration of Metering Systems and BM Units

Section K of the BSC deals with the classification and registration of Metering Systems, BM Units and Trading Units. The main issues covered include: identifying the Parties that are responsible for Imports and/or Exports of energy at Boundary Points; registering the Metering Systems that measure Imports and Exports of energy in the names of the Parties responsible for them; registering BM Units and assigning BM Units to Trading Units; registering the Metering Systems at Systems Connection Points in the names of the Parties responsible for them; the approval of Line Loss Factors by the Panel; and the process to be followed in the event that a Supplier Fails.

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Section L: Metering

Section L of the BSC covers the requirements for Metering Equipment; the requirements to install, commission, operate and maintain Metering Equipment for measuring Active Energy and Reactive Energy; and the role of the Technical Assurance Agent (TAA) in relation to Metering Equipment.

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Section M: Credit Cover and Credit Default

Section M covers the provision of Credit Cover by each Trading Party and the consequences in the event that this Credit Cover is insufficient. These consequences are primarily the refusal and rejection of Energy Contract Volume Notifications (ECVNs) and Metered Volume Reallocation Notifications (MVRNs) as provided for in Section P. Consequences of persistent Credit Default are also outlined in Section H.

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Section N: Clearing, Invoicing & Payment

Section N of the BSC details payments to and from Elexon Clear and Payment Parties for Trading Charges and Reconciliation Charges; arrangements for the Funds Administration Agent (FAA) to determine and notify Payment Parties of Trading Charges and Reconciliation Charges; payment procedures for the FAA and Payment Parties to follow; the obligations of Elexon Clear and Payment Parties to make payments for Trading Charges and Reconciliation Charges and the consequences of non-payment; and the basis on which monies and Credit Cover are held by Elexon Clear.

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Section O: Communications Under the Code

Section O of the BSC primarily addresses data communications and sets out an outline of the arrangements for Communications under the BSC; requirements to be complied with by Parties and Party Agents to be able to send certain Communications to BSC Agents and ensure that certain Communications are received; requirements for the form of certain Communications between Parties or Party Agents and BSC Agents; and the basis upon which certain Communications will be treated as received by a Party or a BSC Agent for the purposes of the BSC.

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Section P: Energy Contract Volumes and Metered Volume Reallocations

Section P sets out how Contract Trading Parties (Trading Parties and the NETSO), may notify contract volumes to settlements, specifically to the Energy Contract Volume Aggregation Agent (ECVAA). Two types of notifications, Energy Contract Volume Notifications (ECVNs) and Metered Volume Reallocation Notifications (MVRNs), are allowed and these can only be submitted on behalf of Contract Trading Parties by agents, appointed by the Parties specifically for this purpose, and known as Energy Contract Volume Notification Agents (ECVNAs) and Metered Volume Reallocation Notification Agents (MVRNAs) respectively.

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Section Q: Balancing Services Activities

Section Q deals with the submission of data items in respect of relevant BM Units in accordance with the Grid Code; the submission of Physical Notifications in accordance with the Grid Code, to enable Final Physical Notification Data to be submitted by the NETSO; arrangements for the submission by Lead Parties of Bid-Offer Pairs for relevant BM Units and for the acceptance of Bids and Offers by the NETSO; the submission by the NETSO of Acceptance Data for the purposes of Section T and Section V; the submission by National Grid of Balancing Services Adjustment Data; the submission by the NETSO to the Balancing Mechanism Reporting Agent (BMRA) of other operational data items for the purposes of Section V.

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Section R: Collection and Aggregation of Meter Data from CVA Metering Systems

Section R details the rules for the determination of Metered Volumes for the purposes of Central Volume Allocation (CVA) in relation to relevant BM Units, Interconnectors, Grid Supply Points and GSP Groups. These are collectively referred to as Volume Allocation Units in Section R.

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Section S: Annex S-1: Performance Levels and Supplier Charges

Annex S-1 defines Performance Levels or Serials required of Suppliers and their Supplier Agents, and the Menu of Supplier Charges that specifies charges to apply should each Supplier or its Supplier Agents deviate from these Performance Levels. The arrangements for the payment of such charges are also defined.

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Section S: Annex S-2: Supplier Allocation Rules

Annex S-2 sets out how the metered quantities for Metering Systems and for Supplier BM Units are determined by the Supplier Volume Allocation Agent (SVAA).

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Section S: Supplier Volume Allocation

Section S and its associated Annexes set out the rules by which Supplier BM Unit Metered Volumes are determined from a combination of Half Hourly and Non Half Hourly Metering Systems. It describes the obligations on Suppliers to provide data and to ensure that Supplier Agents (i.e. certain Party Agents - principally Meter Operator Agents (MOAs), Half Hourly Data Collectors (HHDCs), Half Hourly Data Aggregators (HHDAs), Non Half Hourly Data Collectors (NHHDCs) and Non Half Hourly Data Aggregators (NHHDAs)) undertake the requirements defined for them.

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Section T: Settlement and Trading Charges

Section T sets out how Trading Charges for each Trading Party and the NETSO are determined; the data required in order to calculate the Trading Charges; and the processes undertaken by the Settlement Administration Agent (SAA) in connection with the determination of the Trading Charges.

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Section U: Provisions Relating to Settlement

Section U of the BSC sets out general obligations of Parties and BSC Agents relating to data and information; and provisions relating to Settlement. References in Section U to Parties do not include Elexon or Elexon Clear.

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Section V: Reporting

Section V of the BSC sets out details of the Balancing Mechanism Reporting Service (BMRS) BMRS; and other reporting requirements from BSC Agents to Parties, the Authority and/or for public reporting.

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Section W: Trading Disputes

Section W covers arrangements for the resolution of Trading Disputes under the BSC; arrangements for the establishment and operation of the Trading Disputes Committee (TDC); actions to be taken upon resolution of a Trading Dispute; and the effect of resolution of a Trading Dispute.

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Section X – Definitions and Interpretations

Section X and its Annexes contain definitions of the terms used in the BSC and an interpretation of some of the conventions used within the BSC. It comprises Section X, which provides an interpretation of the legal standards as well as other terms and language used in the BSC together with Annex X-1: General Glossary, and Annex X-2: Technical Glossary.

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Section X, Annex X-1 – General Glossary

Annex X-1 contains General Definitions: in the Code and in each Code Subsidiary Document, unless the context otherwise requires and subject to any express provisions to the contrary, the words and expressions set out in Annex X-1 shall bear the respective meanings therein set out.

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Section X, Annex X-2 – Technical Glossary

Annex X-2 contains a number of technical definitions and acronyms applying within the BSC.  The information is divided between those terms used only within Section S relating to Supplier Volume Allocation, and terms used throughout the remaining sections of the BSC.  This is required because, for convenience, some definitions and acronyms have a different meaning between Section S and other sections of the BSC.

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Section Z: Performance Assurance

Section Z of the BSC covers the establishment of the Performance Assurance Board (the PAB) - its powers and functions, the duties and responsibilities of its members, and its proceedings; performance assurance procedures; Risk Management Determination (RMD) Queries and Appeals; and the administration and implementation of Performance Assurance Techniques (PATs).

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