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Special IREG March Update 2018

IREG met on 28th March 2018 and discussed the following:

MIF258 – Near Time Improvements to Electricity Meter Technical Details

IREG noted that MIF258 was raised following a request of the Ofgem Switching Programme and the MRA Executive Committee (MEC). The MIF seeks short-term improvements in Meter Technical Details (MTD) data quality by the end of 2018, as well as consideration of any longer term or preventative measures that could be introduced. Representatives from Ofgem, the Association of Meter Operators (AMO) and Meter Operators (MOP)s were present for the discussions.

The group discussed at length the scope of the reconciliation, what the definition of MTD was and what was achievable by the end of the year. Some potential quick win scenarios were agreed, where combinations of Data Items held in Electricity Central Online Enquiry Service (ECOES) would suggest an error or mismatch exists.

The D0312 (Notification of Meter Information to ECOES) Data Flow and its associated processes, including rejections was also discussed. Investigations by some members of IREG on some of the existing rejected D0312s had been inconclusive regarding the actual cause of the failure. Some more analysis was requested by IREG, on the rejection methodology in place for each of the eight rejection types.

It was agreed that a Request for Information (RFI) will be issued to obtain wider engagement on the Data Items validated ahead of a customer switch, the use of the MTC and how the D0132 processes are utilised. Some analysis will also be undertaken to identify if Parties and their Agents are using the D0132 functions available in ECOES.

Following debate on potential comparisons that could be done between data held in ECOES and that held by Suppliers and/or MOPs, an issue with access to the data sets to do the analysis and compliance with General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) was highlighted. IREG agreed that this should be taken to the MRA Security Committee (MSC) for advice on the security and data protection implications of accessing data for the work required.

MDB Update March 2018

MDB was held on 29th March 2018. The table below shows the Change Proposals, voting outcomes and implementation dates.

SummaryImplementation DateOutcome
DTC CP 3532 – Remove “Not Used” entries from J1811 valid set1st November 2018Accepted
DTC CP 3531 – Remove “Not Used” entries from J1361 valid set 1st November 2018Accepted
DTC CP 3534 – Update various flow population rules in DTC Annex C1st November 2018Accepted
DTC CP 3535 - Update D0367 population rules in DTC Annex C1st November 2018Accepted
MAP CP 0295 - Updating MIF process in MAP1728th June 2018Accepted

IREG Update March 2018

IREG met on 14th March 2018 and discussed the following MRA Issue Forms (MIFs):

MIF219 – Full Review of Working Practice Product Set

IREG deferred the paper until its April 2018 meeting.

MIF238 – Changes to WP152 Requesting Additional or New MPANs

IREG walked through the updated solution proposal for changes to the Electricity Central Online Enquiry Service (ECOES) to address comments received at the previous IREG walkthrough. Additional adjustments were identified. The Proposer agreed to raise these with the Technical Service Provider (TSP). Once the requirements have been finalised a quote will be obtained for approval of central funding. Further work will also be required to develop a MRA Agreed Procedure (MAP), incorporating the new ECOES functionality.

MIF243 – Adding Supplier as recipient of D0005 Data Flow

The Proposer advised IREG that this MIF was still on hold, pending a new MIF which will supersede it to review the fault process.

MIF248 – Plot Addresses

IREG noted that the MRA Executive Committee (MEC) had approved the ECOES reporting, along with the provision of the underlying scripts to parties. Another Special IREG will meet to consider the outputs and other actions associated with the MIF.

MIF253 – Adding Estimated Annual Consumption (EAC) to ECOES

This issue seeks to improve customer switching and calculation of consumer costs, and looking to align with the gas change already implemented to have the Annual Quantity (AQ) available. The Proposer advised IREG that they are still to consider IREGs comments from February’s meeting. IREG were advised that although the EAC may not exist after 2020, that this MIF might raise a short-term change, or the MIF might be withdrawn. The Proposer advised IREG that an update will be provided at April’s IREG meeting.

MIF255 – Raising NHH Export MPANs for Smart

This issue looks to implement defined response times for Distribution Businesses to respond to following a request for a new Non-Half-Hourly (NHH) Export Meter Point Access Number (MPAN). A higher volume of these is expected as part of the Smart Meter roll-out, to allow Suppliers to correctly manage microgeneration export. IREG walked through a ‘strawman’ of a new MAP, providing comments for the Proposer’s consideration. The IREG suggested that the Proposer raise a Change Proposal (CP) to take the changes forward, mindful of the timescales of progressing and implementing the CP if it has the targeted November 2018 implementation date.

MIF257– Meter Serial Number not on DCC Inventory

Meter Serial Number (MSN) is used on many Data Flows to provide a link between a meter and Meter Point Administration Number (MPAN). For Data and Communications Company (DCC) enrolled meters that data is unavailable on the DCC inventory, so when a Change of Supplier (CoS) occurs, it cannot be provided to agents to ensure the correct meter is linked to the MPAN. This MIF seeks to add the Globally Unique Identifier (GUID) to certain Data Flows so that the relationship is established. IREG noted that a similar solution was considered under the Smart Energy Code (SEC); all be it, to include the MSN in the DCC. However, this was rejected on cost grounds, even though it was supported by the industry.

Two options were presented by the Proposer. IREG commented on these, which the Proposer will consider and look to bring the CP drafting back to the April IREG meeting for comment and look to go out for Impact Assessment at the April MDB meeting too.

MIF258 – Near Time Improvements to Electricity Meter Technical Details

IREG noted that MIF258 was raised following a request of the Ofgem Switching Programme and the MRA Executive Committee (MEC). It seeks views on the potential scope and approach for reconciling electricity Meter Technical Details (MTDs) held in Suppliers and Meter Operators (MOP) own systems with those held in the ECOES. This near-term reconciliation seeks to address potential inconsistencies and obsolete MTD records that could have a negative impact on the reliability of consumer switching and billing, prior to the implementation of the new switching arrangements. The MIF also seeks consideration of dual fuel in any reconciliation exercise; and steps to ensure that the MTD quality is maintained on an enduring basis following the first reconciliation exercise(s).

IREG agreed that a Special IREG should consider this, with input from the Association of Meter Operators. IREG agreed that this Special IREG should meet on 28th March 2018, where the scope of activities will be determined.

MIF259 – Update Contact Types and their Mandatory Status

IREG noted that following the completion of actions to address MIF218 (MRA Industry Contacts); and ongoing maintenance of contact records by the Contract Manager, a validation and cross-check of the Contact Types that now exist in the Industry Contacts Database was performed against the equivalent SPAA schedules. This included identifying if the contact type was Optional or Mandatory for Suppliers and/or Distribution Businesses.

IREG commented on the appendix, which details the current list of Contact Types. This included:

  • Concern that smaller parties will have the same contacts at all levels, which in times of absence can cause issues. However, it was noted that most will have out of office notification with alternate contacts.
  • Noted that additional contacts were added to align with the SPAA; requested that it be raised with SPAA that it carry out a similar exercise.
  • Concern that parties that have completed Controlled Market Entry (CME) have not updated contact details where the company has been sold on.

IREG agreed to issue a request for information (RFI) after Easter and consider the responses at its May meeting.

Alt Han Media Release

Engagement event for new Alt HAN tender confirmed

Prospective bidders are urged to attend a Vendor Engagement event on the 28th of March by the Alt HAN Company, to learn more about the upcoming ITT (Invitation to Tender) for Operational Services, focussing on scope, requirements and the procurement process.

Operational Services will help support the delivery and installation of Alternative Home Area Network (Alt HAN) technologies to meet energy suppliers’ smart metering obligations put in place by the UK Government.

The UK Government requires that energy suppliers install smart electricity and gas meters and associated devices in all of their residential and small business customer premises within Great Britain (GB) by the end of 2020.

It is estimated that 5% of GB premises Standard HAN technologies will not connect all smart metering devices – Alt HAN technologies will be necessary to allow energy suppliers to complete their rollouts. GB energy suppliers have established the Alt HAN Company as a special purpose company to deliver Alt HAN solutions.

After engaging with potential vendors in 2016 through a Request for Information (RFI), the project developed a Commercial Approach and will soon release a revised Target Operating Model for Operational Services, that separates ‘lots’ of activities into two groups;

  • Service Management Function – Provides service user interfaces for all Alt HAN services, acting as the day-to-day operational engine room for Alt HAN including inventory management, supply chain and logistics management, data analytics, service desk and incident management, billing/reporting and IT/data hosting systems. Also coordinates activities of the Technology Services Provider and Building Surveyor (below).
  • Building Surveyor – provides a service to collect building survey data to inform the Alt HAN Classification Model and Technology Service Provider’s pre-installation activities.

To attend, please e-mail an Expression of Interest to and you will be provided with a summary pre-briefing document.

The event will be held at 1 America Square, 17 Crosswall, London, EC3N 2LS.

Special ECOES IREG Update March 2018

A Special IREG meeting  took place on 6th March 2018 and discussed the following:

ECOES2 Development

The group was given an update on the current position of the developments of phase 2 which are currently in test and expected to be released at the end of March.

A paper had been provided outlining some of the General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) considerations and data items held within the current ECOES1 version, such as “Date of Birth” and “Payroll Number”. These were proposed as not required due to being seen as “personal data”. One party noted they used the Payroll Number and it would be helpful to understand if other parties use either of these fields. If used, some action will need to be taken if the parties are slow in migrating from ECOES1.

IREG noted that there could be challenges for some parties who are yet to migrate to ECOES2 in meeting an end date of May 2018, if that was a desired outcome to meet GDPR needs. Notification may be required from MRA Executive Committee (MEC) to highlight any risks or potential non-compliance.

IREG discussed the letters produced by the Distribution Network Operators highlighting that all letters are still held in ECOES1, whereas in ECOES2 a change has been introduced to delete the letters after 7 calendar days. Again, if migration from ECOES1 is delayed a process will need to be added in to delete all the letters held, and then implement a weekly check to delete any new letters produced.

IREG discussed the 3 options provided on Access Controls for ECOES2. The group noted that although the ideal would be to have one option as ECOES is a central system, the reality was that many users who access ECOES may have company emails for internal use only. Thus, some options were still needed and it should be for each company to decide which option they choose in managing users and passwords, and it is for each company to manage their own GDPR and IT security arrangements.

IREG noted that the User Requirement Specification (USR) would need to be updated based on previous discussions on the Access Controls along with some checks on spelling and grammar. Some process areas were highlighted that require a wider post-implementation review such as Non-Domestic Customers (NDC), MRA Agreed Procedure (MAP) 14 (Procedure for the Allocation of Pre-Payment Metering (PPM) Payments Transacted Against an Incorrect Device and the D0312 (Notification of Meter Information to ECOES). IREG agreed for an updated URS covering all the agreed amendments will be issued as part of the post meeting documentation for review and final comment.

Next standard meeting

IREG will next meet on 14th March 2018.