December » 2018 »

ECOES has transformed…

As I’m sure you are aware, we have recently bid a fond farewell to one of the cornerstones of the electricity industry, ECOES1. MRASCo chose to create a new iteration of the system in order to create a better interface for the user, developing a more intuitive system which worked better for the industry’s needs. But we couldn’t let it go off into retirement without telling you some of the systems greatest achievements.

Since the beginning of ECOES launch 16 years ago (that’s an incredible 5,902 days), it has served over 0.3 billion searches (356,597,058 to be precise) and revolutionised the energy industry, touching almost every process across every company in the sector. (more…)

IREG Update December 2018

IREG met on 12th December 2018 and discussed the following MRA Issue Forms (MIFs) and Electricity Central Online Enquiry Service (ECOES) changes:

MIF219 – Full review of the Working Practice Product Set

IREG considered whether to continue to progress with the MIF. It noted that new entrants and those not engaged at IREG are likely to follow the Working Practices (WPs) and may not understand what is now redundant or covered elsewhere. As such it agreed:
• the drafted Change Proposals (CPs) for all WPs that could be deleted due to redundancy; or that have already been captured as processes elsewhere.
• draft Change Proposals (CPs) to remove 4 Pre-Payment Working Practices as they were now redundant due to being for Token Meters.

MIF281 – Crossed Meters

IREG discussed the reason for raising this process as a MIF and the amendments made to the first version to include proposed process changes that had been discussed with Ofgem; and include other considerations such as ensuring the customers are central. IREG discussed that a definition is required to give clarity and noted that a process is set out in the current Working Practice which can be used as a start point. IREG identified that communication between all the multiple parties involved is key. A couple of options were initially discussed A) Development a new MAP based on the current WP145 B) Development of a new MAP taking account of REC design principles if possible. IREG agreed that development based on WP145 was preferable as may be quicker since there was a starting point. The group also had some initial discussions as to whether ECOES could be used similarly to the new work flow for New/Additional MPAN request process being implemented in February 2019 as all parties will have access to ECOES and be able to view all impacted properties. IREG agreed for a straw man to be produced based on Option A and considered at January’s meeting.

MIF282 – ECOES Change Process

IREG walked through the process for ECOES changes. It was noted that there are two types of ECOES changes: those which are tied to other MRA Product changes; and those that relate to user ability and security of the system. It noted that MAP17 (Issues Resolution and Change Management) covers the ECOES change process. IREG noted that MRA Development Board (MDB); were happy with giving it delegated authority in respect of any changes to the ECOES URS. IREG noted that the MEC approval step currently comes earlier in the process and agreed for the drafting to be amended and considered at January’s meeting.

MIF283 – ECOES to Distribution Third Party Systems

The Proposer highlighted that with the implementation of the new process for requesting additional MPANs in Feb 2019 that to make the whole end to end process quicker that they would like to explore importing the information from ECOES to their MPAN generation system. By doing this the MPAN created can then be added then be imported back into ECOES. IREG noted that some MPAS providers may not be ready initially to automate their process but may want to go ahead at a later date. This may be because they use different service providers. IREG agreed that the proposal should be investigated and for the ECOES URS to be drafted to include the new requirements and to obtain costs from the ECOES TSP.

SAFEGUARDING CUSTOMER WORKING GROUP

An IREG member advised on a recent workgroup that has been set up to discuss the Ofgem and Ofwat requiring water companies and energy network companies to work together to share PSR data to provide better support to vulnerable customers by April 2020.

The SCWG (Safeguarding Customer Working Group) is working with water utilities, DNOs and Suppliers to look at how the sharing of data between the energy and water sectors can be achieved. The proposed solution is to extend the current ways DNO’s share data, with the DNO being the hub out to Water companies.

Ofgem and Ofwat require water and energy companies to have the facility to share PSR data working by 2020. A pilot was set up to share PSR data using Excel Spreadsheets for 2,000 customers. Lessons learned from the pilot found as follows: “70% of data shared was matched without issue. There was a strong match on address data but there were a number of exceptions relating to individual names due to a lack of standardised naming conventions and a difference in payment responsibility. Due to the need to obtain explicit consent, these customers need to be contacted in order to verify them.

IREG discussed the fact that there are options under consideration which could use the Data Transfer Network to facilitate the transfer along with changes to the current codes used when sending a D0225 (Priority Services Details) set out under Annex C of the Data Transfer Catalogue (DTC) to incorporate any water specific ones.

IREG noted that there were a number of considerations that need to be agreed including; what the Governance arrangements are; how to manage Consent and when a customer withdraws their consent; changes to the Data Flow and Data Item codes and any contractual arrangements for Water Companies to use the DTN.

IREG were advised that the overall Panel that are over seeing these obligations are now reviewing the positions for each of the work groups set up and planning for the next steps.

IREG agreed that further discussions would be needed and to add to the January meeting agenda.

Next Meeting

The next meeting is scheduled for Wednesday 9th January 2019.