Issue Resolution Expert Group (IREG) Update April 2016

IREG met on 13th April 2016 and discussed the following:

MIF194 – Naming conventions for Meter Register Id on smart meters

IREG considered a number of changes to the Data Transfer Catalogue (DTC), in order to enable Suppliers to fulfil a requirement to be introduced by the BSC Modification P302. The new obligation requires gaining Suppliers to send the old Supplier a full set of meter readings, including the 48 time of use register readings and the Total Cumulative reading. IREG agreed that a number of changes could be progressed and therefore, DTC Change Proposals (CPs) would be raised in order to:

  • Clarify the naming convention for smart time of use registers in the J0010 Data Item as 01 to 48;
  • Amend the J0010 Data Item notes to clarify the requirements for sending time of use registers on a traditional change of Supplier; and
  • Clarify that currently only the D0010 and D0300 Data Flows require populated Total Cumulative register information for a smart change of Supplier process.

IREG agreed not to progress a change to the D0149 and D0150 Flows and the Group agreed to close the MRA Issues Form (MIF).

MIF195 – Increasing the precision of data items relating to HH Advances

IREG discussed if DTC changes are required as an outcome of a recommendation proposed by the Balancing and Settlements Code (BSC) Settlement Reform Advisory Group (SRAG) report. The recommendation identified the need for changes to Data Items J0177, J0021 and J0281 and Half Hourly (HH) Supplier Agents’ systems, in order to allow HH consumption data to be collected to the nearest Watt hour. This involves increasing the number of decimal places when sending consumption data across the Data Transfer Network (DTN) from two to three.

IREG agreed that the changes could be drafted for all three Data Items, although the Group highlighted the need for a coordinated implementation for all changes across the MRA and the BSC that seek to address the outcomes of the SRAG report.

MIF196 – DTC changes to support the implementation of the SRAG recommendations

IREG discussed a number of potential solutions to a suite of proposed changes to the D0010, D0003, D0275 and D0012 Data Flows, and also a potential new set of Data Flows. These changes could enable Suppliers to:

  • Send HH data from Data Communications Company (DCC) enrolled meters to HH Data Collectors (HHDC);
  • Inform the HHDC of the Supplier read Schedule; and
  • Send a cumulative register read to the Licenced Distribution System Operator (LDSO).

Since there were a number of alternative solutions raised at the meeting to enable this information to be sent by the Supplier, IREG agreed to issue a Request For Information (RFI) to gain industry feedback on the best method. The RFI will be circulated following the meeting and the feedback received will be reviewed at the June meeting.

MIF197 – Mandating the secure sending of data under Annex A of the DTC

IREG_15_1209 requested that the MRA Security Committee (MSC) could review whether encryption is required for Data Flows that are currently sent between MRA Parties outside of the DTN. The MSC had provided some revised wording for Annex A of the DTC for IREG to review.

The Group noted the wording provided and discussed whether it provided additional clarity on how information should be sent securely outside of the DTN. IREG agreed that the wording reiterates the requirements outlined in MRA Clause 38 and therefore it may not be needed, noting that there are further considerations that would need to be accounted for if the drafting is inserted, including:

  • The resource implications on each MRA Party of catering for numerous different methods of securely exchanging data;
  • How MRA Parties could exchanging information internally; and
  • A potential assessment of each non-DTN Data Flow, to identify whether the risk of the data becoming compromised qualifies for a secure method of sending.

IREG agreed to conduct an assessment of the non-DTN Data Flows on an individual basis, to identify the security risks of each instance, at a future meeting. Changes can then be progressed to the Annex C rules or relevant MRA Agreed Procedures (MAPs) for each Data Flow involved as appropriate.

MIF198 – Assignment of debt in relation to customers who have a smart meter operating in prepayment mode

IREG considered the wording of MAP13 ‘Procedure for the Assignment of Debt in Relation to Prepayment Meters’ when referencing prepayment meters, noting that the defined term for a prepayment meter did not include smart meters that operate in prepayment mode.

IREG discussed that this clarification is important when developing the arrangements for change of Supplier for prepayment customers with a smart meter, since those customers would be initiated onto the Debt Assignment Protocol (DAP) and would need to continue to be included in the DAP when transferring to the new Supplier.

IREG agreed that since substantial discussions were needed to ensure that the wider change of Supplier process for prepayment customers is considered, a dedicated IREG meeting would be convened. The date of the meeting will be confirmed to IREG following the meeting.

MIF199 – MAP17 discussion regarding provision of information to raisers/sponsors prior to circulation of MDB papers

At the recommendation of MDB_16_0331, IREG discussed the provision of Impact Assessment (IA) feedback to raisers and sponsors prior to the circulation of MDB papers, due to a potential lack of clarity within MAP17 ‘MRA Agreed Procedure for Issues Resolution and Change Management’ on the process.

IREG highlighted that there should be a clear identification within the MAP of where a raiser or a sponsor of a change can view and comment on IA feedback ahead of circulation to MDB. The Group agreed this as there is a need for consistency and clarity on the opportunity for additional comments to be presented to MDB when voting on a change, which can assist parties in making a decision.

MIF200 – User message on ECOES

IREG was presented with an issue regarding the message displayed before viewing Metering Point data on the ECOES web portal. The current purpose of the message is to warn users that the data must only be viewed if they have the adequate permissions from the registered Supplier and the Customer.

IREG discussed that the message may be out of date, since there are industry processes that also require access to ECOES data, such as the process to resolve crossed meters within Working Practice 145.

A modification to refer to the Terms of Use of ECOES, located on the ECOES web portal, could assist in satisfying the new requirements of viewing the data. IREG agreed to review updated wording of the ECOES User Requirement Specification for this change at a future meeting.

Secure delivery of monthly ECOES Consolidated Report

IREG was updated on the implementation timescale for the alternative secure method for delivering the monthly ECOES Consolidated Report.

IREG discussed the phased implementation approach, which involved overlapping the current delivery method of DVD alongside the new delivery method of the file-sharing platform Huddle. The Group suggested that the timescale could include an opportunity to review the phased implementation approach and if it is successful, the DVD delivery method of the Report could be terminated.

The Group also agreed that a minor MAP15 CP would need to be raised to remove reference to the DVD method of delivering the Report.

One member suggested that for smaller parties that do not actively engage with the MRA Change Process may benefit from further notification that the DVD delivery will be terminated in the future. The Group agreed that a letter would be produced for distribution with the DVD on a monthly basis to remind parties of the change of delivery method.