Issue Resolution Expert Group (IREG) update August 2016

IREG last met on 10th August 2016 and discussed the following:

MIF 206 – Priority Services Register

IREG recommended a number of changes to the D0225 (Customer Priority Service Details) Data Flow and J1699 (Special Needs Category) Data Item based on the proposals outlined in MIF 206 following Ofgem’s Priority Services Register (PSR) Review. Agreed changes to the D0225 Data Flow include:

  • amendment of terms from “Special Needs” to “Priority Services”;
  • addition of an optional Data Item to indicate expected end dates for temporary PSR codes;
  • addition of a flag to indicate whether the data subject’s consent to sharing their priority services information has been obtained by the sender;
  • moving of Flow Notes into Data Transfer Catalogue (DTC) Annex C; and
  • addition of new Annex C entries to clarify use of the Data Flow.

The agreed amendments to the J1699 Data Items include:

  • amendment of terms from “Special Needs” to “Priority Services”; and
  • amendment of Priority Services Codes to those proposed by the Safeguarding Customers Working Group.

Two separate Change Proposals (CPs) will be raised to progress these changes.

Further to the above, a separate change is expected to be raised to amend the D0225 Data Flow to be sent as a total refresh Data Flow, to replace the current addition/removal mechanism for amendment of applicable Priority Services Codes.

MIF208 – potential impact of high volume smart meter firmware updates on industry parties’ systems

MIF 208 was raised to highlight the impact of expected large scale smart meter firmware updates on industry parties, agents and systems, in particular the impact on the Metering Point Administration Service (MPAS) and the Electricity Central Online Enquiry Service (ECOES) resulting from the expected high volumes of updates to D0150 (Non Half-hourly Meter Technical Details), D0205 (Update Registration Details) and D0312 (Notification of Meter Information to ECOES) Data Flows following a firmware update.

IREG recommended that a new MRA Agreed Procedure (MAP) should be drawn up to outline processes to be followed during firmware upgrades to minimise system impacts. IREG further agreed to issue an RFI to obtain volume indications for planned firmware upgrades from Suppliers and agents as well as indications of system capabilities from MPAS Providers to feed into the new procedure.

Responses to the RFI and a draft MAP will be considered at the October IREG meeting.

MIF209 – Providing MPAS with SMETS Version data

MIF 209 highlighted that there was currently no agreed standard for SMETS version data stored in MPAS and validation rules around SMETS Versions and meter types were not clear.

IREG noted that the current J1839 (SMETS Version) and J0483 (Meter Type) Data Items were introduced or updated at a time when SMETS version information was deemed to be relevant to Registration processes. However, development of the smart metering programme and systems since the introduction of those Data Items may well make the communication of the exact SMETS version between MRA parties irrelevant beyond SMETS version 2, therefore not requiring any amendments at this stage. IREG highlighted that the potential impact on Registration processes of future SMETS versions would need to be assessed once details of the versions and associated changes were available, and a decision would need to be taken at the time whether or not any MRA processes would require subsequent changes.

Additional values for the J0024 (Site Visit Check Code) Data Item

IREG considered responses received to RFI_16_0608_10, which had been raised following discussion of MIF 203 at the June IREG meeting, as well as further input received from the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) with regards to the codes contained in the J0024 Data Item.

A number of parties noted that they would not use the relevant Data Flows during the smart roll-out as their use was not mandated and stressed that whilst BEIS seemed to be hoping to use the J0024 Data Item contents for reporting on smart meter installation failures, this was not a realistic expectation without an industry mandate to use the Data Flows. As a result, some IREG members questioned the benefit of the proposed change to the industry.

The proposer of MIF 203 highlighted the need for updated Site Visit Check Codes for those Suppliers who could not rely on their own meter operation businesses and noted that they would raise a CP to amend the J0024 Data Item.