Forecasting the usage of electricity is a big issue for the energy industry. The UK population is predicted to rise to over 70 million by 2028, creating more pressure on the grid at peak times. One of the ways the industry is addressing this issue is to collect more data from businesses on their energy usage. A energy mandate, P272, was introduced five months ago, requiring a further 160,000m to be upgraded to half hourly from April 2017.
IMServ, one of the UK’s largest energy data management providers, has asked some of its experts about P272, and how the roll out is going five months on. IMServ specialists Paul Farrell and Lorraine Smith have been working closely with industry partners to ensure the meters are fully updated before the deadline.
Paul Farrell, Partner Manager, IMServ, said: “The P272 legislation has been one of the biggest changes in the energy sector in the last decade. It has forced companies to look at data in a completely different way and offer customers a chance to take control of usage and spending.”
Elexon, who planned the rollout, is responsible for deciphering how much electricity generators and suppliers said they would produce or consume. Therefore, receiving half hourly electricity consumption data from around the country is vital to the operation of the wholesale electricity market and ensures the volumes of data are accurate.
Preparing major companies for the changes is something both Elexon, from an industry perspective and Paul from an IMServ perspective have been heavily involved in, although it is clear that many smaller businesses were not as well informed of the legislation, let alone the positive impact, than larger businesses.
Paul explains: “While the big companies could see the benefits and opportunities, the smaller companies weren’t as aware of the P272 changes. We see P272 legislation as very positive in terms of what the industry can learn and how they can start to use interval data productively – helping suppliers to match supply and demand much more efficiently”.
“Some companies have reacted with resignation towards P272, however, others realise it is mandatory and see the positives. You have to remind businesses that there is a positive story to tell at the end of it, with all the extra consumption information, companies can save customers a lot of money by utilising energy more efficiently.”
“In terms of seeing any major benefits for companies, P272 is very much in its introductory phase as it is a major operation that has until April 1st 2017 to be implemented.”
Lorraine Smith, Operations Delivery Manager, IMServ, commented on the challenges she has found five months down the line. Lorraine states that to see the benefits from the legislation you need to have all parts of the process aligned, which can sometimes be difficult.
Lorraine says: “It has been a challenging time, with a lot of effort going into engaging with the industry parties to enable us to meet the demand. One of the key challenges is ensuring we receive the data in time to process the transactions required in line with the transition dates agreed to with customers”.
Paul concluded: “On balance, suppliers are being very active; they are working hard to upgrade supply points to comply with P272 legislation. This is good news although customers should still shop around for the best deals on P272 meter operations and data collection services. There is a very limited amount of time remaining to upgrade these P272 meters. However I believe as the countdown winds down to the final 12 months, it is increasingly clear that more and more companies are appreciating the benefits.”