Consumers could have specialist EV power suppliers or buy from neighbours under proposed new rules

Consumers could break away from having a single supplier for all their power by the start of 2020. An industry change that could take effect by then will mean customers can take some of their power from another supplier, such as a community energy scheme or neighbour, or they could have a dedicated supplier for one part of their usage such as charging electric vehicles. That opens new possibilities for competition, the industry believes.

The change will be enabled by a modification to industry rules proposed today by New Anglia Energy, which circumvents current industry processes that require customers to take all their power via a single ‘hub’ supplier.

Proposer New Anglia Energy says the modification (P379) “will address a significant barrier to competition in the market rules.”  It notes that although some schemes disaggregating customers’ volumes, “This is only possible on the basis of agreement between those parties and a single default supplier, and these activities are not recognised in the BSC market rules.”

The modification would introduce a new Customer Notification Agent (CNA) to the process – possibly an app or platform,  which will reconcile power flows through the meter so payments can be allocated.

The option was set out early in 2018 by settlements company Elexon (see our article from May 2018, Can Elexon crack open the energy ‘supplier hub’ model? Sign up to hear its proposals), which said system changes made to accommodate GB participation in European balancing markets (Project Terre) had laid the groundwork for the new approach. However, the market rule change had to be proposed by a Balancing and Settlement Code (BSC) party.

New Anglia Energy said, “given the importance of the work to deliver the joint BEIS/Ofgem Smart, Flexible Energy Plan, … we believe the solution should be developed and tested during 2019, with an initial desire to implement in early 2020.” Its proposed timeline would see workgroups assess the change and industry consultation made, with a final modification proposal submitted for decision in October. That could allow new offerings to be made to customers at the start of 2020.

Further reading

Follow the modification progress here