ACT NOW: BEIS opens market engagement on contract to design an alternative energy market

BEIS has opened early market engagement on its plans to explore new types of energy market.
The department is looking at an alternative system of network and policy price signals. It wants to know what the signals might look like, whether they could be trialled in a real-world environment, how to undertake any potential trial, and how energy suppliers and consumers might respond within a trial. The Department has already launched a tender on 17 March (AEM Energy Price Signals Study) for an evidence study which will explore innovative price signal regimes for policy and network costs for domestic consumers.
The next contract in the programme will be for AEM Design, Delivery, Research and Evaluation, including administration of the testing environment, developing any required digital tools and analysing energy use data received from energy suppliers.
BEIS wants to gauge market interest in applying for this contract in its current format. It says that aggregating requirements could provide efficiencies and it wants thoughts on whether this is feasible and on how the Department.
Now it wants to gather market feedback on the proposed contract activities, timelines, and phases. It also wants feedback on the trial research and evaluation workstream and the viability of a winning bidder (or consortium) being able to deliver both the quantitative and qualitative research, or whether the qualitative research should sit as a separate contract.
In the contract the first (Discovery) phase would be to identify requirements for data collection and management, recruitment strategy and consumer protection, and a digital tool to administer a trial of alternative policy and networks price signals.
The second (Alpha) phase will centre around the development of the tools and strategies required to administer a large-scale trial with energy suppliers. This includes developing recruitment and consumer protection to bring suppliers onto the trial and to ensure all targeted consumer groups are recruited, and developing a data management strategy and a data analysis plan for ‘output’ data. That includes developing digital tools to administer the trial and satisfy data management requirements
The goal of the final (Trial) phase would be to deploy those solutions in a real-world testing environment by engaging with energy suppliers. This could entail:
• liaising with energy suppliers to mobilise consumers onto an AEM trial and manage their participation
• deploying the digital tool to administer and manage the real-world testing environment
• analysing trial data, including but not limited to analysing energy consumption and accrued funding requirement for alternative charges
• administration of a BEIS budget to cover funding requirement for alternative charges.
Only energy suppliers will be able to develop and offer products and services to participating consumers as part of the potential trial, however energy suppliers can work with other energy stakeholders to develop products and services they would offer to consumers as part of the potential trial.
A research and evaluation workstream will therefore be developed and delivered in parallel to the trial and will consist of both quantitative and qualitative data collection, analysis and reporting. BEIS wants the winning bidder to deliver both the quantitative and qualitative research required of this programme.
The projects will kick off in October or November this year with phase 1 lasting until February or March 2022.
The trial phase could last from September 2022 to February 2025.
Interested parties should email [email protected] titling the email “Early Market Engagement Response’ and including the company name.
The deadline for responses is 5pm on 18 June.

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