Decision for access to half-hourly electricity data for settlement

On 10 July 2018 Ofgem published a consultation on access to half-hourly (HH) electricity data for settlement purposes. There also had been stakeholder workshops in October 2018 to explore these policy areas in more detail.

In order to settle customers half-hourly, suppliers need access to their customers’ half-hourly data from their smart meter. Under the current rules, domestic consumers’ half-hourly consumption data can only be accessed for settlement if they have given opt-in consent, and suppliers can only access half-hourly data from microbusinesses for settlement if they have not opted-out. 

Decisions Access to data for settlement

  1. Ofgem confirms their proposed approach that there will be a legal obligation on the party responsible for settlement to process domestic consumers’ HH electricity consumption data for settlement purposes, unless the consumer opts out.
  2. Ofgem confirms their proposed position that there will be a legal obligation on the party responsible for settlement to process microbusiness consumers’ HH electricity consumption data for settlement purposes. There will be no opt out possible for microbusinesses in relation to data for settlement purposes.
  3. Ofgem have decided to rule out pursuing either of the enhanced privacy options as part of the Settlement Reform project.

Existing customers

  1. They confirm the proposed position that existing domestic customers with smart meters should continue to have their HH data accessed for settlement purposes only on an opt-in basis, or an opt-out basis for microbusiness customers, until the point at which the consumer decides to change electricity contract.


  1. Where suppliers are required to collect and process HH data for settlement purposes, Ofgem will also enable them to use this unaggregated HH data for forecasting purposes. Microbusiness customers will not have the right to opt-out of sharing their data for forecasting purposes. Export data.
  2. It is Ofgem's view that the opt-out available for domestic consumers in respect of sharing their half-hourly consumption data for settlement and forecasting purposes should not be available in respect of sharing their half-hourly export data.

Future review

Ofgem will be reviewing the evidence following the implementation of MHHS to understand if the access to data framework is appropriate for the system wide benefits to be realised. If not, they will amend our decisions as required. They will also set out their expected review date when publishing our final decision on MHHS.

Next Steps 

Ofgem recognises the need to ensure that the data sharing framework is designed to facilitate an efficient HHS system, which will in turn support a future smart and flexible electricity system. It is important to use all consumers’ data, with appropriate safeguards, to maximise these system-wide benefits which accrue to all GB consumers. As such Ofgem will keep the framework under review to ensure it remains proportionate, appropriate and allows for the benefits of MHHS to be realised. There remain some important design aspects of the MHHS system to work through relating to the implementation of the updated data sharing framework, beyond the headline policy decisions set out in this decision letter. These include, for example, the timing of the transition to the new data sharing framework for domestic consumers, as well as consideration in more detail as to how the opt-out mechanism for domestic consumers will work in practice.

The access to half-hourly electricity data for settlement purposes: Data Protection Impact Assessment, from June 2019 could be found here. 

techUK will be informally feeding into Ofgem's assessment. 

  • Teodora Kaneva

    Teodora Kaneva

    Programme Manager | SmarterUK
    T 020 7331 2016

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