London — UK electricity demand has fallen between 15% and 19% since the coronavirus lockdown March 23, electricity balancing and settlement code manager Elexon said Friday.
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In the week before the lockdown, demand had already fallen by 6% to 7% in a year-on-year comparison, it said.
In response, an Elexon expert group has agreed to allow estimated meter readings to be used in electricity settlement "to reflect known reductions in customer demand as a result of the coronavirus lockdown."
This would protect suppliers from additional settlement costs from using "business as usual" estimates not designed to reflect rapid market-wide changes in customer demand, it said.
When suppliers cannot get meter readings (as is proving the case due to the lockdown) settlement automatically substitutes the missing data with historic data.
Exelon's board of experts has agreed that, for both non-domestic, non-half-hourly metered sites (smaller businesses) and larger, half-hourly sites, suppliers can submit a new consumption estimate that reflects the current situation.
"Suppliers must keep a record of any evidence for reductions in consumption so that it can be referred to if needed at a later date," Elexon said.
"These derogations are practical steps which should help suppliers to ensure that evidence of falling demand is reflected in Settlement," said Elexon CEO Mark Bygraves.