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UK regulator approves half-hourly settlement in retail power market

Highlights

To save consumers up to GBP4.5 billion

Incentive for flexible tariffs, products

Four-year roll out managed by Elexon

UK energy regulator Ofgem has given the green light to roll out half-hourly settlement across the retail electricity market, Interim Director, Retail, Anna Rossington said April 20.

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Ofgem estimated that half-hourly settlement would save consumers between GBP1.6 billion and GBP4.5 billion ($6.28 billion) by 2045.

"This decision marks a major milestone in the transition to the smart, flexible energy system essential to Britain achieving its net zero climate goals at the lowest cost to consumers," Rossington said in an article on Ofgem's website.

The move builds on changes made requiring half-hourly settlement for medium to large non-domestic consumers, and elective half-hourly settlement for domestic and smaller non-domestic consumers.

Half-hourly metering would lead to new tariffs and products, including time of use tariffs, automation, vehicle to grid solutions and battery storage, that rewarded the consumer for using energy more flexibly, Rossington said.

Implementation would take four and a half years, with completion foreseen by October 2025. Industry body Elexon would act as program manager.

Domestic consumers would choose how much smart meter data they were will to share, including an option to opt out completely, Ofgem said.

UK power market settlement reconciles differences between a supplier's contractual purchases of electricity and the demand of its customers.

Generators and suppliers trade electricity in the wholesale market in half-hourly periods. Most customers, however, are settled on a non-half-hourly basis using estimates of when they use electricity, based on a profile of the average consumer usage and their own meter readings, taken over weeks and months.