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  • by Karma Loveday

Ofwat agrees amnesty on late meter read penalties for retailers

Ofwat has agreed a temporary amnesty on penalties for retailers who put late meter reads into the Central Market Operating System (CMOS).

On 1 October, Ofwat approved CPW072 on setting MPS 15 charges to zero. MPS 15 measures the time between a retailer’s cyclic meter read date and the date the meter read transaction is submitted into CMOS. (MPS 18 and 19 deal with missed meter reads for twice yearly or monthly read meters on the basis of expected rather than actual meter read submission dates).

MPS 15 has a service level standard of five business days and charges are applied as follows: five to ten business days at £0; over ten business days at £5. After the ten day point, therefore, the standard currently provides financial incentives not to submit a meter read, even though a late submission would better support data quality improvement in the market than no submission at all.

Following recommendation from the Panel, Ofwat will implement a zero charge policy from 1 November, allowing retailers to put reads they possess into CMOS with no penalty. It said this was a temporary solution and expected the Market Performance Committee to ensure trading parties are appropriately incentivised to submit timely and accurate data on consumption into CMOS as part of its wider review of the Market Performance Framework. “We recommend the committee think about the appropriate timescales for implementing these future changes, for example in April 2020 as stated in the final report,” it added.

• Ofwat also last week said it could not form an opinion on a Panel recommendation on Code Change proposals CPW068 and CPM017 which deal with revisions on the Market Incident Management Plan Committee. Roles on the Committee have proved difficult to fill and among the proposals was that the obligations of the Committee be removed and incidents be strategically managed by a ‘Market Operator Gold Command’ team instead. Ofwat raised various concerns and told the Panel to revise and resubmit a final report.

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