Meter Register Content Codes - Impact on Billing

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msouness posted this 29 October 2019

My interest in meter register content codes started with the configuration of register content for billing and reconciliation of network charges for an electricity retailer.  It soon became apparent that incorrect regsister content codes in the electricity Registry can stop a retailer from quoting, let alone switching and billing a customer.

At the back-end, retailers are charged for use of electricity network based on the volume reported against network tariff codes. Simplification of register content code mapping to network tariffs is another area of interest - as this can have a siginifcant impact on electricity retailer margin.

In order to place greater transparency on this issue, it is suggested that a MEP dataset be produced to indicate the party responsible for correcting incorrect register content codes and period of availability.

To this end, I have pulled apart a report from the "ICP and metering details" page on the EA's EMI website.  Data are originally split out into combinations of meter registers, with respect to individual price category codes.  For this analysis R statistical analysis software is employed to re-shape the data to facilitate counting of discrete register content code combinations.  

Some charts are presented for review.  I will attach the R code to enable other users to take a look throught the reshaped dataset.

NHH meter register content codes per network

Reshaped to indicate the portion of register content codes per network.

Portion of NHH meter register content codes

"I" flow register content codes with load codes instead of generation.  Should the customer be charged or credited for generation of energy injected into the network?

Where the correct "EG" register content code is applied to embedded generation, but the period of availaibilty is not 24 hours, this is also considered to be illegitimate.  In some cases this may be due to meter configuration of load periods to match generation periods.

generation register content code without 24 hours availability.

Where an embedded generation (EG) register is presented with load flow, should the customer be charged or credited for generation volume?

Load flow embedded generation EG registers

Uncontrolled registers with less than 24 hours availabiltiy.  Should the customer pay full price, or do they get a discount for lower availability of supply?

Uncontrolled meter registers without 24 hour availabilty

Inclusive registers with 24 hours of availability appears to be a contradiction - that being downstream controlled supply is available 24 hours per day - i.e. uncontrolled.

24 Hour All Inclusive meter registers

The presence of 24 hours of availability on registers with definitions other than 24 hours of availabilty is noted.

time constrained register codes with 24 hours of availability

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msouness posted this 29 October 2019

R code for transformation and analysis of Meter Register Content Codes using Electricity Authority data is now available freely on -> Github

Jonathon posted this 30 October 2019

The accuracy of register content codes is monitored through MEP audits.  Copies of the audit reports can be found on the Authority website at:  https://www.ea.govt.nz/operations/retail/audits-approvals-and-certification/audit-reports-and-compliance-plans/metering-equipment-provider/

The registry has also recently been upgraded to include a suite of audit compliance reports for reconciliation participants, distributors and MEPs. (userguide is available from https://www.electricityregistry.co.nz/files/User_Documentation.zip)

The MEP reports includes checks for some register content code combinations that are unlikely to be accurate. This includes looking at ICPs with:

  • only controlled (CN) reigster content codes
  • controlled load profile, but no control device
  • day and night registers, but period of availabilty is not 24 hours
  • day register with no night register
  • night register with no day register
  • inclusive regiser content code with inaccurate period of availability (IN24 or IN0)
  • uncontrolled register content code with period of avaialbility less than 24
  • uncontrolled regsiters, but a load control device onsite

Also I am not familiar with the data source you are using, but when developing the registry reports false we found false positives could be created when we looked at the metering installation level, so reporting had to be at the ICP level..  

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msouness posted this 01 November 2019

Hi Jonathon,

Good to hear back - I have used the EMI's published meter register combination per ICP and distributor price category to pull this information together.  One of the issues I had to deal with as a trader was the inability to quote customers on sites where illegitimate register content codes are in place.  This requires the quoting trader to add illegitimate register content codes (flow, content, poa combinations) to the billing engine.  Only after manual interaction can the sales team quote and initiate a switch.  This propagates further "bad data" within the system (now that a bad content code is "allowed".

In addiiton to your above checks, could you add flow direction?  The presence of X-EG-24 can cause nothing but grief - particularly for reconciliation where a process uses the flow direction for submission to NZX.

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msouness posted this 10 November 2019

On another note, I'd be interested in the number of meters still in Registry with a serial number including the text string "10E+".

I've seen this previously in Registry - which I can only assume being due to the use of MS-Excel for reviewing meter details before upload to registry.

msouness posted this 28 November 2019

The October 2019 meter dataset shows notable improvements within the HEDL, ORON and TPCO networks.

  • HEDL and ORON - Reduced Non 24H generation registers, and eliminated uncontrolled registers with less than 24h
  • ORON eliminated incorrect 24h register content codes
  • TPCO eliminated EG load flow registers.

This is good to see.

funcsol posted this 16 December 2019

This thread covers so many of my data consistency & quality concerns trying to generalize Retailer centric billing set up processes independant of the MEP. 

I have many edge cases & special rules to implement due to inconsistent metering event data configurations. 

for instance - X-UN-24 + X-CN-17 + X-7304-24

When I see this, should I expect a single Interval data channel to be transferred? Thats what is implied by this Metering Event Configuration. However paradoxically, I see Interval data flowing in for Register Channel Numbers 001 & 002 despite the MEP Event data only having a single channel with an Accumulator Type = 'A'

When reviewing Schedule 11.4 clause 7 (ref: Table 1.) I cant see that the legacy channel structure vs the AMI channel structure is defined anywhere? What consitutes a compliant Metering Event for an example such as the above? 

Ultimately as long as all MEPs maintain these events equivalently I would be in a position to build processes once, however the inconsistencies result in significantly more complex ICP management. 

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msouness posted this 01 February 2020

The 2020 Meter Register Review is underway.  

This week I have contacted every network in New Zealand, advising of their specific meter register issues and wide range of PoA for controlled load.  One has confirmed that approximately 40% of the register combinations on its network are legacy (out of date), and is investigating options to resolve this.  

At this stage I think it is realistic to achieve an average 30% reduction in the number of register content configuarions for individual networks.  This will simplify network billing, reduce EIEP1 errors, and improve the accuracy of customer billing.

Regards, Malcolm

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msouness posted this 18 May 2020

Time for a good news update on electricity meter register details.

The number of meter registers configured as IN24 (on active ICPs) has reduced by almost 95%, with an initiative that looks like it started mid March and continued into April.  In December 2019 the count of active IN24 meter registers was at 260,840, whereas April 2020 the count is at 14,958 meter registers.

This is GREAT progress.

Special mention goes to NPOW, MARL, WPOW and TPCO - where the count of IN24 registers is zero (according to the April 2020 EMI metering dataset).

Now we report on generation meter registers (EG24) with load (X) flow:

   TOPE, WAIP, MARL and TPCO have had and eliminated these since December 2020.

Load meter registers configured as generation (I) flow:

   COUP and TPCO have had and eliminated these since December 2020.

Uncontrolled (UN) meter registers without 24 hours availability:

   HEDL has elmininated these.

In January 2020 we saw an introduction of CN24 (controlled load available 24 hours a day) on POCO, CKHK and TASM.

   TASM has eliminated this issue.

Whilst each network is not directly responsible for the quality of meter data within the Electricity Registry, it is good to see a substantial reduction of the number of incorrect meter register configurations.

Regards, Malcolm

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msouness posted this 24 May 2020

Flow Direction errors in the Electricity Registry

Meter registers with incorrect flow direction indiciator stated in the record of truth on the Electricity Registry can:

1. delay mass-market customer quoting and switcing,
2. cause problems with billing, and
3. affect reconciliation to the market.

As at 30 April 2020, there were active ICPs in Registry with:

115 non-generation (UN, IN, D, N, WED, CN) register codes allocated with generation (I) flow indicators.  If it's generation, EG is the appropriate register content code.  Either the register content code is incorrect, or the flow indicator is incorrect.

meter-registers-generation-energy-flow-direction-not-generation
136 generation (EG) register codes allocated with load (X) flow indicators.  Assuming these are generation registers, the flow direction should be "I", not "X".

Generation-meter-registers-with-load-energy-flow

It is not unreasonable for these issues to result in customers being charged for generation and credited for load consumption, whilst the market may receive generation volumes submitted as load.

Elimination of these inexcusable errors will allow billing and reconciliation teams to focus on higher value issues.

Regards, Malcolm
221b Limited
021 56 5557

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msouness posted this 06 July 2020

I've just updated the "2020 Meter Register Review" spreadsheet with my interpretation of legitimacy of meter register configurations.

Includes count of register configurations per network from Dec 2019 to May 2020 (active ICPs only).

Available via Github.

Cheers, Malcolm

 

jofajafa posted this 21 July 2020

I would echo Malcolm's comments on the requirements that are imposed on retailers to make changes to accommodate "bad" format registers.

As this imposes a cost on the retailer to accommodate the changes, it also acts as a barrier to newer entrants to the market to effectively address the market in a logical, speedy and efficient manner. It therefore rewards older retailers who not only have these inappropriate configurations established within their pricing and switching systems but have perhaps been implicit in creating them.

It's worth noting that the Authority's strategic goals including "consumer centricity" and "thriving competition" are not well supported by this unnecessary complexity in processing and presenting pricing accurately to consumers.

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msouness posted this 21 July 2020

I believe that prior to Part 10 implementation, the Data Clean-up Technical Group (disestablished) attempted to sort out a lot of these issues.

The next couple of months I'm tied up with distribution pricing, so the 2020 Meter Register Review will be put on hold.  It's time for participants to take over and get meter register data sorted out.  Traders should be working with MEP's to resolve the following:

1. Incorrect flow direction on load and generation registers.

2. Metered streetlights should be configured with "SL" register content code, CN and IN and UN lead to confusion for billing.

3. Controlled load period of availabilty should be consolidated to those periods actually available on each network.  
    Perhaps the EA could publish a schedule of available control periods on each network?

Sorthing these things out will reduce billing complexity (and EIEP1 configuration) by about 40%, improving the accuracy of customer billing and network revenue.

On a separate note, it would be good to find out if MEP's can produce EIEP1 formatted meter lease invoices for Traders.  The number of different formats makes reconciliation of metering costs complicated.

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msouness posted this 4 weeks ago

While I'm waiting for some HHR data to arrive, I can't help but issue an update on the IN24 situation.  In December 2019, there were 0.26 million of these in Registry.  As at 31 July there were 26 IN24 registers on active ICPs across NZ.  Good progress, now lets sort out couple of hundred registers with incorrect flow direction.

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