Section W: Trading Disputes

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Section W: Trading Disputes

Simple Guide

Introduction

Section W of the BSC covers:

    1. arrangements for the resolution of Trading Disputes under the BSC;

    2. arrangements for the establishment and operation of the Trading Disputes Committee (TDC);

    3. actions to be taken upon resolution of a Trading Dispute; and

    4. the effect of resolution of a Trading Dispute.

Trading Disputes

A Trading Dispute is, by reference to an affected Settlement Period, any difference or dispute on:

    1. the existence, nature or effect of errors in the data and/or processes used for the purposes of Settlement (including data required under the Retail Energy Code (REC) which has, or potentially has, an impact on Settlement) or in the application of the rules for Settlement, to the extent that such errors might affect the Trading Charges determined under the BSC or the Settlement amounts payable (as provided for in Section N) in relation to those Trading Charges;

    2. the existence, nature or effect of errors in the data and/or processes used in determining whether and when a Trading Party is in Credit Default (as specified in Section M).

Note that Trading Disputes relate to the way in which the BSC rules have been applied (and the data used), rather than the BSC rules themselves.

A Trading Dispute does not include:

    • matters relating to whether (or to what extent) a Party is responsible for Exports or Imports (as outlined in Section K);

    • any dispute about the identity of the Registrant held in the Central Switching Service (CSS) for a SVA Metering System (which is governed by the REC);

    • any disputes on the charges payable by Suppliers which are specified in Annex S-1 of Section S; and

    • disputes relating to the underlying input data items used by a Market Index Data Provider in the determination of Market Index Data and/or to their inclusion or otherwise for these purposes (as opposed to queries by or between Parties in relation to Settlement as to whether the Market Index Definition Statement has been followed).

If there is any doubt as to whether a difference or dispute constitutes a Trading Dispute, which cannot be determined by the TDC, the Panel’s decision will be binding on each Party and the TDC.

All Trading Disputes must be raised and dealt with in accordance with Section W. However, if there are also connected matters that are outside the defined scope of a Trading Dispute, then the Panel can determine that this restriction does not apply, or alternatively that the procedures in Section W should be varied to co- ordinate with those for resolving the other matters.

Duties of BSC Agents, Elexon and Parties

BSC Agents must notify Elexon promptly if they become aware of a matter that could give rise to a Trading Dispute.

When Elexon becomes aware of a matter that could give rise to a Trading Dispute, Elexon will notify each affected Trading Party and the NETSO, and raise a Trading Dispute.

Parties must provide data, reports and other information required by Elexon or the TDC and must generally be co-operative in assisting in the resolution of a Trading Dispute and in the correction of a Settlement Error. Parties, Party Agents and BSC Agents are required to retain Settlement data for 40 months after the Settlement Day to which it relates to support the Trading Disputes process, in accordance with Section U.

A Party must raise a Trading Dispute within the Dispute Deadline. The Dispute Deadline in relation to an affected Settlement Period is:

    • the 20th Working Day following the day on which the relevant Settlement Run was carried out; or

    • where the Trading Dispute relates to SVA Half Hourly or Non Half Hourly, or Profile Coefficients or Market Domain data, in which case the deadline is specified in BSCP11; or

The Dispute Deadline must not be later than:

    • the day 20 months after the Settlement Day in which the affected Settlement Period occurred, or

    • if later, where the alleged Settlement Error is in a Post-Final Settlement Run, either:

i. where the Trading Disputes Committee or the Panel determine that there are exceptional circumstances, the date 2 months after the date of the Post-Final Settlement Run in which the Settlement Error first occurred; or

ii. otherwise, the date 1 month after the date of the Post-Final Settlement Run in which the Settlement Error first occurred; or

    • if later where the alleged Settlement Error is an error in an Extra-Settlement Determination, the date 1 month after the date of the Extra-Settlement Determination in which the Settlement Error first occurred.

Retail Energy Code

Information held in CSS, under the REC, as to the Registrants of SVA Metering Systems shall for BSC purposes (and at all times) be binding on Parties, be deemed to be correct and be ineligible for a Trading Dispute.

Information held in a Supplier Meter Registration Service (SMRS) as to the Registrants of SVA Metering Systems shall also be binding and deemed correct, unless it conflicts with the equivalent information held in CSS in which case (and in that circumstance only) it will be eligible for a Trading Dispute.

The Trading Disputes Committee

The TDC is a Panel Committee and is set up to:

    1. investigate and resolve all Trading Disputes;

    2. monitor the operation of and recommend modifications to the BSCPs covering the resolution of Trading Disputes;

    3. recommend to the Panel any modifications of the BSC and/or Code Subsidiary Documents arising out of the activities of the Committee.

The Panel can only delegate to the TDC the powers, functions or responsibilities which relate to the resolution of Trading Disputes.

Terms of Reference

The TDC Terms of Reference include the following:

    1. rules and requirements for the proceedings and conduct of the TDC;

    2. restrictions on the disclosure of data by the TDC which the Panel considers appropriate (including the requirement for a TDC Member not to disclose to his employer information obtained as a TDC Member);

    3. the process for identifying and dealing with the situation where a TDC Member has a conflict of interest in relation to a Trading Dispute;

    4. circumstances when other individuals can or must be invited to TDC meetings and their confidentiality requirements;

    5. functions of the TDC Chairman;

    6. the requirement to maintain and make available to Parties a register of decisions of the TDC and the extent to which the TDC must have regard to previous decisions in deciding any Trading Dispute;

    7. requirements (considered appropriate by the Panel) for the TDC Chairman and TDC Members to confirm in writing that they will act in accordance with Section W and the TDC Terms of Reference.

The TDC Terms of Reference can be contained in whole or part in relevant BSC Procedures and certain requirements within BSCP11 are considered as forming part of those Terms of Reference.

The Panel appoints (and can remove) the TDC Chairman. The TDC Chairman acts independently and has the general function of chair of the TDC plus any other functions that the Panel assigns to them. The TDC Chairman is not a member of the TDC and does not have a vote on TDC matters.

The Trading Disputes Secretary is appointed (and removed) by Elexon. The Disputes Secretary is not a member of the TDC and does not have a vote on TDC matters. The Disputes Secretary minutes the meetings of the TDC, but the discussion in respect of individual Trading Disputes is not minuted. The Disputes Secretary ensures that minutes of the TDC are circulated to TDC Members, the BSC Auditor and the Authority.

Representatives of the BSC Auditor and the Authority can attend any TDC meeting and are entitled to receive all related notices and documentation. The representatives can speak at the meetings but have no right to vote on TDC matters.

The TDC Chairman can invite any individual to attend a TDC meeting to speak on particular agenda items. Any such individual does not have a vote and is not a TDC Member. Unless invited by the TDC Chairman, no Party has the right to attend TDC meetings.

Any resolution of the TDC is determined by a simple majority of TDC Members present and voting (unless otherwise specified in the TDC Terms of Reference).

The TDC Chairman can postpone a TDC meeting or defer a decision except when:

    1. the circumstances giving rise to the Dispute are likely to recur until the Dispute is resolved;

    2. the next Reconciliation Settlement Run in respect of an affected Settlement Day is the Final Reconciliation Settlement Run.

Elexon provides the TDC with any support and facilities necessary and each BSC Agent must, when requested by Elexon, co-operate with and assist the TDC in the resolution of Trading Disputes.

The Trading Disputes Process

Trading Dispute

A Party may raise a Trading Dispute in respect of an affected Settlement Period if it has given notice, in accordance with BSCP11, to the Disputes Secretary within the Dispute Deadline. If the TDC determines that there are exceptional circumstances, it may waive the requirement for a Trading Dispute to be raised within the Trading Dispute Deadlines, providing it does not contravene the relevant Dispute Deadline date. Following the treatment of a Trading Dispute in accordance with BSCP11, Elexon may instruct the relevant BSC Agent to adjust Settlement in the next Settlement Run (if any) where it is satisfied that:

    1. the affected Settlement Periods claimed have been raised within the applicable Dispute Deadline (NB: only those Settlement Periods raised within the applicable Dispute Deadline will be adjusted);

    2. a Settlement Error exists;

    3. the materiality of the Trading Dispute is not less than the amount specified in BSCP11.

In advance of any instruction, Elexon will report its findings to the TDC at its next meeting. Should the TDC disagree that all affected Settlement Periods claimed have been raised within the applicable Dispute Deadline, Elexon will not issue the instructions. Where the TDC agrees that all affected Settlement Periods claimed have been raised within the applicable Dispute Deadline, Elexon will notify each affected Party of such adjustment to Settlement.

If the TDC considers that a Trading Dispute is of a vexatious or frivolous nature, it can require the Raising Party to pay Elexon an amount towards the cost of administration.

When the Disputes Secretary receives notice of a Trading Dispute, they check that it is a valid Dispute by making sure it meets the three Dispute criteria (i.e. raised with the applicable Dispute Deadline, there is a Settlement Error and that it meets the materiality threshold specified in BSCP11). If valid the Disputes Secretary copies it to each affected Party and relevant BSC Agent. If a Dispute is invalid the Raising Party is notified and the Dispute is closed, unless they choose to refer the Dispute to the TDC for decision. In accordance with BSCP11, the Disputes Secretary also obtains and collates information, representations and any necessary clarifications from affected Parties and BSC Agents and includes the Trading Dispute on the agenda for the next practicable TDC meeting.

Determination by TDC

The TDC can make any necessary enquiries and request Elexon to procure additional information when considering a Trading Dispute, and can decide to defer its decision until such information is provided.

The TDC determines, in respect of a Trading Dispute, whether or not the relevant Trading Dispute was raised within the Dispute Deadlines. Should the Dispute have been raised in the appropriate Dispute Deadline the TDC determines whether a Settlement Error exists and, if so, its materiality, and what changes are appropriate to correct it.

Following a TDC determination, the Disputes Secretary promptly notifies the Raising Party, each affected Party, each relevant BSC Agent and the BSC Auditor of the result (including the reasons for it).

Reference to the Panel

If a Party disagrees with the determination of the TDC, the Trading Dispute may be referred to the Panel. Such a referral must be made within 30 days of the notification by the Disputes Secretary of the decision (or non-decision) of the TDC in relation to the Trading Dispute. Alternatively the TDC, with the approval of all affected Parties, or the Panel can decide that the matter should not be referred to the Panel. If a referral is not made within 30 days or the TDC failed to reach a decision, no further action can be taken by the Party in relation to the Trading Dispute. The Panel Secretary will notify the decision of the Panel to each Party, each relevant BSC Agent and the BSC Auditor.

Where a Party disagrees with the TDC in respect to raising a Trading Dispute within the Dispute Deadlines and the Panel agrees with that Party or exercises its discretion, the Panel Secretary notifies the Panel’s decision to the Disputes Secretary and refers the matter to the TDC for a determination in accordance with BSCP11.

Arbitration

A Party can refer a matter which is the subject of a Trading Dispute to arbitration after a Panel decision in relation to the Trading Dispute or after a decision has been made that the Trading Dispute should not be referred to the Panel. Referral to arbitration must occur no later than 30 days after the relevant decision was notified to Parties. If a referral is not made within 30 days, the decision of the TDC or Panel will be final and binding on Parties. Section H contains further provisions governing arbitration.

Adjustments Following Resolution of a Trading Dispute

Note: References to Settlement Runs include Volume Allocation Runs.

If the outcome of a Trading Dispute results in a Settlement Error, the TDC may decide:

    1. that the error should be corrected in the next Settlement Run;

    2. that an Extra-Settlement Determination should be carried out (see below); or

    3. where a Trading Dispute is not resolved until after the applicable Final Reconciliation Settlement Run, either:

          • that the error should not be corrected; or

          • that an Extra-Settlement Determination and/or Post-Final Settlement Run should be undertaken.

Following a decision by the TDC or the Panel (if a Dispute is referred to them) that a Settlement Error occurred, the TDC determines the materiality of the Trading Dispute and in the case where it is less than the materiality threshold specified in BSCP11 the error will not be corrected.

Where the materiality of a Trading Dispute is not less than the materiality threshold specified in BSCP11, the TDC may determine:

    1. where the Final Reconciliation Run has taken place; that a Post-Final Settlement Run and/or Extra-Settlement Determination should be performed; or

    2. where the period to the next Timetabled Reconciliation Settlement Run (taking into account the materiality of the Trading Dispute) is such that an Extra-Settlement Determination is justified, that an Extra-Settlement Determination should be performed.

The TDC decides whether and when a Post-Final Settlement Run or Extra-Settlement Determination should be undertaken and whether a Party or Parties should bear all or part of the cost. The TDC can authorise a Post- Final Settlement Run up to 28 months after the relevant Settlement Day, no cut-off point is specified for undertaking an Extra-Settlement Determination.

Further Provisions

Reporting

The TDC provides a monthly report to the Panel detailing the number and type of Trading Disputes considered by the TDC in the preceding month, together with brief details of each Trading Dispute and the procedures or principles agreed by the TDC for the future resolution of disputes. This report can be provided to the Authority and each Party by the Disputes Secretary on request, by contacting disputes@elexon.co.uk.

The TDC also prepares the part of the Annual Report relating to Trading Disputes, setting out information on the number and type of Trading Disputes, details of outstanding and pending work of the TDC, procedures agreed by the TDC for future use and any other matter the TDC considers appropriate.

Recommendation

The TDC can recommend to the Panel that the BSC and/or any Code Subsidiary Document should be modified in order to remedy any error, ambiguity, inconsistency or deficiency contained in them which emerges as a result of the TDC’s activities. The Panel decides whether or not such a Modification Proposal should be proposed.

Co-ordination with Grid Code

The Panel maintains joint working arrangements with the relevant body associated with the Grid Code for the co-ordination of disputes that affect the BSC.

Need more information?

For more information please contact the BSC Service Desk at bscservicedesk@cgi.com or call 0370 010 6950.

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