MHHS - a Q&A with Tristan Fowler

Nov 29, 2023

Written By

Lucy Willan

Office Manager

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In our recent blog post Head of Product, Tristan Fowler, talked about the benefits of market wide half hourly settlement (MHHS) for suppliers. As a follow up, we asked him to give a few words about ENSEKs’ progress on MHHS to date and a look towards what’s in store for 2024. 

(As background – ENSEK are participating in SIT, and part of the MHHS Fast Track implement group in partnership with our larger clients. We’re enabling them to be early adopters being one of the first IT providers though the gate with MHHS ready platform in Spring 2025). 

Tell us about the progress so far 

We’re going well – in terms of delivered, working software, we completed our component integration testing (CIT) in early summer and had achieved a fully working product in August. That has since been through pre-integration testing (PIT) and systems integration testing (SIT) and we’re due to commence formal programme system integration testing with MHHS on those components this month (November). 

In practice this means we have proven:

  • DIP (data integration platform) connectivity to DIP simulator 
  • proven all the relevant PUB/IF messages for suppliers using MHHS’s DIP simulator 
  • the ability to transfer HH consumption data to our SDS partners.
  • Industry standing data (ISD) download mechanism. 

Throughout this process we’ve also had our robustness as a partner assessed by both MHHS and the Ofgem appointed auditor with multiple lenses – through design assurance, delivery assurance and independent participant assurance. 

What’s next?

We’re now advancing well on completing the ‘functional’ side of the build in time for SIT functional to begin in spring 2024, by aligning all of our core business processes to the new MHHS operating model, with a number of testing readiness and milestones to be achieved in the meantime. SIT functional is a big milestone, where we start to get into the nitty gritty of process testing. 

Following that, we’ll be testing our migration and non-functional requirements and capabilities as we prepare for go-live in spring 2025. 

While our key focus for 2023 has been on SIT participation, we’re now well underway with considerations for our non-SIT clients, who will be starting their Qualification testing late 2024/early 2025.

What challenges have you experienced? 

The biggest challenge here is the robust timescales. MHHS needs to happen without delay, so there is very little time to spare in the programme’s timescales for suppliers. We’re having to operate a tight ship to keep up and we’re investing hard in the initiative to stay ahead of the group. Our teams are rising to the challenge and continue to deliver at the required pace.

We’ve been really pleased about the amount of documentation the MHHS programme has produced but getting this documentation read – on top of digesting all the content and discussion points from the working groups – has also been a considerable challenge. We’ve had to develop strong information sharing mechanisms to digest, decipher and disseminate the approach, impacts and information published. 

This work is not for the fainthearted I can tell you.

How should suppliers prepare?

For suppliers not participating in SIT, now is still the time to be thinking about MHHS, how it affects your business, how your business will look post MHHS and what partners you will use to help you transition. 

From our perspective, we’d advise our clients and other suppliers to make sure they are thinking about: 

  1. DIP integration
    Consider how they will integrate with the data integration platform. How seamless will this be with their existing billing, settlement, market integration and data insight platforms. Remember, ENSEK uniquely has all of this in one unified stack. 
  2. SDS/ADS strategy
    With data aggregator and collector roles being retired in place of data and metering services, who will your partners be? What services will you procure from them? How will your SDS access your meter point consumption data?
  3. Placing reliance
    Which elements of testing are you able to provide reliance on from your systems partner? Are your partners core systems and processes common between configurations to place reliance on that testing? This will reduce testing timescales during qualification. 
  4. Post MHHS world
    Which MHHS/energy 2.0 enabled products will your business offer to consumers and which opportunities will your business look to take advantage of? Remember ENSEK already has a suite of products to help suppliers leverage MHHS for their benefit – including gross margin, ToU tariff and billing, EV support and HH consumer insights app integration, with exciting plans for the post-MHHS world. 

ENSEK’s non-SIT clients have all been invited to our MHHS webinar sessions in December, where our product experts will be on hand to demo working software, walk through our MHHS feature roadmap and project plan, and take your questions. 

Any final words?

MHHS is coming down the tracks quickly. In 18 months, it will be here for all suppliers. Suppliers are hopefully well into their thinking and procurement now for MHHS system and services.

ENSEK is setting the pace, supporting some of the UK’s biggest energy suppliers and our platform will be the first out of the gates when MHHS goes live. For our partners, we look forward to seeing you soon for the MHHS working sessions. 

Any suppliers concerned about the level of engagement they’re receiving from their partners can contact us today – we’re putting in the hard yards now to make this easy, so you can focus on the exciting stuff. 

We’ll be in touch again before Christmas with a further update on progress as we gear up for a big year of SIT testing in 2024. 

Have a query? Click the link below to get in touch.