|Our REMIT magnifying glass - check whether your transparency website uses RSS feed!|
|Wednesday, 21 October 2015 06:00|
There are first regulatory interventions sanctioning improper disclosure of REMIT inside information, in particular, regarding the power plant unplanned unavailability.
It shouldn't be a surprise since the necessary content of such disclosure is sometimes missing.
The key dates approaching are 7 April 2016 and 7 July 2016.
A web feed is a data format used for providing subscribers with frequently updated content. Web feeds enable user's registering with a feed reader running on their own machines. The aggregator periodically asks the server if it has new content, if so, the aggregator downloads it.
This pull technology is considered to strike a good balance as it puts little burden on the publisher whilst remaining an efficient way to collect information for the recipient.
Market participants subject to REMIT disclosing inside information on their websites or service providers disclosing such information on market participants' behalf must provide web feeds to enable the Agency for the Cooperation of Energy Regulators (ACER, Agency) - a Ljubljana-based European energy market watchdog - to collect these data efficiently.
The RSS or ATOM formats are the two main and most widespread industry standards and ACER recommends them for instantaneous release of inside information once the Urgent Market Message (UMM) is published.
RSS format has been included in the ACER Guidance on the REMIT application (p. 44), which provides for a recommendation on the minimum quality requirements of the UMM fields.
The purpose is allowing easy and fast access by the public.
Moreover, pursuant to the ACER Guidance, inside information must be kept available for the public for a period of at least 2 years.
Also another ACER's document - Public Consultation Paper of 27 May 2015 (PC_2015_R_03) REMIT Common Schema for the Disclosure of Inside Information - refers, within the context of the inside information platforms and company websites, to the need to implement RSS and ATOM feeds to allow stakeholders to subscribe to them.
In order to define the web feed standard for the disclosure of inside information, ACER developed in the Annex VII to the REMIT Manual of Procedures on transaction data, fundamental data and inside information reporting (MoP on data reporting, version of 30 September 2015) three different XML schemas accommodating all types of inside information (for the detailed description of specific fields see the full version of the said Manual available on the REMIT Portal):
I. "Unavailabilities of electricity facilities" - This schema should be used when market participants publish UMMs reporting planned or unplanned electricity unavailabilities of any size that are likely to significantly affect wholesale energy prices.
II. "Unavailabilities of gas facilities" - This schema should be used when market participants publish UMMs reporting planned or unplanned gas unavailabilities of any size that are likely to significantly affect wholesale energy prices.
III. "Other market information" - This schema should be used when market participants publish UMMs that do not fall under type I. or II. Typically these are events that are likely to significantly affect wholesale energy prices but are less structured and less frequent by nature than unavailabilities of facilities (for example: reporting corporate or market developments, commissioning a new power plant etc.).
Source: Annex VII to the ACER's REMIT Manual of Procedures on transaction data, fundamental data and inside information reporting (MoP on data reporting), version of 30 September 2015, p. 73
ACER's annual report on its activities under REMIT in 2014 (p. 47) describes certain examples of the breach of the obligation for the disclosure of inside information.
ACER was notified by the national regulatory authority (NRA) about an investigation regarding a potential breach of Article 4 of REMIT. A market participant was reporting unplanned unavailability of power plants inconsistently and in a way that was not compliant with the guidance established in the ACER Guidance on the application of REMIT.
Some IT requirements included in the guidance (RSS feeds, 2 year history) were disregarded, and some content requirements were missing: timestamp of the publication, history of the publications about the same event. As the ACER Report indicates, the NRA questioned and interviewed the market participant, which committed to implement the required improvements.
So, the case ended relatively kindly for the market participant concerned, but do not neglect RSS feed, since there is no guarantee, the regulators' patience will be recurrent.
The obligation to disclose inside information, according to Article 4(1) of REMIT, applies from 28 December 2011 when REMIT entered into force.
The obligation to provide web feeds to enable the Agency the collection of inside information efficiently, as defined in Article 10(1) of the Commission Implementing Regulation No 1348/2014 of 17 December 2014on data reporting implementing Article 8(2) and Article 8(6) of Regulation (EU) No 1227/2011 of the European Parliament and of the Council on wholesale energy market integrity and transparency, OJ L 363, 18.12.2014, p. 121 (Implementing Regulation), applies from 7 January 2015 when the Implementing Regulation entered into force.
As follows from the ACER's MoP on data reporting (REMIT Manual of Procedures on transaction data, fundamental data and inside information reporting, version of 30 September 2015 (see box), the Agency's intent is to start systematically collecting inside information through web feeds on the basis of the standards and electronic formats described above as of 7 April 2016.
ACER expects, moreover, market participants disclosing inside information and service providers disclosing such information on market participants' behalf to report the information through web feeds in the standards and electronic formats concerned by 7 July 2016.
Another thread is the use of RSS feeds by transparency platforms, which, according to the ACER guidelines, are among legitimate channels for disclosing inside information under REMIT.
The aforementioned ACER's annual report on its activities in 2014 stresses (p. 58) that according to the requirements set out in Article 10 of the Implementing Regulation, the use of web feeds on the platforms' websites is mandatory, but, as of the date of the said report, such feeds were available on three platforms only.
Nevertheless, ACER mentions in the said report some other useful features that may further enhance transparency, which are implemented by operational platforms.
The exemplary means recalled in the report are the possibility of making historic data exportable to Excel as well as detailed filtering options that allow for the easier comparison and analysis of market messages. ACER acknowledges that other forms of data representation, such as the calendar or GANTT view, are also features that may facilitate the use of UMM data.