The newly formed ‘Association of Independent Meter and Data Agents’ (AIMDA) has been launched to create a new industry body to preserve effective competition for commercial metering businesses.
AIMDA is made up of seven of the UK’s largest, and competing, independent non-domestic customer metering and data collection businesses.
The member companies include: IMServ Europe Limited; Energy Assets Limited; Siemens Managed Services; SMS Plc; Stark Software International Ltd; WPD Smart Metering Ltd; and TMA Data Management Ltd.
AIMDA is actively lobbying OFGEM and the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS) to influence government policy making, and so preserve effective competition for the benefit of the customer in the markets for energy metering and data for business users.
Government consultations continue to question the optimal operating model for delivering energy metering and data services to end user customers. AIMDA believes that competitive markets provide the most efficient and effective delivery of energy metering and data services.
As an example of this, AIMDA is calling for open access to the Data Communications Company to ensure that individual businesses can continue to offer settlement services and preserve the ability to keep competition and choice for customers; not a single provider but multiple service providers to choose from.
Steve Brown, AIMDA Chair and Managing Director of IMServ said: “AIMDA is in effect the meeting of the minds of competitor businesses that want to maintain competition, innovation, and customer choice for the commercial market sector.
“Together, we represent a major market share of non-domestic customer metering and data collection services. Our concern is of the erosion of competition through government policy making.
“We have formed this association to preserve effective competition for the benefit of the customer and believe that centralising energy metering and data services will stifle innovation and cost effectiveness for the business community.
“We want to work together to keep competition open, ensure innovation continues, consumer choice expands and cost-savings are the forefront for the business customer.”
Stewart Love, Group Commercial Director at Energy Assets, commented: “It is very important that independent meter operators have a platform to champion the consumer benefits associated with fair and genuine competition for advanced metering and data collection products and services available to business customers. As such, we are pleased to lend our support to AIMDA.”
The primary objectives of AIMDA are:
- To preserve and promote competition within the electricity and gas markets and in particular for (i) the provision of half-hourly settlement and (ii) advanced metering products and services within Great Britain.
- To collectively address regulatory and legal changes to the electricity and gas markets for in particular (i) the provision of half-hourly settlement and (ii) advanced metering products and services within Great Britain.
Members have been lobbying government individually for some time, and during this time BEIS has made the welcome announcement that energy suppliers will be allowed to continue to offer “group customers” a choice between an advanced meter and a smart meter.
AIMDA believes that as a collective voice it will be more able to fully describe the benefits of competitive markets and so lead to more positive announcements of this nature.