EDI done right adds value to the market

Nate Owen, Energy Services Group

Competitive energy markets across the country have chosen various data exchange protocols for the communications of customer information between market participants. In most of the markets across the country, energy service providers, distribution companies and other energy market participants are required to communicate this information via EDI. Statewide collaboratives, such as the Mass. EBT (Electronic Business Transaction) working group, the Pa. EDEWG (Electronic Data Exchange Working Group) or ERCOT SET (Standard Electronic Transactions), have spent the past several years laboriously developing the standards that are to be used within their competitive natural gas and electricity markets.

While EDI by itself is expensive and a challenge, it’s use in energy markets is particularly challenging. There are myriad business rules that mandate the use of EDI, and these business rules vary by state, by commodity (natural gas or electricity) and by trading partner. So, if you are an energy company, and you want to sell, transport or deliver wholesale or retail megawatts or BTUs, you must be able to not only process EDI, but also do so in the manner prescribed by the state, trading partner or commodity with which you do business.There can be significant financial liabilities associated with not following the rules.

Processing data according to these rules is our challenge, and a significant one, but it is also of commensurate value to the market.

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