The newly formed ‘Association of Independent Meter and Data Agents’ (AIMDA) has been launched with the objective of preserving effective competition for commercial metering businesses.

Made up of seven of the UK’s largest, competitive, independent non-domestic customer metering and data collection businesses, AIMDA sets out to actively lobby OFGEM and the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) to influence government policy making and to ensure effective competition for the benefit of energy metering customers and data services for businesses.

The AIMDA member companies are: IMServ Europe Limited; Energy Assets Limited; Siemens Managed Services; SMS Plc; Stark Software International Ltd; WPD Smart Metering Ltd; and TMA Data Management Ltd.

With Government consultations continuing 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 form of delivery.

AIMDA, for example, 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; offering customers not a single provider but multiple service providers to choose from.

'Competition, innovation and customer choice'

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.”

Chris Mawer, Business Development Director of SMS Plc, added: “We are pleased to join AIMDA – a group that shares a common interest in ensuring business consumers are given a clear choice on the metering technology available to them, and therefore ensuring they are offered the full range of benefits from the independent metering marketplace.”

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.

For more information on AIMDA, or our I&C metering services, get in touch. Call us on 02920 739 507 or email us and we'll get back to you.