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To perform an activity on the French electricity market (generate, consume, sell, purchase, import, export…), you must designate a balance responsible party or become a balance responsible party.

On any electric system, power generated must be maintained in constant equilibrium with power consumed. In France, the regulation places the following responsibilities on stakeholders:

  • Until real time (start of the half-hourly interval of delivery), balance responsible parties must ensure adequacy between injections and extractions within their balance perimeter. Any imbalances detected after reading data from the network (metering data) are subsequently invoiced.
  • RTE is responsible for the physical equilibrium of the network. For this reason, if all the balance responsible parties are in overall imbalance, RTE calls on balancing capacities (balancing operations or frequency ancillary services) to resolve this. Balancing costs are borne by balance responsible parties in imbalance.

For each imbalance settlement period, the balance responsible party is a market player who therefore bears the proportional cost of balancing the French electricity system caused by the imbalance between the injections and extractions of its balance perimeter.

Furthermore a balance responsible party may amend the injection and extraction volumes of its perimeter before the half-hourly interval of delivery, via the block exchange system

The reconstitution of flows: how are balance responsible parties’ imbalances calculated?

Each balance responsible party must declare to RTE and, where appropriate, to distribution system operators, the elements of injection and withdrawal that comprise its balance perimeter.

These elements may be:

  • transactional (block exchanges, import/export transactions, purchases/sales on markets…),
  • or physical (generation/consumption sites).

The calculation of imbalances is based on a process of reconstitution of flows (injection and extraction): it involves sharing data from the public transmission system to the public distribution system. This process is carried out by RTE and distribution system operators. It is based on:

  • data from meters,
  • declared schedules sent by the market participants.

Every month and for each imbalance settlement period (today every half hour), RTE calculates the balance responsible parties’ imbalances and invoices them the imbalance settlement price.

Contracting with RTE

To become a balance responsible party, you must comply with the Chapter 3 "Balance Responsible Party System" of the Market Rules, established in consultation with the market participants and approved by the French Energy Regulatory Commission, by signing a participation agreement as balance responsible party. 

To do this, you must:

1. Fill in the online questionnaire designed to verify the applicant’s suitability, then sign the document version (Appendix 3.A2) which will be sent to you.

2. If you do not have an EIC code yet, you can apply with the online form.

3. Fill in the application form to become a balance responsible party. This form is also available in the MA-RE Terms and Conditions (Appendix 3.A1).

4. Send the documents and information listed in Appendix 3.A1.

5. Complete and send the following document: elements required to fulfil the participation agreement, which will be used to establish your contract (Appendix 3.A3).

6. Establish a bank guaranty, strictly identical with requested model (Appendix 0.A4 in the "General Provisions" of the Market Rules), with the minimum amount stipulated in the table in Article 3.0.1 of Chapter 3 "Balance Responsible Party System" of the Market Rules. 

7. If applicable, sign a contract with the distribution system operator on which you have generation or consumption assets (list of DSOs).

8. Declare the elements connected to the PTS that make up your balance perimeter using Appendix 3.A5 of Chapter 3 "Balance Responsible Party System" of the Market Rules. These documents must be sent to RTE. 

9. Where applicable, declare to the DSO the components of your balance perimeter connected to its network using appendices 3.AA of "Balance Responsible Party System" of the Market Rules. These documents must be sent to the DSO, in accordance with the data exchange procedures specified by the DSO. 

To designate a balance responsible party, we invite you to consult the balance responsible parties' list and fill Appendix 3.A5 of Chapter 3 "Balance Responsible Party System" of the Market Rules. 

Your services as a balance responsible party

RTE offers a set of services for balance responsible parties to optimise the management of their balance perimeters, including:

To access these services, you may need to create an account and/or hold a PKI certificate.

Costs related to balance responsibility

In addition to imbalance invoices calculated each month, balance responsible parties are charged for management fees related to their portfolio of activity in respect of annex services:

  • 77€/month for each export transaction and each import transaction on a given border and delivery date, in month M-1 (interconnections),
  • 7.5€ for each validated block exchange schedule per counterparty and per direction for a day D.

Finally, the volume of physical consumption of each balance responsible party is subject to a monthly payment to RTE, a function of factor "c".  This purpose of this factor is to cover the costs borne by RTE according to the procedures laid down in article L. 321-12 of the French Energy Code.

Since 1 February 2017, factor "c" is equal to 0, therefore the price applied is 0 €/MWh.

Reference documentation


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Additionnal information