See our solutions to access the grid or the electricity markets - Cataliz View data published by RTE Download data published by RTE The library Develop your applications All news

The role of the distribution system operators

Distribution system operators play a vital role in enabling the demand response mechanisms to work properly. In particular, DSOs have to send RTE the following for each mechanism:

  • data about their network (sites connected, balance-responsible entities, etc.),
  • data about consumption or generation at the sites connected up to their network.

This data, together with the frequency at which it is sent, is different for each mechanism. The way in which it is sent is governed by the rules of each mechanism, together with IT rules.

The amount of data exchanges between RTE and the DSOs has increased over the last few years with changes on the electricity markets: the end of most regulated tariffs, the creation of new demand response mechanisms, the gradual opening up of mechanisms at the sites connected to the distribution system, the gradual introduction of intelligent meters, etc.

What challenges are associated with sending data?

There are a number of challenges involved in sending data.

  • A regulatory challenge on the one hand: providing transmission grid or distribution grid clients with data fulfils a transparency obligation and is part of RTE's and the DSOs' public service remit. More specifically, DSOs are legally required to send data to RTE, a requirement enshrined by the Energy code. Doing so ensures that all clients are treated fairly.
  • On the other hand, data quality is a fundamental consideration which has financial consequences: it enables stakeholders to access the electricity markets, as well as ensuring that invoicing is as accurate as possible. Sending high-quality data provide stakeholders with a more in-depth knowledge of their perimeters and enables them to send system operators more reliable forecasts.

Find out more about exchanging data

RTE provides guide pages to help you better understand how data is exchanged for each mechanism:



NB: This page only deals with the responsibilities of distributors in their capacities as system operators. Information about the involvement of distributors as market stakeholders (balance-responsible entities for covering power losses and stakeholders required to be involved as part of capacity mechanisms) is available on the various pages describing these mechanisms.

Appointing a third party to exchange your data

If you do not want to send your data or if you do not have the means to do so yourself, you can appoint another DSO to manage all or part of your data exchanges with RTE. To do this, you need to sign a power of attorney, and complete the dedicated appendices in the rules for the mechanism in question.

The principal DSO remains liable for any adverse consequences which may result from the execution or non-execution of all obligations, the aforementioned power of attorney notwithstanding.

Find out more about the demand response mechanisms

Electricity demand response mechanisms enable RTE to ensure that the power system remains balanced and to optimise the market. Each mechanism is designed for a particular challenge associated with the power system, over different time frames.

  • The capacity mechanism to make the electricity supply more secure over the medium term during winter peak periods;
  • Balance responsibility to financially incentivise market stakeholders to reduce the imbalances between injection and extraction;
  • Invitations to tender for FRR and RR capacity to ensure high enough capacity on the balancing mechanism;
  • NEBEF mechanism so demand response operators can value the curtailments on the D-1 and intra-daily market;
  • Balancing mechanism to compensate for generation and consumption uncertainties, thus ensuring balance in as close to real time as possible;
  • Frequency ancillary services (frequency containment and secondary reserves) to compensate for very short-term uncertainties by automatically activating reserves.


The IS guides for data exchange are available on the dedicated pages of each mechanism.


For more information, contact your usual account manager or email
For any technical problems in communicating data, RTE has a hotline that you can telephone on 0810 80 50 50 or you can write to