RECCo’s Switching Programme Implementation Project

What is the Switching Programme?

The Switching Programme is an Ofgem led programme that aims to improve consumers’ experience of switching energy supplier, leading to greater engagement in the retail energy market. For this to happen, a new, faster and more reliable switching process has been designed over recent years ahead of being implemented.

Leading this transformational Switching Programme, Ofgem, with the Data Communications Company as its delivery partner, will deliver a new Central Switching Service (CSS) to facilitate the new switching arrangements, expected to go live during summer 2022.

The Retail Energy Code (REC) places transitional obligations on market participants to facilitate the effective and timely delivery of the Switching Programme. As we move closer to go-live in 2022, it will govern the enduring operation of the new CSS.

You can find out more about the Switching Programme here or contact switchingprogramme@ofgem.gov.uk

What is RECCo’s role in the Switching Programme?

RECCo has established a project to support the implementation of the Switching Programme through CSS go-live to the end of the Post Implementation Period, during which the Switching Programme will ensure that the arrangements are operating as expected prior to exit. The RECCo project has been separated into 4 workstreams:

Workstream 1 - RECCo Strategic Oversight

This is an important workstream to acknowledge RECCo’s strategic role in the delivery of the Switching Programme, the transition through the Post Implementation Period and then the move into the enduring REC arrangements post CSS go-live. It will ensure alignment with the broader RECCo strategic objectives, that progress against the RECCo Switching Programme Implementation Plan is reported into the relevant governance groups and highlight RECCo’s acceptance criteria for Switching Programme exist as we move into the enduring arrangements at the end of the Post Implementation Period.

Workstream 2 - REC Code Manager Preparation

RECCo has in place a robust plan  with the REC Code Manager covering the new and amended activities that it will need to undertake from CSS go-live (e.g. change management, entry assessment). This plan support reporting into Switching Programme milestones and internal reporting. Code Manager is undertaking Business Process Testing and working closely with DCC and other service providers on operation readiness.

Workstream 3 - Enquiry Service Delivery

This workstream captures RECCo’s wider responsibilities under the Switching Programme as the Party Under Integration (PUI), responsible for the Electricity Enquiry Service (EES). RECCo became operationally responsible for delivery of the Electricity Enquiry Service role within the Switching Programme from September 2021. As a PUI, RECCo is required to participate in DBT activities and ensure the Electricity Enquiry Service Provider meets its requirements in preparation for CSS go-live i.e. involvement is various phases of testing. Whilst much of this testing is defined and underway, it is important that RECCo understands the scope of this role and supports the Switching Programme through the final stages of testing and the 2022 transition activities.

This workstream also covers the work needed to prepare for RECCo becoming responsible for the Gas Enquiry Service from CSS go-live. This includes putting in place a new contract with Xoserve for the service and ensuring that Access Agreements are in place with non-REC parties that want to use the service.

Workstream 4 - REC v3.0 Drafting

As part of the Ofgem’s Switching Significant Code Review (SCR), RECCo is developing the REC Version 3.0 drafting. The REC Version 3.0 related documentation will provide the governance for the implementation of the new Central Switching Service (CSS) and switching programme arrangements. Most of this drafting has now been baselined following industry review at Regulatory Design User Group (RDUG). RDUG members and agreement at the Ofgem led Regulatory Group. The baselined REC documents are available to industry participants via the REC Portal.

Progress and Updates

Stay informed on the progress of the Switching Programme Implementation Project with our Plan on a Page (PoaP). It includes current workstreams and timelines.

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How can I find our more information?

RECCo has been working closely with the Code Manager to ensure a communications plan is delivered for REC Parties to provide relevant training and information of what the implementation of the Switching Programme means for REC Parties.

If you have any suggestions for further training to support your organisation, please speak to your OAM or email enquiries@recmanager.co.uk.

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