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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 Early Life Support (ELS). This 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 and 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 longer-term planning for CSS go-live and beyond.

Workstream 2 - REC Code Manager Preparation

The objective of this workstream is to develop and deliver a robust plan and associated activities covering REC Code Manager responsibilities and Switching Programme milestones. A detailed plan against each functional area has been developed (e.g. change management, entry assessment) setting out when the code manager’s faster switching related processes become effective and when / how the associated business processes will be developed.

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). This workstream also acknowledges the enduring approach, whereby RECCo is responsible for the Gas Enquiry Service from CSS go-live, with RECCo involvement required to assess the service requirements that will be inherited.

RECCo became operationally responsible for delivery of the Electricity Enquiry Service role within the Switching Programme from September 2021. As a Party Under Integration (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.

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.

REC Version 3.0 drafting was consulted on by Ofgem in March 2021 and industry responses have since been reviewed in open forum under the Regulatory Design User Group (RDUG). RDUG members are continuing to scrutinise REC V3.0 Schedules and Service Definitions ahead of baselining under the Ofgem led Regulatory Group. The baselined REC documents will be made available to industry participants via the REC Portal as soon as they are available and the REC Code Manager will notify REC Parties once they have been published.

How can I find our more information?

RECCo is working closely with the Code Manager to ensure a communication plan is put in place for REC Parties to provide relevant training and information of what the implementation of the Switching Programme means for REC Parties and further information will be provided to parties over coming months.

If you would like to speak to RECCo on any of the workstreams, please get in contact with Andrew Wallace, our project lead, or the RECCo team at info@retailenergycode.co.uk

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