Improving consumer outcomes and promoting trust

Dear REC Stakeholders,

The RECCo Board (‘the Board’) is committed to improving consumer outcomes and promoting trust in the energy market. It is developing a wider Consumer Strategy as part of its REC readiness programme and in support of this initiative, we are pleased to announce RECCo’s decision to establish a new forum to facilitate structured engagement between Price Comparison Websites (PCWs) and Suppliers to consider the implications of implementing Faster and More Reliable Switching.

Background

The Ofgem-led programme to introduce Faster and More Reliable Switching arrangements continues at pace. A programme re-plan activity took place in the second half of 2020, with a new Delivery Plan being approved in October 2020. The Delivery Plan is currently on track and has an ‘Implementation Window’ of 6 June 2022 to 15 August 2022.

In February 2020, a Consumer Journey Forum (CJF) was created, supported by RECCo, which enabled Suppliers to consider the implications of the new arrangements on the switching journey experienced by consumers. The CJF identified that there was a significant risk associated with the lack of any structured programme engagement with PCWs. A further risk identified, was the lack of any consideration, to date, of how the ‘front-end’ elements of the switching journey will be impacted, particularly the initial engagement with the end consumer, having noted that ~65% of domestic switches emanate from PCWs.

Energy UK facilitated two PCW / Ofgem / Suppliers events in July 2019 and January 2020, where it was evident that both PCWs and Suppliers had numerous views and concerns about the transition to the new arrangements and would welcome further engagement to consider how existing processes might need to evolve.

PCW / Supplier Forum

Recognising this feedback from its stakeholders, the Board has agreed to establish a new forum to facilitate structured engagement between PCWs and Suppliers. The concept of establishing such a forum has been under discussion for some time, and the Board hopes this initiative will be received by both PCWs and Suppliers as a positive way forward.

Next Steps

Before the forum activity commences in earnest, there will be a short preparatory stage which will focus on a number of activities including: promoting awareness and engagement, determining scope and priorities, developing and agreeing a Terms of Reference (with a clear set of objectives and deliverables) and the formation of a work plan and delivery structure. To provide some continuity from the work carried out to date under the CJF, the Board has invited Graham Wood to work closely with RECCo to progress this first part of the project.

The Board is keen to ensure that awareness of this forum is promoted and to invite all PCWs and Suppliers to engage. Please contact info@retailenergycode.co.uk with expressions of interest to enable the creation of a contact list for the forum.

I look forward to updating you on this important initiative over the coming weeks.

Regards,

Elizabeth Lawlor

Programme Manager, RECCo

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