Ofgem is consulting on the future of switching

On 21st May, Ofgem launched its consultation on the future of the Central Registration Service (CRS). This request for stakeholder feedback on the future of the CRS comes as part of a broader consultation that also considers future arrangements for the governance of the Data Communications Company (DCC). Ofgem is inviting views from people and organisations with an interest in smart metering, particularly from DCC customers, by 16th July 2024. This includes energy suppliers, distribution network operators, consumer groups, and other current or potential users of the DCC network.

We have summarised the CRS consultation below and fully support transferring the CRS obligation to the Retail Energy Code (REC) to be managed by RECCo. We believe this option will significantly benefit consumers and the industry.

Consultation summary

In the consultation document, Ofgem asks, “Do you agree with our proposal that it would be appropriate to remove the provision of the Centralised Registration Service (CRS) from the DCC Licence and transfer the obligation to the Retail Energy Code (REC) to be delivered by RECCo?” Ofgem then explains its rationale for this preliminary position and outlines the anticipated benefits, which include:

  • “With RECCo providing the CRS, governance and decision-making will be streamlined, allowing industry to have a greater influence on the delivery of the service.”
  • “RECCo will be able to explore options for service enhancements and redress.” Ofgem then gives a particular example to address quality improvement.”
  • “RECCo would be able to speed up the delivery of change. In particular, RECCo could use the Design Authority function embedded within REC Technical Services, which could remove additional steps from the current process and reduce layers of complexity due to RECCo not having to work through a third party.”
  • “We understand RECCo has been able to identify areas of possible cost savings, such as removing potential duplication of efforts and driving efficiencies within the Switching Operator role. This includes, for example, removing any additional management layers, or aligning the CRS technical services to other technical services within the RECCo catalogue. Further savings could be realised through the re-procurement of the main External Service Provider contracts upon their expiry.”
  • “RECCo is a not-for-profit organisation, meaning that no margin will be recovered, and these potential savings will be passed on to industry and consumers.”
  • “RECCo would be well placed to provide effective communication and management of incidents due to the organisation already having in place established channels of direct engagement with industry, for example the REC Issues Group.”

Next steps

RECCo fully endorses this view and believes that transferring responsibility for managing the CRS from DCC to RECCo would deliver significant benefits to consumers and the industry.

We would welcome your thoughts on the future of the CRS. We are also happy to discuss how we plan to approach the transition and future operation of the service for the benefit of industry and consumers to inform your consultation response. Please contact Lorraine Martin (lorraine.martin@retailenergycode.co.uk), who will be happy to arrange a meeting with you.

 

 

 

 

 

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