We are over two months into Retail Code Consolidation and the go-live of our new services. We are pleased to report that our Hypercare support arrangements supporting the go-live of the REC Code Manager service concluded at the end of October, with significant progress being made to resolve all high priority issues. We are now within a period of post implementation enhancements, working with the Code Manager to prioritise and put in place further service improvements, including across the Portal, Service Desk and EMAR, with monthly releases planned until February 2022. We recently completed the first post implementation release in October which included the successful inclusion of new Committee Management functionality which should streamline the work of Committee members and enable further collaboration. The next release is scheduled for the end of November and will focus on new functionality for REC Parties, including enabling uploading of parties documentation and reports directly to the Portal to improve efficiencies.
The Code Manager is also considering what other changes are required to the overall service beyond March 2022 in line with their continuous improvement requirements. Key to this work is working with interested REC Parties to consider new improvements you would like to see as well as incorporating any feedback that has been received so far. Please keep sending in your feedback into the Code Manager via the Service Desk or your Operation Account Manager so we can ensure the service is developed to meet your ongoing needs.
We are making good progress in the development of our Strategy and Budget for consultation with REC Parties in January 2022 and intend on holding an initial stakeholder event on 15th December. We also continue to be on track in supporting the implementation of the Central Switching Service (CSS), with our first major milestone approaching in mid-December with the baselining of the Retail Energy Code (REC) Version 3 drafting, RECCo is currently awaiting updates from the Data Communications Company (DCC) as part of their review of the developed drafting ahead of Ofgem baselining the documentation under the Switching Programme’s Regulatory Group.
In other news, we are extending slightly our intended plan for the development of our “Theft Estimation Methodology” working in partnership with Capgemini. This is to allow the provision of sufficient industry data ahead of producing the first round of results You can hear more about our overall Theft Reduction Strategy project here.
If you have any comments or observations on any of our services, please let us know at email@example.com.
Sid Cox, CEO, RECCo
RECCo has been planning its short to long term strategy in line with REC requirements to develop and publish an annual strategy for industry consultation. Several internal strategy days have taken place over the past month to gain an initial understanding of what priorities could be. Our next steps are to share this thinking with stakeholders and to gain to ensure we are focusing on the right areas and we are planning an industry event on 15 December, prior to an industry consultation being published in early January.
Consultations on industry code reforms and opt-in/opt-out switching have been published on the RECCo website. RECCo has also been considered other open consultations and their relevance to the REC and its objectives and will be sharing any publications with parties through the publications area of the RECCo website going forward.
Switching Programme Implementation
Our Switching programme implementation readiness activities continue to run to plan. We are working with Ofgem to agree the governance arrangements that will support the transition of the service to RECCo following CSS go-live.
REC Version 3 drafting is on schedule to be completed by mid-December ready for final review by DCC and the Switching Programme to ensure alignment between CSS design and the Code. Once the REC Version 3 drafting has been baselined by Ofgem, the REC Code Manager will make the drafting available to industry via the REC Portal and EMAR.
RECCo Corporate Organisation
RECCo continues to build its operational capacity. On 22nd November, we welcome our new Communications Manager, Joey, who will continue the strengthening of our stakeholder engagement and communications as well as, Kimberley, our new HR, People and Culture Manager. We also say a fond farewell to Sara Neal who provided outstanding Mobilisation Management services to RECCo, while welcoming, Naeem, as our Post Implementation Enhancements Project Manager to see through our planned service enhancements up until February 2022.
We continue to collaborate with the Code Manager, ensuring feedback is listened to including ways to further enhance stakeholder communications. A recent initiative by the Code Manager included the roll out of a REC Round-Up email to ensure REC Parties are kept up to date with the latest code updates and we are pleased to hear this has been well received by REC Parties. We are also looking at ways to simplify your experiences with the REC so please let the Code Manager know firstname.lastname@example.org.
RECCo recently published its latest monthly newsletter to provide monthly updates on RECCo projects and services. In a recent poll, stakeholders favoured the newsletter as their preferred channel to stay informed on RECCo so if you’d like to subscribe, please do so by selecting ‘newsletter’ here. As always, we appreciate any feedback on what content you would like to see in the newsletter to email@example.com.
We hope that as many of you as possible will be able to attend our initial stakeholder event on our Strategy and Forward Work Plan for 2022/2023 being scheduled for 15th December. We will also be scheduling a separate event in February to walk industry through the proposed budget.
Work on the Consumer Journey Forum and PCW and Supplier Forum are almost complete. A final report of the PCW/Supplier is being developed for presentation to RECCo’s Board in December ahead of being published on the RECCo website. We would like the thank all Forum members and Graham Wood as the Chair for all their vital inputs over the past year to minimise the risks for consumers in the implementation of the new Switching Programme arrangements.
RECCo continues to manage its financial and other resources prudently. Costs for the first half of the current financial year continue to track favourably against budget. Several variances to budget were experienced in the month however these were in the main timing items reversing historic variances or relate to costs expected to be incurred later. RECCo continues to closely monitor and scrutinise all proposed change, be that through the REC Change process or Switching Programme change, to ensure value for money is achieved. We anticipate that change costs will be higher in the second half of the financial year reflecting the maturing REC Change process and the Switching programme industry testing regime.
RECCo has prepared a forecast for the reminder of the year and our expectation is that we will end the year with a small underspend against budget. The forecast has been prepared on a conservative basis.
We are currently in the early stages of our 2022/23 Budget planning and development and expect to share a high-level view, alongside our Strategy, with REC Parties for consultation in early January. Pending feedback on that strategy consultation we will then issue a more detailed budget for Party consultation in early February. We will hold a budget seminar in the same month.