RECCo Executive Highlights July 2021

“We are six weeks away from Retail Code Consolidation on 01 September 2021 and the initiation of our Code Manager Service.  We have built the two digital foundations of our service: the Portal which is the gateway to all enhanced REC services and the EMAR (the digital version of the Retail Energy Code).  We are completing testing and are grateful to industry users who are providing invaluable feedback in User Acceptance Testing.  We continue to work closely with our Code Manager service providers to ensure that systems, processes, and service teams are in place so that together we will be able to provide a seamless fit-for-purpose user experience on go-live with planned enhancements and improvements introduced shortly afterwards.  I am pleased to announce appointments to the RECCo Executive Team and provide additional updates which I hope will be of interest. For more information or if you have any suggestions on how we can improve our communication with you, please contact us at info@retailenergycode.co.uk.

Sid Cox, CEO, RECCo

REC Development

The Change Request to approve REC v2.0 legal text was approved by the Regulatory Group on 02 July 2021.  On the same day, Ofgem published its decision to modify the licence conditions of relevant parties and to make consequential modifications to other industry codes, in facilitation of Retail Code Consolidation.  The date of Retail Code Consolidation remains subject to an Ofgem direction but is expected to be 01 September as scheduled.  A further change request to approve the operation documents of the REC, such as Service Definitions and Metering Codes of Practice has been raised and is scheduled for a decision on 29 July. 

REC v3.0 development will be managed under RECCo’s CSS Roadmap project.  There will also be a new resource plan for REC v3.0 development. 

A plan is in place to develop a theft estimation methodology to quantify the scale of theft in the UK market.  An RFP to procure a service provider has been issued and recommendations to award a contract will be made in August.

REC Transition

Continued progress is being made with service providers on finalising contracts for Retail Code Consolidation.  Contract Novation Agreements for ECOES and GDCC had been agreed, confirming that contracts are in place for 01 September 2021. Our focus is now on agreeing a limited number of ECOES and GDCC contract variations to account for REC v2. 

RECCo is continuing to work with other code bodies to ensure the smooth transfer of a range of inflight issues. Of note, parties that have agreements with MRASCo to access ECOES and GDCC are being contacted to request that they sign a new Access Agreement with RECCo to permit continued access. All contracts for access need to be in place by 1st September.

The team continues to have constructive discussions with C&C, Gemserv and the Switching Programme on its Party Under Integration role for the Energy Enquiry Service from 01 September. Our focus is on transfer of documentation and knowledge and building relationships with the programme, while more generally engaging more proactively with the Switching Programme.

RECCo has now received all the information required to allow it to take a decision on the provision of historical data from current codes that are closing. A decision will be made soon and will be communicated shortly to all parties.

REC Mobilisation

The Code Manager Mobilisation Programme is nearing completion with the Code Manager Service teams being mustered.  It is our intention that the REC Portal and the EMAR will work seamlessly together to deliver the ‘Digital First’ REC user experience to industry from 01 September 2021.

Our focus in the programme has been on determining readiness with attention on completing testing.  Business Process Testing (BPT) has been run to evidence the internal business processes. User Acceptance Testing (UAT) is in progress with industry parties given the opportunity to test the new services and provide their feedback. We will soon turn our attention to Non-Functional Testing.

Readiness activities will continue through August for 01 September 2021.

RECCo Corporate Organisation

We are pleased to announce the appointment of Jon Dixon, Elizabeth Lawlor, Brian O’Shea, and Rachael Anderson to the RECCo Executive Team. Jon, Elizabeth, Brian, and Rachael have contributed significantly to the progress we have made over the last two years and together bring a wealth of experience and a shared passion for driving change in the industry. Together we will be instrumental in building RECCo’s enduring organisation. 

Stakeholder Engagement

Engagement with you, our stakeholders, is a critical part of our work programme and we welcome interaction and feedback. When we issued our first edition of our newsletter ‘Inside RECCo’, we asked readers to indicate their preferred frequency. Most respondents requested that our updates be published monthly, and we plan to publish them towards the end of each month. 

A key part of our communications programme is ensuring readiness for go-live. We are working hard to make sure that our services and operations will be ready for 01 September, but it is equally important that you understand what is required. We will be building up our readiness communications over the coming weeks and there is already lots of information on the FAQ and Code Manager pages of our website.

Consumer Programme

Following the appointment of Helen Charlton as Consumer Non-Executive Director, we will be developing RECCo’s Consumer Strategy which will focus on:

  • Promoting consumer interests
  • Better engagement towards customers
  • Understanding consumer issues and risks

We expect to be able to share our initial outline in the Autumn. In the meantime, RECCo continues to support two important consumer initiatives – the Consumer Journey Forum and PCW/Supplier Forum. 

Financial Management

RECCo continues to manage its financial and other resources prudently. Costs for the first quarter of the financial year (April – June) are below expectations. A number of the positive variances can be considered timing items related to the phasing of costs across the year e.g. change allowance. These may reverse later in the year. Other variances reflect true underspends in the period. Energy Suppliers are required by the REC to fund the costs of RECCo and pay their invoices within the credit terms set by the Board. Non-payment of a RECCO invoice is an Event of Default under the REC and may lead to the REC Party being expelled from the Code.

As part of the 2021 Budget consultation process, Energy Suppliers identified the requirement for greater certainty and predictability of REC costs for each financial quarter. RECCo will invoice Suppliers on an even quarterly profile and manage its cashflows to deal with any seasonal variability in its cost profile. In Q2, RECCo will incur significant development milestone costs for the Code Manager go-live. Normally, RECCo would return any rebate from the prior year against the July invoices. However, to ensure that RECCo retains resources to meet its liabilities the 2020 Rebate will be refunded to Parties later in the financial year.

The statutory audit of 2021 RECCo Financial Statements was completed in June 2021 and were approved by the Board at its July meeting. An unqualified audit report was provided by the auditors and the auditors did not highlight any potential deficiencies in the accounting and internal control systems.   

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