Ofgem have confirmed plans for a faster switching program for consumers which would combine gas and electricity registration.
In an attempt to ensure a fast and reliable retail market for consumers, Ofgem have announced a Centralised Switching Service which would tie together gas and electricity systems.
The service, which is expected to go-live in the middle of 2021 and cost in the region of £600m will aim to deliver within-day switching for domestic gas & electricity customers and two working days for non-domestic.
The Retail Energy Code will be launched alongside the new centralised switching service, replacing the current Master Registration Agreement (electricity) & Supply Point Administration Agreement (gas).
The changes would require co-operation from all key industry bodies which has been an issue during previous initiatives, because of this, Ofgem will implement statutory licence conditions to ensure compliance from suppliers, distributors and data communication companies.
The scale of the scheme could cause numerous issues, with amendments to fundamentals such as; the code of practice, industry file flows, gas nominations, confirmations and objections.
Details for the switching service’s delivery under REC v1.0 have already been published, however, a consultation is now taking place to finalise REC v2.0 which will be in place when the programme goes live in 2021.
The scheme would almost certainly improve the switching experience for domestic customers but the benefits for non-domestic users could be minimal. The majority of non-domestic customers choose a fixed term commercial contract, as such, suppliers would be within their right to object to any transfer, citing an agreement breach.