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2019

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Beautiful butterfly? Ofgem plans out Retail Energy Code

Steven Britton
Steven Britton

More clarity has been provided on how the Retail Energy Code (REC) is set to evolve over time to support the move to faster and more reliable switching. In this Chart of the Week, we look at Ofgem’s recent consultationon its plans for this new code.

The REC was introduced on 1 February this year, but only in a relatively basic form, intended to give clarity to industry parties on what the future switching arrangements will require. The Central Switching Service (CSS) is set to go live in summer 2021, but Ofgem is planning for changes to the REC, licences and other industry codes to be in effect from April 2021.

Some of these are shown in Figure 1. Several new REC Schedules, such as on change management and performance assurance, will be added in their enduring form from 1 April, while others will change at go-live. For example, the transitional interpretation schedule and technical specification will be replaced with enduring versions when the time comes, and the Switching Programme Significant Code Review (SCR) Schedules will lie dormant until go-live.

Alongside this, there are also consequential changes to other codes. The text for changes to the BSC, DCUSA, UNC, IGT UNC, SEC, MRA and SPAA have all been drafted and are part of this consultation. Some of these will only be transitional, as shown in the diagram, and be replaced by enduring versions when the new arrangements are live. However, MRA and SPAA changes will be dramatic: Ofgem is preparing to launch a Retail Code Consolidation SCR in autumn to move elements out of these codes and into the REC. This should allow both codes to be wound up; the first step in Ofgem’s plan to simplify governance.

Cornwall Insight now offers a quarterly Faster Switching Service, which provides a comprehensive overview of the Switching programme and Retail Energy Code as this workstream develops. For more information, contact s.britton@cornwall-insight.com or call 01603 542126.

If you enjoyed this blog, we also have a complimentary podcast available. Listen to The Retail Energy Code: The Future of Switching and the Future of Code Governance here.

 

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