The Retail Energy Code: The future of switching and the future of code governance

In this podcast, Cornwall Insight’s Steven Britton, Ken McRae and Robert Buckley discuss what the programme means for the future of switching, as well as how the Retail Energy Code (REC) represents the next step in the development of code governance.

Ofgem’s Switching Programme focuses on the future of switching, working towards facilitating faster, more reliable switching for all customers in mid-2021. A new industry code – the Retail Energy Code (REC) – underpins it. It set out the new requirements for suppliers and other industry participants and went live in February 2019.

The Retail Energy Code is being developed in stages. Currently, the draft is only for planning; helping suppliers, distribution networks and their system providers prepare for the new arrangements. The second iteration will be the first fully operational one and will take over in April 2021, ahead of the new arrangements going live. This will see domestic customers able to initiate a switch and be with their new supplier by midnight the next working day. However, non-domestic customers will have to wait an extra 24 hours.

Given its implications for broader code governance, the third iteration is particularly interesting. Under Ofgem’s Retail Code Consolidation review, electricity’s Master Registration Agreement and gas’s Supply Point Administration Agreement will be closed down. Their remaining aspects, therefore, amalgamated into the REC or other codes as relevant. This will be the first major step towards Ofgem’s plans for a reformed code environment. It will be more accessible to new parties and easier for them to get to grips with.

Below is a 90-second extract from our full podcast.

Faster switching service

We provide regular coverage of the development of the programme in our quarterly Faster Switching Service. Our service makes the complex Switching Programme accessible and understandable, specifically the Retail Energy Code that accompanies it.

The main report is supplemented by quarterly updates, reviewing what has changed with the programme in the past few months. Every quarter, you will also receive a revised version of the main report together with an update detailing the latest news on switching reform and the REC. Moreover, it will signpost changes to the main report to reflect the latest regulations.

For more information, contact s.britton@cornwall-insight.com or call 01603 542126.

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