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Switching Programme

DCC is a key delivery partner in the Ofgem led transformation programme that will support faster switching for energy consumers.

Many consumers are reluctant to switch energy suppliers fearing that the whole process is a hassle. But these consumers could be missing out on £100s worth of savings each year if they stay with the same energy supplier. Ofgem launched the faster Switching Programme to encourage consumers to engage with the same energy market, and to improve their experience of doing so. 

Its aim to deliver reliable, next day switching for consumers by replacing the existing switching services with a new Centralised Switching Service (CSS). We are the key delivery partner and will develop and implement the CSS. The changes will facilitate market competition, realise significant efficiency benefits for energy suppliers and, most importantly, encourage savings for consumers.

We will:

  • Be responsible for designing and procuring the CSS covering both electricity and gas
  • Be involved in shaping the development of the new switching arrangements, which includes the implementation of a new regulatory framework for Switching
  • Oversee design, build and test, and operate the CSS in its early years

Ofgem is modifying the Data Communications Company (DCC) licence to introduce new Switching objectives for the delivery of the CSS, and implementing the Retail Energy Code (REC). The REC will define the rights and obligations of DCC, energy suppliers, network operators and all relevant parties involved in creating this faster switching mechanism in Great Britain, much in the same way the SEC governs the Smart Meters Programme.

Modification to DCC's licence and designation of the transitional REC (by January 2019) introduces a new regulatory framework for DCC. We are working closely with Ofgem in the development of this new framework, ensuring the regulation can best support Ofgem's objectives, and also the services DCC will put in place. 

As part of the Switching Programme procurement activity, DCC commissioned Netcompany to carry out a review of the potential technologies as part of the forthcoming tender for the Central Switching Service (CSS). Find out more here.

Included within the Performance Regime DCC works to on the Switching Programme is the expectation that we will survey our stakeholders every six months to gauge their satisfaction with our various engagement activities. Results from the Wave 1 survey have been considered and discussed with stakeholders. DCC has developed a set of actions in response to the key areas of feedback. Find out more here

The programme will be delivered over five phases. The first three phases are known as the Transitional Phase and take the original Target Operating Model published by Ofgem through to a final decision on the preferred reform package, and the development of regulatory requirements to support it. Ofgem concluded in February 2018 that it would proceed with the reform package proposal, known as RP2a, allowing a domestic customer to change supplier by the end of the next working day, then to a robust and unambiguous design supported by policy and regulation.

The Transitional Phase also includes procurement of the Central Switching Service (CSS) and awarding of contracts to service provider(s).

The fourth phase covers the detailed design, build and testing of the CSS (expected to include a registration service, address service and communications network) and activities to transition the new systems and industry processes to live services, while the final phase is the operation of the live service.

The programme is still designing the detail of how switching will work across the many parties involved in the switching arrangements including how the new CSS will transform and manage data to simplify and control a reliable switching service.  The ultimate aim is to give consumers a faster and more reliable experience when switching energy supplier.

The Switching Programme is now in the Enactment phase and DCC will be commencing the procurement of services.

An initial pre-qualification stage will be used to shortlist applicants to receive an Invitation to Tender (ITT) for the services being procured.

A selection (pre-qualification) questionnaire (PQQ) will be published on 22nd June 2018 for applicants to complete and submit online. The deadline for submission will be 13th July 2018. The responses will be evaluated, and applicants will be shortlisted to receive the ITT.

The online selection questionnaire will include two reference documents:

  • A prospectus document - This explains the background and objectives of the Switching Programme along with details of the scope of services being procured; and
  • A selection questionnaire guidance document - This outlines the prequalification process, instructs how to complete the questionnaire and details the prequalification selection process. It also includes an ITT timetable.

If you are interested in applying to bid for the Switching Programme services, please contact the following email address:

Please note that your organisation will need to sign a confidentiality agreement with DCC in order to participate in the PQQ and subsequent tender process.


Contact us

For Switching queries please email: