Ofgem has modified the Data Communications Company (DCC) licence to introduce new Switching objectives for the delivery of the Centralised Switching Service and implement the Retail Energy Code (REC). The REC defines 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 Smart Energy Code governs the Smart Meters Programme.
Modification to DCC's licence and designation of the transitional REC in January 2019 introduced a new regulatory framework for DCC. We worked 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.
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.
DCC's Internal Business Case for the Switching Programme was revised to reflect the full requirements for the period from July 2018 to May 2019, the end of the Transitional Phase, against the latest design baseline and Ofgem's decisions on DCC's role. This document sets out key changes to the resourcing and approach that DCC has developed so that it can better deliver the remainder of the Transitional Phase and prepare the subsequent Design, Build and Test (DBT) Phase.