Cornwall Insight recently published the latest update to our quarterly Faster Switching Service, which has been revised to accommodate Ofgem’s latest proposals for the content of the enduring version of the Retail Energy Code (REC), and plans hold a separate Retail Code Consolidation Significant Code Review.
With these, the number of subsidiary documents for the programme has continued to multiply: Ofgem has now published 11 draft schedules for the enduring REC compared to the seven that existed in October last year. These are all available for parties to examine, with the new schedules covering prepayment meter arrangements, resolution of customer-facing issues, dealing with Related Metering Points, and the gas and electricity data enquiry services.
Ofgem also plans to develop a REC Technical Specification, which will be subdivided into a Service Definition document, a Security Operating Framework, a Testing Specification, and a Data Specification, the latter including a full retail data catalogue. These are to be drafted over the next year or so, and join the suite of design and delivery documents Ofgem has formalised with the DCC, of which there are no fewer than 23 for parties to get their heads around. Considering that many smaller market participants have very limited capacity to digest complex change, this array of documents can be overwhelming. However, while some may be inclined to think they can put off engaging with a change programme that will not take effect for another 18 months until nearer the time, failure to do so could lead to them being left behind.
Some of the most essential reading is the E2E Operational Choreography document, and the E2E Solution Architecture, as these really set out how the future switching arrangements operate and the resultant changes to industry processes. Those who are not afraid of large technical documents should also consider the CSS User Requirements Specification, which provides possibly the best illustration of how all the processes and systems fit together. However, Ofgem could have done more to make these documents transparent and accessible to those unfamiliar with how the programme is organised.
For these reasons, we have developed the Faster Switching Service as an end-to-end guide to the programme, designed to help all participants understand their obligations. This is updated on a quarterly basis and – in addition to a rundown of design documents – now incorporates coverage of programme meetings in order to help demystify the progression of what is a massive overhaul of one of the most fundamental sets of systems and processes for a competitive market.