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Chart of the Week

2020

Switcheroo: COVID-19 sees dates shift for Faster Switching

Steven Britton Senior Analyst

Like most industry workstreams, the Switching Programme has experienced a delay due to the reprioritisation of activities under COVID-19. In this Chart of the Week, we look at how the programme plan has had to slip to allow parties relief from its requirements. Making switching faster and more reliable is expected to encourage customers to engage in the market. The new arrangements had been intended to go live in June, July or August 2021. However, Ofgem has decided to allow suppliers a six-month period in which participation in programme activities will be reduced, pushing back the start of User Entry Process Testing (UEPT) from September this year to next March. In Figure 1, blue items show the previous programme dates and red the revised dates. Ofgem is assuming a consequent delay to the go-live range, which would push it back to January, February or March 2022. The implementation of the revised Retail Energy Code has similarly slipped five months to September 2021. Suppliers have been granted a three month “relief period” until July (yellow on Figure 1), during which they will not be expected to participate. This will be followed by three months of re-engagement (green) with RFIs on preparedness to resume activity as the programme gears up for a return to normal by 1 October. The one major part of the programme that has not been allowed to slip is System Integration Testing (SIT), which began at the end of April and will run until Q3. The main programme parties such as the ...

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