Faster Switching (aka Switching Programme) is one initiative within a broader set of reforms that aim to improve consumers’ experience of the energy market and make it easier for consumers to make the right choices for them.
Stimulating competition and increasing consumer engagement in energy markets are key to achieving our Net Zero Targets. Ofgem is committed to facilitating competition as an effective and sustainable way to keep prices low for all consumers and will help remove barriers to consumer engagement within the energy market.
Ofgem aims to make the energy market work better for consumers by improving their experience of switching, by designing and implementing a new switching process that is reliable, fast and cost-effective and harmonises processes across gas and electricity. This will build consumer confidence and facilitate competition, delivering better outcomes for consumers.
> What is happening?
The existing switching services (UK Link for gas and the Meter Point Registration Service (MPRS) for electricity) are being replaced by a single new Central Switching Service (CSS). In addition to a one-off cleansing exercise, industry data quality is being improved by a new Address Service that matches gas and electricity meter point data to a new a single GB address list that suppliers and Price Comparison Websites (PCWs) can rely on to switch consumers accurately. Changes to industry switching processes will enable switching at the end of the next working day for domestic consumers and two working days for non-domestic consumers
> What are the reasons for this?
The main objective is to improve consumers’ experience of switching by designing and implementing a new process that is reliable, fast and cost-effective. This will build consumer confidence, lead to greater engagement in the market, facilitate competition and deliver better outcomes for consumers.
The Switching Programme aims to achieve these outcomes by
> Increasing speed – Speed up the process of switching for all parties
> Increasing reliability – Improving reliability by reducing erroneous, delayed or unsuccessful switching
> Enable innovation – Brining the market technology up to date
> When is the Faster Switching Programme taking place?
The final ‘go decision’ is due for approval by Ofgem on the 30th June and the programme is on track to ‘go live’ on 18thJuly 2022. The key dates for delivery for non-domestic customers are as follows:
30th June – Ofgem will make a decision to go live or delay
18th July – Go Live Start period of no new switches
20th July – End period of no new switches
21st July – Earliest Supply Start Date in new Central Switching Service
> How might this affect my business?
Customers joining SmartestEnergy Business
If your electricity or gas supply is due to switch to SmartestEnergy Business on the dates between 18th-20thJuly, your earliest revised start date is likely to be the 21st July 2022.
Customers leaving SmartestEnergy Business
If your electricity or gas supply is due to end with SmartestEnergy Business on the dates between 18th-20thJuly, your earliest revised release date is likely to be the 21st July 2022.
In all cases, we will contact you directly to confirm your revised switch or release date with SmartestEnergy Business.
Please note that this upgrade is beyond our control and that all suppliers in the GB Market are impacted.
Rest assured that your business will continue to remain on supply during these events and that we will contact you should any further updates be issued by Ofgem.