Regulatory changes – Getting it right for customers

One of the programmes on the horizon for energy suppliers is ‘Project Nexus’ – the upgrade and replacement of the central system that will support the gas industry. Last year […]

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By Priyanka Shrestha

One of the programmes on the horizon for energy suppliers is ‘Project Nexus’ – the upgrade and replacement of the central system that will support the gas industry.

Last year Ofgem took control of it to ensure the IT system replacements and functionality changes currently underway are implemented to “get the best possible outcome for consumers”.

However plans to go live in October this year have been rescheduled. The latest replan by Ofgem’s programme managers, PwC, indicates a new implementation date of 1st June 2017.

Andrew Green, Head of Regulation for Total Gas & Power believes the project is crucial to delivering the benefits of smart metering.  He told ELN: “The delays are costly for everybody. However, we want it to be right when it goes live.”

The smart metering programme, which is delivering Britain’s infrastructure to support the mass rollout of the technology to homes and businesses has also been subject to delay.

Mr Green said despite the DCC not having gone live yet for smart meters, it is already being lined up for a central role in the faster energy supplier switching programme.

He added business customers tender out their requirements months in advance of changing supply. This means that it’s unclear at this stage what benefits switching in one or two days will bring to Industrial & Commercial (I&C) customers.

He went on: “Suppliers are having to be dynamic and highly organised as there’s little time in-between the implementation of Project Nexus and this faster switching regime.”

On the competition watchdog’s investigation into the energy market, Mr Green said suppliers are now awaiting orders and licence conditions from Ofgem “to implement the changes to the way we operate in the market”.

Mr Green added: “We are investing in IT as well as the business processes to support the change. This will be followed by a change in monitoring activities for compliance purposes following implementation.

“Ultimately we want to deliver the best possible service to our customers. We would like stability of government policy and regulatory regime to be able to plan for change into the future with certainty and to best use our resources to innovate and enhance the customer experience.”

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