Response to Ofgem’s consultation on UK Link and the proposed Central Switching Service
Citizens Advice believes that consumers want and benefit from reliable switching in the energy market. A reliable switching system minimises erroneous, delayed and failed transfers between suppliers. A poor switching experience can jeopardise future engagement and reduce propensity to switch. Citizens Advice supports faster switching that can be achieved in such a way as not to jeopardise the reliability of the switch.
The creation of a Central Switching Service (CSS) should improve the reliability of switching. Xoserve makes a persuasive case that UK Link meets many of the stated objectives of the CSS. Citizens Advice believes that the UK Link option should be explored thoroughly. Xoserve should certainly be able to bid into the Data and Communications Company (DCC) competitive tender for the CSS. It could also prove less costly to industry (and ultimately consumers), and less risky for the programme to scrap the tender process altogether and appoint Xoserve directly to provide the CSS. If Ofgem proceeds with the tender process, Ofgem will need to amend various codes and licence conditions relating to the Xoserve governance framework to allow Xoserve to participate. We believe that Ofgem has comprehensively identified the various changes required.