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NEWS: Regulations changes due to COVID-19

Written by

Jolyon Canlin, Regulations Manager

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Updated 28/05/2020

Changes have occured in the regulations arena for energy suppliers due to COVID-19

An update on regulation changes in the energy industry

Due to the impact of COVID-19 the energy industry should expect several changes to happen in the regulations space. The following lays out a brief update on the known impacts.

If you are an ENSEK customer and require more information on any of the topics, please do not hesitate to contact your Account Director, or click the link at the bottom to request more information.

Smart Meter Rollout

Suppliers are obligated to ‘take all reasonable steps’ regarding Smart meter rollout to meet delivery of the programme by the end of 2020.

Ofgem has advised that suppliers follow government guidance on coronavirus (COVID-19) and adopt appropriate measures to protect their customers and staff. Guidance has been issued on the minimum steps that should be taken during any installation activity and also that suppliers can temporarily deprioritise non-essential installations.

The interpretation here is to focus on vulnerable customers and those as risk of going off supply. On this topic Energy-UK has announced that its members will halt ‘all non-essential field activities’.

In addition, major suppliers have indicated that only emergency installations will go ahead. The expectation from the regulator is that suppliers will keep this reduction in activity under review in light of regular government updates and guidance.

Regulatory reporting suspended for a period of time

Ofgem is concerned with the impact of COVID-19 on customers. As a result of this, the regulator has issued a new mandatory COVID-19 RFI, which requires weekly submission.

Ofgem has also deferred submission of other reporting (social obligations, complaints and guaranteed standards of performance) until July 2020.

The next submission of deferred reporting will be required to cover the full period since the last submission.

Switching Programme

As we have reported in our Faster Switching Comms there has been a delay of up to 6 months to the User Entry Process Testing (UEPT) under the Switching Programme.

There will be a revised delivery plan issued by the Switching Programme through the usual programme governance.

ENSEK continues to prepare for Faster Switching and is keeping up to date with all of the latest programme activity. ENSEK shall continue to provide our customers with regular updates on this.

RCC Switching SCR and REC delay

Ofgem has announced a five-month delay to the implementation of the Retail Code Consolidation (RCC) under the Switching Significant Code Review (SCR).

This covers the MRA and SPAA codes combining to form the Retail Energy Code (REC) as well as the SMICoP and the GDAA. Initially timetabled for a 1st April 2021 cutover date this has now been extended to 1st September 2021.

We shall deliver in line with all industry plans and maintain our proactive stance despite all of the industry delays.

Other Ofgem programmes and planned consultations

Market Wide Half Hourly Settlement

Consultation on the Target Operating Model (TOM) remains open but there is no response deadline as yet. Ofgem are to announce this in due course but will give respondents at least 10 weeks’ notice.

Micro-business Review

Policy consultation on proposals to improve operation of micro-business market deferred until May 2020 or later.

Supplier Licensing Review

Policy consultation on cost mutualization deferred until June 2020 or later.

Feed-in Tariff Order 2012

The order has been amended to grant extensions to the validity period for all preliminary accreditations and pre-registrations for community energy solar PV installations which expire between 1 March 2020 and 30 September 2020. This is a 6-month extension to their validity period or an extension until 30 September, whichever is longer.

If you're keen to find out more information on how industry regulations updates could impact you as a supplier, please click the link below and get in touch.

Contact the Regs team

Understand the impact of industry regulations changes on you as an energy supplier by gaining further detail. Contact the Regs team to find out more.