Reliable, next-day energy switching goes live after eight years in the making

From today, energy consumers will be able to switch their energy supplier within 24 hours, instead of the previous limit of 15 working days. First announced by Ofgem in 2014, a lengthy collaboration process and delays due to the pandemic postponed the launch of next-day switching, but today it becomes a reality with the launch of the Centralised Switching Service (CSS) to deliver Ofgem’s Switching Programme.  

The aim of Ofgem’s Switching Programme is to unlock innovation, create more competitive pressure and improve service and cost outcomes for consumers. Despite the impact of the current energy crisis, the next-day switching capability is a great achievement for the industry. Energy UK research showed that 28% of consumers would be more likely to switch supplier if it was completed the next day and reliability was not compromised.

28% of consumers would be more likely to switch supplier if it was completed the next day and reliability was not compromised.

In these unprecedented times, the general advice for most consumers is not to switch right now. But this energy crisis will end, and when it does the energy market is likely to see a substantial surge in switching as consumers will be eager to find the best deal, particularly after a period of inflated bills and energy hardship. With the CSS in place, the industry will be well placed to manage the overwhelming demand as and when it comes. 

Accurate address data vital for next-day switching success

Address mix-ups are easy, and unfortunately very common. In fact, according to GeoPlace, millions of new address records are created across Great Britain every one or two months. But for utilities, the stakes are high. Mistakes can lead to fines, reputational damage, uncollected revenue, inability to switch accurately, and the added time and resources spent rectifying them.  

While it’s easy to underestimate the importance of good address management, the associated risks can be costly for utilities. If bills are sent to the wrong address, for example, there is a high chance of utilities companies losing out on that revenue as customers can’t pay bills they don’t receive. Inaccurate address data can compound into even larger issues for consumers. One Glasgow woman received a shock demand for £4,000 in unpaid bills, irrespective of diligently topping up her pre-payment meter for years. The problem was that the meter had been incorrectly registered to a different address so the power consumed at her address had been unpaid for.  

Idox helps Landmark Information Group with effective address management solution

Up until today’s launch of next-day switching, changing energy supplier could take up to 15 working days to complete. One of the key causes of inaccurate or delayed transfers is poor address data. So how will the industry cope with the pressure of having to reliably switch consumers within 24 hours? 

Accurate and up-to-date address data is essential for achieving next-day switching success.

Accurate and up-to-date address data is essential for achieving next-day switching success. Therefore, Landmark Information Group, the company responsible for driving the next-day switching project has collaborated with Idox’s address data solutions team to design, build and operate the new registration system and address components of the new energy supply CSS. The CSS used Idox’s Aligned Assets platform for matching all its address data against Ordnance Survey’s AddressBase Premium dataset – the most accurate and up-to-date address data available, formatted and maintained to the British Standard BS7666.

Using the Aligned Assets platform for address search, the CSS has the capability for hundreds of users to carry out sub-second, predictive searching, verifying every address with the Unique Property Reference Number (UPRN). 

It has been a great achievement for the energy industry to have this robust CSS to support next-day switching. To guarantee success, energy companies need to ensure their address data is optimised to the same standard as the CSS. By investing in the cleansing and maintenance of their address data, they will be protecting themselves against avoidable errors that can cause real harm at a delicate time for the sector.

While the energy crisis rages on, and consumers are advised not to switch, it would benefit the energy companies to use this time to optimise their own address data, so they are ready for the surge in switching once the market stabilises. 

Read our Insight paper to find out more.

Or contact us to speak to an expert or request a demo.
Published on: 18 July 2022

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