Ofgem has stepped in to take ownership of Project Nexus, the system that will underpin processes including settlement and meter registration for the gas supply industry, in an effort to keep the project on track. But the project looks unlikely to go live as planned on 1 October and some industry sources said Ofgem might announce a delay in early May.
The project has been under development for more than a decade and has been rescheduled and rescoped several times. An industry source told New Power that Xoserve, the gas industry central body tasked with delivering Project Nexus, had “continued to struggle. Trials have started later than planned and there is uncertainty about whether end to end testing can be delivered.”
Ofgem said in a March letter that the go-live was one of the biggest risks to consumers this year and the effect of delay “would be directly felt by consumers, for example they may be unable to switch supplier or face billing issues as shippers are unable to settle their gas volumes”.
Gareth Evans, a director at consultancy Waters Wye, explained that it is a “high-risk” strategy to change the project schedule: “It is very late to start changing the flight plan”, he said. But delay was also risky: “[companies] have to keep running on an old system … keeping things going for a few weeks will involve ‘jury-rigging’ and workarounds”.