Ofgem has confirmed that the timetable for implementing a database of disengaged energy customers has been pushed back.
The database, which is one of the remedies proposed by the CMA to increase competition in the energy market, will include anyone who has not switched in three years. Their data will be made available to other energy licensees to that they can be targeted to switch suppliers. The CMA Energy Market Investigation (Database) Order 2016 required suppliers to start issuing First Contact Communications (FCCs) from July 2017 and transfer relevant customer data to Ofgem from October 2017. The CMA set 30 April 2018 as the target date for the full rollout.
However, the regulator told suppliers in an open letter that the order also included a provision for Ofgem to vary the timescales to a later date. Associate director Paul Fisher said: “On 3 July 2017, we announced our intention to trial a new ‘Check Your Energy Deal’ online switching service. Whilst we are testing the online service, suppliers are not required to take any action regarding the CMA order until notified by Ofgem. The results from the trial are expected by the end of this financial year at which point the Authority will consider how next to proceed. As a result, we are confirming our decision to defer national rollout until later in 2018.”
Ofgem said it issue an update on the revised timetable in autumn 2017.
Gillian Cooper, Citizens Advice: “The situation we don’t want is people switching through the database to a one-year deal and then getting rolled onto a really rubbish tariff until they are eligible to get on the database again.”