Switching Programme

It is vital that energy consumers can easily, and with confidence, switch their energy supplier. Switching strengthens competition in the energy market, which in turn benefits consumers.

The current switching arrangements, developed in the late 1990s, are complex for suppliers and can lead to delays, errors and costs, which are often borne by consumers. 

Through the Switching Programme we are taking steps to radically transform current switching arrangements, and deliver faster, more reliable switching for consumers.

Our scope and approach

For full details of our scope and approach to the programme, see our:

You can access all consultations and decisions related to the programme, along with documents from ad hoc workshops, in the publications and updates section below.

Programme Products

The links below provide access to the approved E2E products that form Design Baseline 3 for the new switching arrangements. 

These products are informed by our Blueprint Phase policy papers. For a full list of the policy papers, please select 'show' on the drop down menu below.

Have a query?

Some responses to frequently asked questions can be found here.

If you have questions about the development of the new switching arrangements which are not covered above, please get in touch. 

If you would like to raise a change request, please see our change management page.

How we will engage

For regular updates and programme information of recent and upcoming activity, please subscribe to our monthly newsletter by emailing us at switching.programme@ofgem.gov.uk

We will publish regular updates and outputs from our each of our working groups.

If you want to attend or would like further information about the issues being discussed at any of these meetings, please get in touch.

Enactment Phase governance

The governance requirements for the programme are different for the different phases. During the Enactment phase, governance will undergo a staged transition towards the proposed DBT phase governance structure. The intention is that the higher-level decision making bodies, such as the SRO, advised by Programme Board and the SPDG will continue, with a membership and Terms of Reference refresh.

Our proposed governance structure is illustrated on page 85 of the Switching Programme Outline Business Case and Blueprint phase decision. Ofgem is currently in the process of finalising the Terms of Reference refresh, which we intend to publish shortly.

High Level Plan

For details of major programme deliverables and timeframes, see the High Level Plan.

Draft Design, Build and Test Plan

For details of the design, build and test phase, see the draft DBT Plan.  

Design principles

To guide our assessment of the options being developed for the new switching arrangements, we’ve developed design principles.

Archive: Blueprint and DLS Phase


The Blueprint and DLS Phases were used to establish the policy, and define the design and delivery requirements, that will underpin the new switching arrangements. We have provided the key document and programme information from these phases below: please note these link do not provide the latest Programme position or versions of Programme documents (these can be found above, under Programme Scope). 

Blueprint and DLS Phase Scope

Stakeholder Engagement - Archive

In May 2016 Ofgem modified the Data Communications Company (DCC) licence to set out new obligations for DCC’s role in the Switching Programme. This requires DCC to contribute to the design of the Central Switching Service providing a platform for fast and reliable switching and to procure the Relevant Service Capability that will underpin the new arrangements. We are proposing to further modify DCC’s licence to set out its role during DBT and early years of live operations.

The Switching Programme is now in the Enactment phase and DCC will be commencing the procurement of services. An initial pre-qualification stage will be used to shortlist applicants to receive an Invitation to Tender (ITT) for the services being procured. A selection (pre-qualification) questionnaire (PQQ) will be published late June.

Find out more about upcoming procurement opportunities.

Or email: contact.switching@smartdcc.co.uk

Publications and updates

  • Published: 9th Apr 2014
  • Decisions
  • 0 Associated documents
Following two consultations in December 2013: enforcing three week switching and preventing erroneous transfers, we have decided to publish a

  • Published: 9th Apr 2014
  • Closed: 12th May 2014
  • Consultations and responses
  • 8 Associated documents
A statutory consultation on modifications to the gas and electricity supply licences.

  • Published: 26th Mar 2014
  • Agendas, minutes and presentations
  • 3 Associated documents
Agenda and papers for the meeting of the Change of Supplier Expert Group metering sub-group.

  • Published: 17th Dec 2013
  • Open letters and correspondence
  • 1 Associated documents
When a customer changes supplier, it is necessary to obtain a meter read. This read is used by the old supplier to send a final bill to their customer, and by the new supplier to open a customer account.

  • Published: 6th Dec 2013
  • Open letters and correspondence
  • 1 Associated documents
This letter explains what outcomes we expect the reforms to the change of supplier (CoS) meter read process for smart electricity meters to achieve and how they might be realised.

  • Published: 3rd Dec 2013
  • Closed: 31st Jan 2014
  • Consultations and responses
  • 13 Associated documents
We propose to introduce a new licence obligation to prevent Erroneous transfers (ETs). An ET occurs when a customer has their supplier switched without having given consent.

  • Published: 3rd Dec 2013
  • Other
  • 1 Associated documents
Summary of findings from the Change of Supplier Expert Group on reforms to deliver more reliable and faster switching.  This publication summarises the reform areas discussed with the Change of Supplier Expert Group and describes the proposed role of...

  • Published: 3rd Dec 2013
  • Closed: 31st Jan 2014
  • Consultations and responses
  • 15 Associated documents
We propose to introduce a new licence obligation to secure a reliable three week switch. A reliable switching process encourages customers to engage in the retail energy market.

  • Published: 3rd Dec 2013
  • Reports and plans
  • 1 Associated documents
Ofgem commissioned Collaborate Research to conduct research with non-domestic consumers to help inform Ofgem’s review of the change of supplier process.

  • Published: 3rd Dec 2013
  • Other
  • 2 Associated documents
Ofgem commissioned Ipsos MORI to conduct research with domestic consumers to help inform Ofgem’s review of the change of supplier process.