Supporting Customer Switching – ECOES Goes live for Price Comparison Websites

Published:

Gemserv Icons 2-86Following the recent CMA investigation into the energy market, an Order1 was placed on MRASCo to provide Price Comparison Websites (PCWs) with access to the Electricity Central Online Enquiry Service (“ECOES”) by 28th February 2017.

ECOES provides a secure and reliable view of the core industry information required to ensure the successful switching of customers between energy suppliers, and access to this information will assist PCWs in supporting the growing volumes of these switches.

MRASCo are pleased to announce with support from our service providers Gemserv, C&C Group and Parties to the MRA, we have undertaken upgrades to ECOES to ensure that PCWs are able to access the service in an effective and compliant way from today. These upgrades also ensure that ECOES continues to provide a reliable and effective service for all users as the numbers of customers switching their energy suppliers continues to rise.

Mr Alex Travell, Chairman of MRASCo speaking on the launch said “There has been a considerable amount of work undertaken over the last two months by Gemserv and C&C Group to enable us to go-live today. Not only have we delivered the access and the system upgrade with no impact on the service for current users, we have also ensured that the access given is appropriate to the role of PCWs in the market, and access is fully auditable and compliant with the Data Protection Act. We also recognise from our discussions with PCWs that this is only the first step in the journey. Machine to Machine access to this market intelligence enabled for both Electricity and Gas is the next goal and will provide a more user friendly interface for PCWs and their customers looking to switch. MRASCo are committed to providing this access to PCWs and the wider industry later this year and development continues that is both Gas and Electricity enabled. More details will follow shortly on the timings for this access.

Those involved

MRASCo

The MRA Service Company (MRASCo) is the contracting vehicle for the Master Registration Agreement (MRA), which is the regulated multi-party agreement that underpins the GB national electricity customer switching regime. MRASCo is a wholly owned and operated by the parties to the MRA. MRASCo is responsible for the running of ECOES.

ECOES

ECOES is the market level on-line service that holds details of all electricity meterpoints in the GB retail electricity market, and provides access to key data for suppliers, meter operators, and other authorised users in order to support its effective operation, particularly in regard to switching.

ECOES is available 24/7, 365 days a year and currently supports over 135,000 users who between them submit approximately 3 million information requests per month.

Gemserv

Gemserv is a specialist market design, governance and assurance service provider. We provide high quality impartial advice to competitive utility and environmental markets and their participants. Since 2002, on behalf of MRASCo, Gemserv has provided the effective governance for the national UK electricity customer switching regime, the Master Registration Agreement (MRA). Gemserv is responsible for the day to day running of ECOES.

C&C Group

C&C Group has delivered market-leading business and IT innovation since 1987. We specialise in utilities across electricity, water and gas including cloud based services. C&C have been the technical service provider for ECOES since its launch in 2003, and are integral to its continuing success and ongoing evolution.

1The Energy Market Investigation (ECOES/DES) Order 2016