The lack of standardisation has been a major cause of ‘friction’ in the market, identified by Ofwat in its State of the Market report year-on-year, which has increased trading parties’ costs and impacted the speed and quality of service for many customers.
Today marks the start of a new approach to managing the two-way transactions between wholesalers and retailers. Following extensive collaboration between Ofwat, MOSL and trading parties, the market has adopted its first industry-wide process and launched a new, central market hub to manage bilateral processes.
The first process to be managed is the verification of meters (C1) or other supply arrangements, which is the most common process in the market – equating to more than 17,000 transactions in 2020/21.
Commenting on the launch, Programme Director, John Gilbert said: “Bilateral transactions have been a major source of frustration since the market opened. Today marks the first step towards having these processes managed in one central system, which will help make processes faster, simpler and more reliable.
"Not only will the bilateral transactions help improve trading parties’ efficiency, but it should also result in a better experience for customers, which is essential for enabling the market to unlock value and choice for customers. This has been an enormous team effort and is testament to an extraordinary amount of collaboration and close working across the market.
"Work is already underway to review, refine and agree other bilateral processes in readiness to add them to the bilateral hub in a series of releases over the coming months. We look forward to supporting our members as they begin using the hub for the first time today and to working with them on future processes.”