Saves and win-backs
It is important that all retailers have an equal opportunity to compete for customers. To support this goal, we are considering whether to ban saves and win-backs for 180 days after a customer switches retailers.
Description of saves and win-backs
5 Nov 2019
The saves and win-backs project is part of the Authority’s wider programme of work to promote a competitive, reliable and efficient electricity industry for the long-term benefit of consumers.
A save is when a customer is switching to a new retailer, but their current retailer persuades them to stay before the switch happens.
A win-back is when a customer switches retailers, and the losing retailer persuades them to return after the switch happens.
Save protection scheme
22 May 2018
The save protection scheme (scheme) came into force in January 2015, and allows a retailer to 'opt in' for save protection (protected retailer). The scheme prohibits a losing retailer from initiating contact to offer inducements to any of its consumers that are acquired by another retailer, if the gaining retailer is a protected retailer. The prohibition extends until the switch is complete. The losing retailer will still be able to save a consumer by offering an inducement if the consumer initiates contact with that retailer prior to the switch being complete. In addition, if a retailer is a protected retailer, it is prohibited from carrying out saves itself, unless the consumer initiates the contact.
In August 2017, we completed a post-implementation review (review) of the scheme.
The review found:
- the number of saves fell and the number of win-backs increased as a result of the scheme
- the scheme increased switching speed for both save protected and non-save protected retailers
- the scheme slightly reduced the average time before a switch is withdrawn
- the scheme slightly delayed switch reversal for save protected retailers
- no evidence the scheme improved or harmed retail competition
- indications from respondents to our survey that the cost to acquire consumers has increased since the Authority introduced the scheme; however, this may be partly attributable to competitive pressures in the market which have increased due to factors other than the save protection scheme.