Switch saving protection scheme
Notifying the Authority to elect to have switch saving protection.
Part 11 of the Code allows a trader that gains a new customer to elect to be protected from saves initiated by the trader that lost the customer. If the gaining trader chooses switch saving protection, the Code prohibits the losing trader from initiating contact with any of its customers who are acquired by the gaining trader, with the intention of persuading the customer to terminate its arrangement with the gaining trader.
For traders that want to elect to have switch saving protection, guidance about notifying the Authority is given below, along with a notification form that needs to be submitted.
The switch saving protection regime is effective from 12 January 2015.
Win-backs and saves decisions and reasons paper
What is a save?
In the retail electricity market, a save occurs when a losing trader persuades a customer to cancel an incomplete switch to a gaining trader.
When does switch saving protection apply?
The protection applies from when the losing trader is notified of the switch until the switch is completed.
However, the losing trader can contact the switching customer (clause 11.15AC):
- to advise of any termination fees the customer may be required to pay
- to deal with administrative matters, such as:
- a last meter reading
- returning keys
- advising of the effect of the customer ceasing to buy electricity from the trader on other contracts between the customer and the trader, for example, for the supply of gas
- to respond to the customer’s questions, including whether the losing trader could offer a better deal
- to make a counter-offer or offer an enticement to a customer who has invited the trader to attempt to persuade the customer to terminate the arrangement to commence trading electricity with the gaining trader
- to offer an enticement as part of a general marketing campaign.
The losing trader will still be able to save a customer by offering an inducement if the customer initiates contact with that trader prior to the switch being complete.
In addition, if a trader elects to have switch saving protection, it is prohibited from carrying out saves itself, unless the customer initiates the contact.
Who can elect to have the switch saving protection regime?
The switch saving protection regime is available to traders that buy electricity from the clearing manager and sell it to consumers or other retailers. It does not apply to retailers that buy from other traders and on-sell to consumers.
How do traders elect to have switch saving protection?
A trader may elect to have switch saving protection by filling out the notification form below and sending it to the nominated email address on the form.
When will switch saving protection start?
Once a trader has sent the notification form to the Authority, the Authority will publicise the notification within three business days of receipt. A trader’s switch saving protection will start on the day after the Authority’s publicises the trader’s notification.
The list of switch saving protected traders will appear:
- on the Authority’s website (see below)
- in the static data table in the registry.
Cancellation of switch saving protection
A trader that has elected to have switch saving protection may cancel its switch saving election by filling out the cancellation section of the notification form. However, the following time periods apply:
- A trader may not cancel its switch saving protection earlier than 12 months after it commenced to have switch saving protection
- A trader may then not re-elect to have switch saving protection earlier than 12 months after the date on which the trader cancelled its switch saving protection.
Use of switch withdrawal codes
When a gaining or losing trader requests the withdrawal of a switch, it must provide the registry with a withdrawal advisory code. The Authority determines and publishes the list of valid withdrawal advisory codes. To implement the switch saving protection scheme, the Authority:
- created two new switch withdrawal advisory codes (CE and CX)
- discontinued the switch withdrawal advisory code CR (customer request).
New switch withdrawal advisory codes came into effect on 31 July 2015.
Information on the use of these switch withdrawal codes is detailed in memo 3 on the switch saving protection scheme implementation page.
Further details on the switch withdrawal advisory codes can be found on the transfer of installation control points page.