Closing down the Master Registration Agreement (MRA) and the Supply Point Administration Agreement is a welcome direction of travel, a former board member has said.

Ofgem launched a significant code review in 2019 with the aim of consolidating the MRA and the SPAA into a single Retail Energy Code (REC).

The REC is intended to harmonise the switching arrangements between gas and electricity and make the process faster and more reliable.

Earlier this week the energy regulator confirmed its decision to close down both codes, as well as their respective operating companies, ahead of the REC version 2 go-live date of 1 September this year. The REC was initially supposed to go live on 1 April but was delayed due to Covid-19.

Speaking to Utility Week David Watson, a former Centrica director who spent two years on the boards of both the MRA and SPAA, said: “My overall reaction is this is a good move. I have not got anything against these codes but code governance is way too complicated today. It’s too slow, it’s cumbersome, if you’re a new entrant into the market, trying to get your head round it is an impossibility.”

Watson, who became the managing director of Heat Trust last year, said the REC should make things simpler.

“At British Gas we were lucky because we had a team of people navigating the codes. If you wanted to start up a small business tomorrow, you haven’t got the luxury of that, you shouldn’t have to have the luxury of that, it should just be easy to work out what the rules of the game are and how you do it”, he said.

He added: “The old structure is part of the problem, the new way of doing things is part of the solution. I couldn’t tell you if Ofgem has got the content or structure of the new codes right or not but the direction of travel towards simplification has to be welcome.”