Project Nexus, the replacement for Xoserve’s ageing gas settlement system, has been cleared for go-live on 1 June by an industry steering group.
The new platform has been designed to the accommodate the large volume of data generated by smart meters and to remove distortions in the current gas settlement arrangements which are hindering competition.
It also aims to improve the reliability of switching arrangements by bringing the systems operated by independent gas transporters into a single centralised system.
Ofgem took sponsorship of the project last year following a series of delays. Speaking yesterday (17 May), a spokesman for the regulator said: “Today the Project Nexus steering group made a decision to go live with Project Nexus on 1 June subject to a small number of ongoing actions which will be completed before and after the go live period.
“We will ratify this decision on Friday 19 May as planned.”
In a letter published ahead of the meeting, Ofgem gave its approval to the new system but cautioned that customers switching suppliers may experience some disruption while it is introduced.
Partner for consumers and competition, Ron Salter-Church, wrote: “In making this decision, we recognise that for a period of six days around the cutover period, customer switches could take up to an additional three days to complete as a consequence of the cutover to the new systems”.
Ofgem judged the project against four criteria for success. The criteria were that it: meets industry requirement; is stable; is sustainable; and enables a positive consumer experience.
Salter-Church said the system has been “extensively tested” by Xoserve and industry participants over a period of more than ten months. He said large volumes data have already been fed into the system, with “no data defects” arising, and there are “robust, well-tested methods for updating it”.
He went on to say that transition plans with “appropriate contingency” are already in place across industry, and that assurances of the replacement programme have been undertaken by consultancy firms PwC and Baringa.
“It is not possible for a project of this nature, to eradicate all risks”, he added. “Risks have been reviewed at every Project Nexus Steering Group meeting… but there may be some which need resolving post go-live.
“However, we do not believe that a further delay beyond 1 June would materially reduce them or tackle the known issues that need to be resolved after go-live”.
He concluded by saying that further delay “would cause significant costs and disruption to industry”.