Nearly a million homes in Energy Economy 7 deals were told to get a smart meter or lose out on cheap off-peak electricity
- The technology that powers the older economy 7 and 10 meters is set to expire soon
- Customers using off-peak power must get a smart meter or lose cheap electricity
- Are you going to lose? call us: [email protected]
Nearly a million homes and businesses face cheap electricity tariffs being shut down overnight next month unless a smart meter is installed.
Many homes could lose access to heating and hot water if they do not agree to have a smart meter.
This is because the technology that powers the older 7 and 10 meter budget devices is set to be shut down from March 31, with many owners of these devices facing an uncertain future.
Economy 7 and 10 tariffs provide cheaper overnight electricity rates, and are popular with homes that want to save money by running appliances such as washing machines and dishwashers overnight, or by using overnight storage heaters.
To get these tariffs, homes need either a modern smart meter or an old meter powered by 1980s technology called Radio Teleswitch (RTS).
Petring Meters: Old economy 7 meters like this may not work properly within a few weeks
The RTS on the back measures BBC Radio 4’s longwave channel in order to communicate with energy companies. Energy companies use RTS to switch the meter between peak and off-peak rates.
There are around 900,000 active RTS meters in the UK, according to figures from energy regulator Ofgem.
The contract between the BBC and energy companies to operate the RTS system expires on March 31, although This is Money understands there are last-minute talks to try to extend that deadline until 2025.
But if the RTS service is turned off, households face that their meters are not working properly, and they may lose hot water and heating.
Many energy companies are now contacting their RTS meter customers and urging them to switch to a smart meter.
“Once this service is turned off, your meter may lose functionality and times may change during off-peak times,” says an email from EDF to an RTS meter customer.
“This may also result in the loss of important functions such as heating and hot water.
“You may also see increased costs, because when the RTS service ends, off-peak hours may not be operated.
“By upgrading your meter, you can continue to take advantage of off-peak hours without the need for a radio signal.”
The customer said: “EDF has been bombarding me for a few months with emails telling me that my meter will no longer receive the signal (to switch Economy 7) in 2024, meaning my heating and hot water probably won’t work, so I’ll do that.” . Need a smart meter in advance due to demand.
“So previous harassment due to the government insisting that I have one has now turned into what could be classified as veiled threats.”
“The technology that turns your meter from peak price to off-peak price will expire in March 2024,” a similar email to an Octopus customer said.
“After the RTS ends, your meter timings may not work as expected.
‘There’s a simple solution: we need to replace your meter. Book your smart meter installation for the day that suits you and we’ll take care of the rest.’
But many households do not want a smart meter, or cannot install one due to connectivity issues.
Some readers have been told that this is money Smart meter bills are wrongor they feel bullied into getting one.
Homes that don’t want to lose their RTS meter can theoretically keep it as is It is not necessary to install a smart meter Unless your old one is dangerous.
But retaining the RTS measure would mean losing access to cheap electricity overnight under Economy 7 and 10 tariffs within a few weeks, unless the deadline is extended.
Instead, households that maintain RTS meters are more likely to switch to an alternative energy deal without off-peak prices.
An Ofgem spokesman said: “Ofgem expects suppliers to ensure appropriate metering arrangements are in place for their customers.
“This includes arranging for replacement and upgrades of RTS measuring equipment prior to any potential expiration date and communicating clearly with consumers about this.”
Many economy 7 and 10 tariffs are also very popular with electric vehicle (EV) owners, who want cheaper electricity when recharging their cars overnight.
However, many EV owners will be affected by the end of the RTS, as are most Electric vehicle energy deals It already requires homes to have a smart meter to register.
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