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Can I use my economy 10 meter on a new economy 7 tariff?

  • 26 October 2020
  • 14 replies
  • 195 views

Hi,

     I’m thinking of switching to an Economy 7 tariff with Ovo and currently have an Economy 10 dual meter.

Do I need to have a new meter installed (at my expense?) or would I be able to continue to use the current one?

 

(I would have phoned Ovo to ask, but damned if I can find a number anywhere on their website!).

 

Many thanks,

Richard 

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Best answer by Tim_OVO 27 October 2020, 13:06

Good post this, @galatine 

 

In short: yes. You can think of your economy 10 meter as a two rate meter, that will fit with our two rate tariff. The only difference is you have more off peak and at different times to Economy 7. You can select an economy 7 tariff in the ‘Refine your quote’ section of our Quote page

 

However we won’t install a new Economy 10 meter. When that meter needs to be replaced, we’ll fit a smart meter (for free) which you can choose to have as Economy 7 or a single rate. 

 

You can get a free smart meter appointment now if we have an engineer in your area, check here

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14 replies

Userlevel 7

Good post this, @galatine 

 

In short: yes. You can think of your economy 10 meter as a two rate meter, that will fit with our two rate tariff. The only difference is you have more off peak and at different times to Economy 7. You can select an economy 7 tariff in the ‘Refine your quote’ section of our Quote page

 

However we won’t install a new Economy 10 meter. When that meter needs to be replaced, we’ll fit a smart meter (for free) which you can choose to have as Economy 7 or a single rate. 

 

You can get a free smart meter appointment now if we have an engineer in your area, check here

I’d like to clarify this in more detail please because when I switched from SSE on Economy 10 to Bulb, I can not get them to charge the storage heater circuit at a night rate (currently with the ombudsman).

Economy 10 has 3 hours daytime usage which may be causing the problem. 

I have 2 MPAN numbers and 3 rates :

MPAN 1 : storage heaters with a single rate

MPAN 2 : normal circuit with day and night rate.

I’d switch to someone else but only if I don’t have to go through this pain again.  No one is offering a smart meter option either (neither SSE or Bulb).

If I moved to OVO would I be able to have MPAN1 on a night time rate and MPAN2 on a daytime rate or some other solution that recognises the storage heaters and dual circuits.

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Heya @ColinSnelling .

Yup, we can definitely try to take a look at this for you. Would you be happy to take some photos of your meters and pop those in your next reply please? It helps us to make sure we’re giving the right advice, especially in cases like these.

There might be an upgrade path with OVO to get onto SMETS2 Smart Meters, we’ll definitely see what can be done there. I know of a possible method that’s fairly easy as long as you’re not using three-phase supplies. It sounds like you’ve had some kind of RTS Meter in the past with SSE as well. That might cause some fun, but we’ve got puzzle solvers here who can untangle the mess. :)

Thanks for the quick response.  Pictures of the meter below.

When you look at the display you can see that each rate is marked Element 1 or Element 2 which seems to relate to the circuit in use.

I will happily switch to Economy 7 and pay to switch the meter if required.  As I said earlier, switching to a smart meter doesn’t seem to be an option.  Bulb and SSE have both said that it is not happening in my area yet :-(

 

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Thanks @ColinSnelling ! This helps a LOT! :sunglasses:

I’m not seeing any obvious signs of a Three-Phase Supply here, but wow that meter looks ancient! In actual fact, it’s probably due for re-certification anyway which means it’s time for a new meter. I’m not sure why you’re being told that you can’t have one though.

I can also see you’ve got an RTS Meter and this is probably why the times can’t be changed at all. Because it’s kinda impossible to do with the existing meter… Given that RTS is shutting down anyway, I’m glad you asked about this because you’ll definitely want to get rid of that thing sooner rather than later. The only other thing I’d need to ask is what part of the country are you in? Just the region or county is fine, so that you don’t leak privacy too much. :wink:

The good news is that this looks like a pretty simple upgrade path that will result in you having a Five-Terminal S2 Smart Meter like the Aclara SGM1412-B with a single MPAN (and only one Standing Charge!) and also in Economy 7 mode with the meter fully capable of controlling your storage heaters. There’s no charge for this type of upgrade, so you won’t need to pay for that. OVO could even take care of nuking the second MPAN for you once the meter has been replaced, again completely free of charge.

In actual fact, I’m tempted to argue that any supplier who refuses to replace that stone age meter is acting irresponsibly due to the RTS Shutdown in less than two years from now. And ironically enough, the certification on that meter will at very most expire one year later (2024) if it hasn’t already. They tend to last 10 to 15 years after all.

As you mention having two MPANs right now, this can sometimes confuse OVO’s self-service switch tool, so you might want to have a chat with the Support Team about switching using the assisted switch tools that they’ve got. This should make sure the correct supplies are switched.

If you do chat with the team, feel free to let them know about this thread and that I’ve given you advice. I don’t get any kind of kickback or anything from it, but it helps to speed things up a little.

We’ll be here if you get stuck!

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Mind you, here’s a fun little fact though.

I noticed the meter you’ve got right now was manufactured by Horstmann. They’re actually known as Secure these days! And Secure just so happens to be the manufacturer that OVO used to use back in the SMETS1 days. It was just something I noticed while trying to see if your Radio Teleswitch had a group code printed somewhere on it. But it doesn’t seem to have one. Which is a bit strange…

Mind you, some of those earth cables don’t look to be in the best shape. It’s possible that your local DNO might be able to help there, or a friendly local electrician. But it depends on exactly which side of the meter those earth cables are on.

Given the way they seem to be wired into your main fuse, I’m gonna lucky dip and say that your DNO is probably the best place to reach out to for sorting those cables out. The worst that can happen is they tell you that it’s not in their remit and suggest a local electrician instead. But they won’t mind looking into it for you. :)

Thanks for all the info and the quick responses @Blastoise186 .

I live in North Wiltshire.  We’re getting fibre to the home installed in the town so we’re not exactly stuck in the dark ages !

I’m trying to get an EV charge point installed so I’ll get the electrician to give the whole unit the once over.

I need to wait and see what the Ombudsman says about Bulb before we switch but I can’t see us staying with them as their customer service has been terrible.

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No worries. You’ll be amazed with the magic tricks I pull off for this @ColinSnelling . Muhahahahahaha! :stuck_out_tongue:

North Wiltshire is slap bang in the Southern Territory and well within the capability of the Telefonica WAN that’s used for most of the country actually. Even if your meter struggles to get a decent signal by itself, there’s a whole bunch of magic tricks that can be deployed if needed. Not least Mesh Networking and Signal Boosters. Unless Bulb and SSE are looking at the national coverage maps, I doubt there’s any actual issues preventing an upgrade.

But to be safe, let me see if I can play a Joker Card here and call in an old friend or two such as @Jess_OVO . I can’t access the coverage checkers myself, but Jess might be able to give it a go. :)

And yup, I totally agree that getting the wiring looked at will be a good idea before installing that charger. The last thing you’ll want is to fry something after all! Yum, Fried EV with Zapped RTS Meter sounds tasty though…

Feel free to take things at your own pace though, the advantage of this forum is that it’s volunteer led and open to everyone regardless of supplier. You won’t get random marketing emails from OVO just by being on here. Tim and Jess make sure of that. :wink:

But as I always see things, if the service is horrible, then even the cheap prices probably aren’t worth it.

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I’m actually tempted to write up another guide regarding these sorts of matters, or at very least update one of my existing ones. Transitioning from RTS Meters to Smart Meters is a bit of a hot topic and I’ve actually written a guide over here.

That one took a fair amount of figuring out and made me realise just how much of a mess was created by RTS and all the weird legacy tariffs and meters that came with it. Economy 7 and Economy 10 are definitely the least nightmare inducing types to migrate!

As far as I’d say, it’s not worth the hassle of attempting to convert your existing RTS Meter to flip it to Economy 7 rather than Economy 10, because no-one ever really made that a feature in these legacy meters. I think it would also have required the meter to be either manually replaced or somehow reconfigured. And if you’re going to replace it anyway, it might as well be replaced with something more capable of handling the current and future tariffs on offer.

Even if Bulb did somehow manage to hack that thing into E7 mode, it still wouldn’t solve the fact that RTS is shutting down in about two years - or sooner if the last remaining valves at Droitwich Transmitting Station go bang before then cuz the BBC isn’t willing to buy more of em! I’m kinda shocked that they’re so unwilling to at least do something about it, rather than forcing you to go through the ombudsman.

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Sorry to hear of the issues you've been having with your current supplier and this Economy 10, 2 MPAN setup, @ColinSnelling .

I've checked whether a switch to OVO would be possible with your current set-up. Currently our in-house built billing platform wouldn't be able to support your meters. We're expecting this improvement to be made to the platform very soon, and we'll make sure to update this thread when these types of setups are fully supported. 

 
In the meantime it would be worth speaking to your current supplier, or other potential suppliers (if they're unable to support you), to discuss your options for getting a smart meter fitted and getting this second MPAN number removed, meaning one supply and standing charge, but keeping a two rate set up. 
 
Whilst your off peak times may change as a result of a smart meter, I believe the benefits should outweigh this, allowing for smart technologies to be considered to further optimise your energy usage. Let me know what you think about this..
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Thanks Jess!

Yep, I always think it’s fair to be open, honest and transparent upfront as to whether you’re able to handle something before anyone commits to it. Hopefully these Economy 10 meters can be handled once MyOVO gets that all important update.

However Colin, if you do need any help at all in the meantime, please do feel free to stop by here again. Even if you never switch to OVO, we’ll always be happy to help you out for free. :)

Thanks for all the very helpful info and the open and honest responses.    @Jess_OVO - one of the questions is whether there is anything stopping smart meters being installed in North Wiltshire.

 

The response from Bulb to switching the meter is :

“We are not able to change the meter to economy 7 with the existing second MPAN. Smart meter replacements are like for like, and also not possible presently where there is night storage or immersion heating.

We haven't offered an alternative to the metering set up as it is not something we are able to change.”

That doesn’t tally with earlier comments that so I will challenge them about upgrading us to a smart meter.

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Totally agreed there @ColinSnelling !

Clearly Bulb doesn’t understand the concept of the RTS Shutdown, so please feel free to ping them one of my guides on the subject. It’s over at 

Hopefully that might spark them into understanding the pitfall trap they’re leading you into if they refuse to budge! Smart meters can replace 2 MPAN E10 meters very easily too! Simply swap the meter out, nuke the second (now dead) MPAN and drop the second standing charge. Easy as Pi!

For now, I wouldn’t recommend switching to OVO just yet as based on the info from Jess, MyOVO would probably brick itself trying to handle your meter type. But that’s a blocker which should be resolved soon and once it is, you should be able to switch freely. My understanding is that OVO would then be able to rip out your existing meter, fit a smart meter and knock out the phantom MPAN too. :smile:

As far as I’m aware, there’s nothing in particular blocking smart meter installs anywhere in Wiltshire for the most part. Unless O2/Telefonica have a random black hole in coverage? But if that was the case, literally every O2 customer would have a dead mobile phone too!

Did I also mention that smart meters don’t come with two MPANs? Or that Economy 7 uses only ONE MPAN? Hehehe!

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Thanks for all the very helpful info and the open and honest responses.    @Jess_OVO - one of the questions is whether there is anything stopping smart meters being installed in North Wiltshire.

 

Glad to help advise here as best we can, @ColinSnelling . I unfortunately don’t have access to coverage maps but as WAN coverage is over 90% I wouldn’t envisage this being a problem.

 

 

The response from Bulb to switching the meter is :

“We are not able to change the meter to economy 7 with the existing second MPAN. Smart meter replacements are like for like, and also not possible presently where there is night storage or immersion heating.
 

Although we can’t comment on what other suppliers offer in terms of Smart meter replacement, it is probably worth mentioning that with your type of setup, there would probably be some preparatory work that would need to carried out by an electrician to allow this to be replaced with a single meter, however the would vary on a case by case basis. With storage heaters a 5 port smart meter would be required, which may not yet be offered by your current supplier.

 

We’re really sorry we’re not able to offer you a switch to OVO with your current set-up but will be sure to update this thread when our platforms make this possible.:slight_smile:

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