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How do I get unused 1980's off peak meter removed?


I am trying to get a smart meter installed (and 2 very old meters removed) at my late father’s house which we are purchasing.

I have been told that it is impossible at the moment by an OVO reply to my email requesting this.

Currently there is a very old (1970s) mechanical off peak meter installed (pictures attached), this hasn't been used since the 1980s.

The property was built with the old underfloor electric wire heating which was too expensive to run so was converted to gas central heating in the 1980s.

As you can see in the attached pictures there are no fuses installed in the off peak side of the supply. We will never want to use the off peak again.

We will be installing a new consumer unit and electric car charger after the purchase has been completed.

Is there any way forward with this?

 

Electric box

 

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Best answer by Firedog 1 June 2024, 03:06

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You didn’t show us the meters! That Horstmann device is an electromechanical time switch that turns the offpeak circuits on and off according to its time settings, and also changes which meter register is clocking usage. You say there are two meters in the closed box; this presumably means that the original meter was single-rate only, so another one had to be installed specifically to measure offpeak usage. 

If this is the situation, then there’s no obvious reason why the whole lot can’t be replaced by a modern smart meter. It may be that like another customer with a similar arrangement, OVO wrongly thinks you have an RTS system. You should be able to persuade them that you don’t. 

Thank you for the reply, I didn’t include a picture of the meters as they are externally visible (just abvout) through 2 glass blocks.

I believe the supply was an off peak arrangement from new as my parents bought it off plan and the only heating was electric wire heating in the slab which was too expensive to run so the heating/hot water was changed to gas central heating in the 1980s and the fuses from the off peak side were removed.

Despite emails and calls stating that the system isn’t RTS the people I get through to stick to the script and assume it is RTS which I know is a problem.

The problem is getting through to someone who can understand!

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Hmm… That shouldn’t be a blocker anyway - it’s THTC that’s a blocker, NOT RTS in general. And you don’t even have RTS...

Leave this with us… We have some Joker Cards for this one… :D

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Hey @MT_OVO24,

 

 @Blastoise186 and @Firedog have given lots of handy information so far. 

 

The best way to handle this is by calling our Support Team. We have a dedicated team set up to deal with exotic meters and complex metering. The system should automatically direct your call to this team when it knows your account information, but if you have any challenges when you speak with someone, ask to be passed to a member of Squad 70. They are the team handling these types of setups.

 

Let us know how things progress!

Thank you for the reply, I have managed to get through to Squad 70 but still get the same answer.

He was made aware that the off peak supply hasn’t been used since the 1980s and will never be needed again and that the timer is mechanical pre RTS, he understood the situation but was adamant that nothingcould be done because there are 2 MPANs.

The new in development smart meter will be rolled out later in the year aparently but from reading the forum this has been the ongoing answer.

Frustrating to say the least.

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… nothingcould be done because there are 2 MPANs.

 

That’s an interesting point that I hadn’t considered. Two MPANs usually means two standing charges. Until a couple of years ago, this didn’t matter much, but with standing charges nowadays at 60p a day, it’s no longer insignificant (£220 a year for each meter). An electricity bill will reveal whether this is the case or not. It should also tell you what both the MPANs and the Meter Serial Numbers (MSN) are, information to be noted down because you’ll undoubtedly need to quote them when conducting this exercise. 

You might tell us which tariff this account is using. If it’s a complex one with different Time of Use rates, you may be paying substantially over the odds for the electricity being used. If it isn’t, I can’t see any reason why the second, unused meter can’t just be disconnected. That involves the DNO (presumably National Grid), but the request has to come from the supplier (OVO). The second MPAN would then be removed from the national database and the reason for not installing a smart meter should go away …

 

 

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In some cases, OVO zaps the second Standing Charge and only charges a single one for 2 MPAN setups - the details are in your Tariff.

I am just paying one standing charge for the 2 meters and am on the simpler energy tariff.

I am awaiting a call back from the DNO to see if they can change the supply and get rid of the unused meter and the associated MPAN number.

According to the DNO it is a simple matter for the enery supply company to request removal of a MPAN number from the database but for some reason the person I spoke to in squad 70 at OVO said it is impossible to remove a MPAN number once it has been assigned!

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I am just paying one standing charge for the 2 meters and am on the simpler energy tariff.

 

OK, that’s one less thing to worry about!

  

According to the DNO it is a simple matter for the enery supply company to request removal of a MPAN number from the database but for some reason the person I spoke to in squad 70 at OVO said it is impossible to remove a MPAN number once it has been assigned!
  

That’s a bit unlikely. Of course the MPAN can’t be removed from the database while the supply is still connected. As I understand it, you have to persuade OVO to request a ‘logical disconnection’ from the DNO. Then the question arises of whether this disconnection can be carried out while the meter is in place, so chickens and eggs come to mind. UKPN’s page suggests that removal of the meter has to precede the logical disconnection and subsequent deletion of the MPAN. National Grid only mention disconnection prior to demolition, so you may have to knock the house down. 

If you’re on a standard variable tariff with all consumption going through the one meter, and that meter is out of certification (one of the reasons why we ask for a photo of it; there’s usually a certification date stamp on it), then you should be able to persuade OVO to install a new one and (incidentally) take both the old meters away when they’re done. The second MPAN becomes an anomaly to be sorted out between OVO and NGED. 

If they still refuse to do anything, complain bitterly.   

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Hey @MT_OVO24,

 

According to the DNO it is a simple matter for the enery supply company to request removal of a MPAN number from the database but for some reason the person I spoke to in squad 70 at OVO said it is impossible to remove a MPAN number once it has been assigned!

 

The supply would have easily been removed if it were as simple as the DNO believes. The DNO can give you more information about their stance on the removal process, which may help. If Squad 70 advises that it can’t be removed at this stage, then that’s the advice we’d suggest, as they are specifically trained for these meter types. As @Firedog has pointed out, though, you can still follow the complaints process to see if escalating would make any difference. 
 
Hopefully, you will get some answers soon to resolve this. Could you keep us updated if you make any breakthroughs?

DNO were extremely helpful, rang up late on Friday and was told someone from the local office would ring in 48 hours.

Had a call this morning at 10am and a visit was arranged for 3pm today.

He took pictures of the meters and the unused off peak supply meter will be disconnected from the MPAN number tomorrow.

He suggested leaving it for a few days before contacting OVO again to arrange for a smart meter which shouldn’t be a problem as there will only be one MPAN number assigned to the property.

He was very helpful and said they are having lots of this sort of visit at the moment because of the installation of more car chargers and heat pumps.

The old black meters have certified 02/89 on them!

 

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Hey @MT_OVO24,

 

That’s fantastic news, as well as speedy service from the DNO! I feel that we see that more people are looking into alternative heating and power options but can face challenges regarding their meter type! I think what you’ve shared so far will be helpful to people with similar metering struggles. I’ll be keeping a close eye on your progress 🙂

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I’ll be keeping a close eye on your progress 🙂

 

… and making sure that support staff etc. don’t say things like “it is impossible to remove a MPAN number once it has been assigned.”

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Hey @Firedog,

 

Feedback is important, and we can relay this back to the team to ensure they’re providing the best information and advice! 
 

Update on the meter problem

 

The DNO engineer phoned this morning and apologised that the disconnection had failed as only the supplier can do this the DNO can’t.

So back to square one with trying to get OVO to remove the meter without saying that they need a new meter that is in development!

We don’t need the new off meter that can handle peak and off peak as we will not be using off peak at all.

We need a normal smart meter installed after the old meters (which are certified to 02/1989) are removed and the MPAN for the off peak meter is disconnected by a logical disconnection request.

 

According to the DNO’s reply this is the procedure needed to disconnect the old off peak supply.

 

Your disconnection has failed because we can’t disconnect an mpan while it is in a relationship with another mpan, only the supplier can break the relationship…..

I would advise the customer that  we can’t disconnect the mpan in advance.

The supplier needs to remove the meter and send flows advising, break the relationship between the mpans and then send a D0132 logical disconnection request.

Hope this helps you get the meter removed and mpan disconnected.

 

 

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[DNO] can’t disconnect an mpan while it is in a relationship with another mpan, only the supplier can break the relationship…..

 

OK, so now we have another piece to this jigsaw puzzle. It’s not just that there are two MPANs, but that they are linked. So it’s back to OVO support and tell them your DNO has asked for the link between your two MPANS to be broken, followed by a disconnect request for the redundant one. Good luck with that - nobody said it would be simple 🤷🏼

Userlevel 3

Hi @MT_OVO24,

 

I’m sorry to hear that you’re experiencing problems trying to get this meter removed.

 

I’m going to have our Forum_Support team reach out to you so they can help you further with this. Look out for a private message here soon: https://forum.ovoenergy.com/inbox/overview.

 

 

Thank you

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OVO seem to have grouped all customers who have 2 mpan setups into a group and filed them under 'Do nothing till the newly developed smart meter solution is rolled out'.

I'm wondering if there's a separate budget under their contract arrangement to resolve the whole 2 mpan/THTC mess so they're reluctant to do anything for these customers till the rollout project kicks off?

 

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Howdy!

Please watch this space, some hot news is on the way regarding the future of THTC. So hot in fact, that I’ve not even had a chance to write the post yet - I literally just got told it today.

All I can say for now… Is that I think you may want to hear this...

Please allow me some time to get things written up and checked over, as well as getting permission to make it public (I need OVO’s permission for this one!). We don’t yet have an exact date as to when I can spill the beans, but please keep watching the Forum - feel free to check in anytime and we’ll try to tell you whatever can be made public at that point.

Userlevel 2

Howdy!

Please watch this space, some hot news is on the way regarding the future of THTC. So hot in fact, that I’ve not even had a chance to write the post yet - I literally just got told it today.

All I can say for now… Is that I think you may want to hear this...

Please allow me some time to get things written up and checked over, as well as getting permission to make it public (I need OVO’s permission for this one!). We don’t yet have an exact date as to when I can spill the beans, but please keep watching the Forum - feel free to check in anytime and we’ll try to tell you whatever can be made public at that point.

Thanks for the update, finally something positive to look forward to! 👍

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