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Total Heating with Total Control (THTC) - OVO/SSE ending support in March 2023



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“Smart Meters do not cause any more health risks than the computer or smartphone that you used to post on this forum after all (in fact, the radio emissions from a Smart Meter are even less powerful than a mobile phone)”                                                                                      Actually I don’t have a smartphone and my computer and TVs are hardwired for internet, there’s no Wifi in my house which is the way I want to keep it.  I have the newer Quantum storage heaters and they don’t have wireless transponders.  When THTC ends it looks to me like Economy 10 is my only option, can that be done with a non-smart meter?

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Well, perhaps I should reveal a little more about myself. I’m bathed in Wi-Fi constantly from a total of four Ubiquiti UniFi access points in my flat (three of which are capable of transmitting right near the Ofcom enforced legal TX Power limit of 30dBm in the UK) and I’ve not had a single ill effect as a result in over a year of using them, even though at least two of them are technically not meant for home use. As long as I keep 30cm away from them as per the user manual, it’s perfectly fine. Smart Meters are usually even further away than that and the emissions are pretty low regardless. Did I mention that the RTS Service emits RF/EMF to control your THTC Meter with? Yup, it has to and the background radiation from it is there whether you like it or not.

None of my neighbours or visitors have reported or complained about any ill effects as a result of my UniFi kit either. If they did, I’d know about it almost immediately and would have taken steps to resolve it.

Likewise, there’s now four Smart Meters in the block of flats that I live in, including my own one, Raichu. When combined with the two In-Home Displays that I have which I call the Kecleon Brothers, nobody in the building has reported a single problem with any of the equipment and the landlord has no problems with Smart Meters. If there was going to be any health issues caused by Smart Meters, I’m pretty sure I’d have already noticed them by now, but alas none have come up because such a thing does not exist.

Regardless of Wi-Fi usage, your electrical and electronic devices will emit RF/EMF anyway and the only way to get rid of that is to not use any electricity at all.

Anyway… Back to the matter at hand. These days, even Economy 7 and Economy 10 rely on Smart Meters if you don’t already have an existing Economy 7/10 meter. Given that the traditional ones also rely on the same RTS Service that’s shutting down in the next few years or so, I’m afraid you’ll only end up jumping out of the frying pan and into the fire.

There is also the small matter of finding a supplier that’s actually still installing traditional Economy 7/10 meters for anyone who doesn’t already have one. As far as I’m aware, there are none anymore. If you do manage to find one, feel free to share the details though, because I’m willing to take notes. Otherwise, I’m afraid you’re out of luck. As I’ve said before, the only way is onwards, there is no turning back...

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I should probably also mention that Economy 10 is not designed to be used with storage heaters, so I wouldn’t recommend it in your case.

Since you’re on THTC, it’s possible you might be in an area with Load Managed Area restrictions that won’t allow you to move to Economy 7/White Meter or Economy 10 but you’ll need to check with your supplier about that as I can’t access the records myself.

THTC is also too complicated to run with a local timeswitch on a traditional meter, due to the fact that it varies based on factors such as the weather forecast - but also the fact you can use the off-peak rates 24/7 with certain other appliances and devices. If you move to a different tariff type such as Economy 7 or Economy 10, you will lose that perk and you’d never get it back. The best advice I can think of right now is to stay put and wait for SSE to contact you, or reach out to the SSE Electric Heating Team directly on 0345 071 7972 to discuss your situation.

One last note by the way. You’re in the Northern Territory, so Smart Meters in your area use Long-Range Radio in a similar format to the RTS Service that runs via radio signals. There is no Wi-Fi or Cellular connection used in those Comms Hubs, only the ZigBee HAN which has a fairly limited range. You’ll probably get over 1,000% more RF/EMF exposure from standing in front of a microwave oven for 10 minutes while it makes your lunch than you would from a Smart Meter being in the cupboard several metres away for a whole year anyway. I’ve tested that sort of thing before.

I’m just becoming aware of the switch-off of THTC.

I can see the complexity of the problem, the RTS being switched off, OVO not really wanting to offer THTC etc so I won’t thrash around this again.

But, just trying to clarify for my own position going forward.  I have 3 meters, 1 on peak, 1 on THTC feeding water-heating and old non-smart storage heaters in the main circulation spaces for ‘core’ heating, and 1 THTC feeding convectors in lounge, bedrooms. and underfloor in kitchen.

So my main living spaces, lounge, bedroom and kitchen don’t have any storage.  Once THTC ends even if I convert to Economy 7/10 then it looks as if I will have to either run these rooms on Peak or rip out my existing heating and re-install storage.

Does it just come down to this?  

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Hey, welcome @square93 !

Yup, it’s a tricky one. From my understanding, OVO won’t migrate you over from SSE yet if you have THTC as more work is needed first - and also because it’s been decided to migrate the more complicated accounts last, while focusing on the easier accounts first. I think this will give the team more time to then focus on puzzle solving, so there’s time yet.

It’s a little tricky to advise on what to do, Smart Meters can in theory handle THTC but there’s no Six Terminal or Seven Terminal SMETS2 Smart Meter right now, so it’s very difficult to upgrade. I’m told that the SSE Electric Heating Team are on hand to assist though and they should be able to walk you through your options. You can reach them on 0345 071 7972 and they’ll be happy to help.

If I can dig up anything else useful, I’ll be sure to let you know. As a forum volunteer I can only give general advice but I hope it helps.

I have had THTC for over 30 yrs, this is the first I have heard of OVO switching off This tarrif. I have had no contact from SSE, which is no surprise as they never reply to anything I have asked them. They are not quick to up my DD even when I am £600 in credit. I am fed up as I seem to be getting nowhere. Even before companies crashed not one would look at switching me. So I am stuck on a tarrif I dont want, the company does not offer it, yet they always put on my bill as I am on the cheapest one. I ivested in Quantum heaters 6 yrs ago and am overall pleased with them as they are controllable, but I have no say on input. I live in the North of Scotland where SSE says we are the coldest in Britain, but Moray has one of the better climates. So what are my options, would love to hear some.

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Hi @Davide ,

I’m one of the forum volunteers here. :)

Firstly, please don’t worry. It’s been confirmed that OVO/SSE won’t be turning off THTC just yet, and there are plans in place to migrate everyone affected over to alternative options before the RTS Service is terminated. This doesn’t just affect OVO and SSE though, it affects ALL suppliers that use any kind of Radio Teleswitch Meter and that means a huge number of Economy 7 meters (for example) are also affected.

Unfortunately, it is true that switching suppliers/tariffs when you’re on a THTC setup is almost impossible. This was never OVO’s decision, as OVO has never offered such a tariff directly - its only being inherited now because OVO bought out SSE’s retail division.

You will be kept informed of any changes nearer the time, not least by post or email. I will also try to put something up here on the forum once I know what’s happening - but I’d rather wait until the plans are made public, otherwise I’d risk speculating which isn’t ideal and I can’t access any non-public information.

In the meantime though, there are definitely options you can consider. I don’t have the details handy myself as I can’t offer account-specific advice, but you can call the SSE Electric Heating Team directly on 0345 071 7972 and they’ll be happy to advise.

Hi there Blastoise186, thanks for your reply very helpful indeed. I had a pal in the last day looking at the stat on my heater boost and he said its time I had a smart meter installed as my setup is ready for it. I will give Electric Heating Team a call tomorrow anyway. Thanks again. Davide.

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No worries. You will be moved to OVO eventually, but your THTC setup means you’ll be migrated much later on, because OVO wants to focus on the easier accounts first, to allow more attention to the more complicated accounts like yours later. In the meantime, you’ll remain on SSE but when the time comes to migrate, OVO will inform you.

Of course, you're very welcome to stop by this forum anytime and we’ll help you out here as best we can. Even though you’re not currently with OVO, this forum is open to everyone anyway. :)

It’s also worth noting that depending on your circumstances, you might not be able to come off THTC yet. If for example you’re in a Load Managed Area, you’ll remain locked into THTC for the foreseeable future, which is a decision made and enforced not by OVO/SSE, but by your DNO. There’s nothing OVO or SSE can do to override this I’m afraid. Even with Smart Meters, you’d still have to be on THTC - except that a Smart Meter would resolve the issue with the RTS Service being terminated.

However, if there are no barriers, you might be able to upgrade to Smart Meters and then come off the SSE THTC tariff and onto something a bit more useful to you. SSE’s Electric Heating Team are best placed for this as they’re able to go through all these checks.

Hope this helps!

Thanks for your info, I did get someone from SSE heating Dept and I got info off them about when the switch off happens for THTC the very helpful person told me my complicated twin meter would be probably be the last in line to switch also said Economy 10 would be my go to tarrif. Also told me that switching would be England first,not the North of Scotland. One good thing from her was that my DD was for too much and my in credit should not be the amount it was (nearly £700) so Knocked me down a fair bit for DD. Will see what April brings

I was wondering whether there was any updates in switching out THTC meters? I’ve read this thread in detail. My last communication from SSE was to advise me that the switch off was going to be in March 2023 and that they would get in touch. That was about 4 months ago and I am now worried that if we are at the end of the queue (our set up is complicated), then there won’t be any time to make any changes before the shut down.

We have 3 meters (for some reason) - one controlling the storage heaters/panel heaters/water - and 2 for standard electricity. Maybe something to do with the fact that it’s a 6 bedroom house with a 1 bed and a 2 bed holiday cottage attached to it? We also have a 3 bed holiday cottage attached to the house as well, but it has it’s own 2 meters (THTC and standard).

As we are running a business, and live here too, we cannot afford for any disruption in our supply or heating/water over the winter period in the run up to March 2023. We are also starting some renovations in the 3 bed cottage, including upgrading the storage heaters, and don’t want to put in something that can’t be supported. Our cottage guests don’t understand how to use the storage heaters and misuse them.

Our storage heaters are old, but they work. We do turn most of them off and rely on timed panel heaters, a wood burning stove, an AGA, and have turned off the water heater and boil kettles on the AGA instead (SSE’s advice to save money!). Not a great situation when located in the Highlands. Our bills are about to double - looking at nearly £7k pa.

Any updates please?

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Hi @mammamia ,

Thanks for stopping by! I’m afraid I don’t have any further updates at the moment, but my understanding is that the RTS Service will remain active until all affected customers have been migrated away from it. The biggest thing to know is that no-one else will be added to the RTS Service at this late stage of its lifespan and there’s multiple projects across all suppliers to migrate everyone off it.

The biggest slowdown is the difficulty in getting compatible Smart Meters though. I think there’s probably a valid reason for your unusual metering setup - would you be OK to post photos please?

Other than that, I’m afraid there’s nothing new that I can tell you right now. If I hear anything else, I’ll post in this thread again.

Thanks for your response. I have uploaded 2 photos of my setup. Hope you can make sense of it.

 

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Hmm… Interesting… To me, it seems you have a Horstmann THTC RTS Meter and two Ampy 5235A Single Rate Watt Hour Meters. Horstmann is now known as Secure these days and Ampy was bought out by Landis+Gyr some time ago. But it’s still basically the same thing anyway.

I get the feeling this is just another THTC setup, but I hope you don’t mind if I use my Phone A Friend lifeline? @Lukepeniket_OVO is a long standing SSE engineer who also does OVO work these days. If anyone can figure this out, chances are he can.

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Thanks for uploading those meter photos, @mammamia.

 

Correct me if I’m wrong but looks to me like that could be a 3 phase set-up, with the two meters, 4 distribution boards and the external time-switch. What do you think, @PeterR1947.

 

If you’re currently on a Total Heat Total Control plan with SSE, have you been in touch with the SSE heating team on 0345 071 7972 yet, @mammamia? As this team is the first point of contact for customer on this plan, they’re best placed to offer advice on the options available to you when this plan is discontinued.

 

Keep us updated here too - this can really help out others with a similar set-up who might be reading too! 👍

 

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@Jess_OVO It certainly looks like a three phase incoming supply although it’s difficult to see the paths of some of the cables, it’s a bit of a rat’s nest :)

We have lived in our property since Dec 2016,  it is a small semi detached bungalow which has THTC and storage heating.  I’m aware that SSE is rolling out new meters however we have not been given a date, only that it will be before march 2023.  I’m wondering if anyone has any advice, I knew our heating was expensive but until this year it hasn’t really been a problem but with the increases coming in our month DD is now £333.  I have now looked in to it more and work colleagues pay less on their standard rate than we are paying for our night time rate and this is before the increase which comes in this month.

 

We can get new storage heaters from UK energy Management but need a smart meter before they can be installed.  Do we just have to wait until SSE roll our the new Economy 7 and 10 meters for our properties or do we have any other options to try and reduce our bill.  

 

Thanks in advance.

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Hi and Welcome to the OVO online community, @DebbieP.

 

A really great question this one and it’s something others with a similar THTC type plan heave been wondering too. In case you hadn’t spotted it there’s an ongoing discussion on this over here:
 

 

For the official word on what your options might be going forward we’d recommend giving the SSE Complex Heating team a call on 0345 071 7972.

 

You might find it helpful to hear about the actions @BrightEyes161 took to reduce their costs by changing their meter set-up on this related topic too.

 

Keep us posted here with how you get on - This is really helpful to others considering the best alternative to a THTC plan. 🙂

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