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2 meters with 2 MPANs- can I switch to OVO?

  • 23 November 2018
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Userlevel 7
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Hi @Gus123 ,

I’ve read through your question a few more times and I can offer some more advice here.

I’m not sure whether you’re trying to switch to OVO or switch from OVO. Could you clarify that for us please?

I think I can also offer some potentially good news here too. If you’re currently on a Single-Phase Supply (and don’t need a Three-Phase Supply) then getting a Smart Meter upgrade should be pretty easy, even with Economy 7. Current SMETS2 Smart Meters are compatible with Single-Phase supplies running on Single-Rate and Time-of-Use tariffs such as Economy 7. It’s only a problem if you wanted a Three-Phase and Smart Meter since they’re currently not offered.

You can switch to OVO with a Three-Phase Supply though, but it would mean you can’t get a smart meter to begin with. While you would also have to pay for OVO to downgrade you from a Three-Phase Supply to a Single-Phase Supply, a new smart meter could be installed at the same time, but it’s a tricky job. We’ll be more than happy to offer advice here on the forums if that helps.

When it comes to this work however, you might find these guides helpful:

Having two MPANs might cause a bit of fun with the switch process, but it should be possible. Once we know more about your setup, we can help advise you with that.

Personally, my advice would be to switch to OVO first and then go from there. While this does mean moving both MPANs over for now, it would then make it easier for OVO to help you with anything that needs doing, Any dead meters can be removed at the same time as a smart meter upgrade or upgrading/downgrading between Single-Phase and Three-Phase.

OVO can then also take care of knocking out the second MPAN for you if it’s no longer needed.

If there’s anything else you need help with, please let us know.

Userlevel 2

Hello and thank you for your comments.

We are currently with SP,

I have no idea about phase 1 2 or 3 im afraid.

We are not even sure of the name of the system we have. We have storage heaters. We have one meter that gives 3 readings. I will take a picture tomorrow in daylight.

SP say that if we change suppliers the new supplier will fit a meter not compatible with the heating system and our rate will then be even higher than theirs. They state this a fact not an opinion.

Userlevel 7
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Thanks for the update.

Can you provide some more details about what you currently have please?

Photos of your meters and equipment will be especially helpful once you can get them. If you don’t mind, could you also tell me what type of tariff you’re currently on. This might help us to figure out the details.

I suspect that your current supplier is attempting to use a retention strategy such as pressure selling to try to convince you to stay. It’s pretty common for a company to do this in order to make a customer change their mind and stay put. However, while I am an OVO customer myself, I’m only a volunteer here on the forums, so I can offer better advice.

I think I have some idea of what you might have, possibly a Total Heat Total Control, Storage Heating Control or Superdeal meter? It definitely sounds like you’ve got an unusual setup either way. I’m also going to call in @Tim_OVO for advice about this, because he’s got some great resources that I can’t access right now.

Tim will definitely be more than happy to offer advice for free on the forums from OVO’s side of things to help you make an informed decision, but without requiring you to commit to anything. If you need help with anything else, definitely feel free to ask.

Userlevel 2

Hello again,

I dont know about retention strategy, their attitude seems to be “Ok, bye then” which is one of the disappointing things about their customer service.

They have moved us onto    Help Beat Cancer Fix And Save December 2022.

I wonder if we are on Comfort plus control? 

Apparently they can boost our heating when they want according to the weather, yet we cant change things online because of the heating system, doesnt even make sense to me.

Userlevel 7
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Bingo!

I think I have some idea of what you’re on, but please correct me otherwise.

It sounds like you’re on something like their Comfort Plus White Meter, Comfort Plus White Meter with Weathercall or Comfort Plus Control, but it’s tricky to say for definite. Do any of those sound about right?

From what you’ve described, I’m definitely confident that you do have Weathercall as well.

If that’s the case, I think I’m starting to get an understanding here of your current situation. And it definitely seems like you’ve got a very, very complicated scenario here too!

I don’t know much about these special tariffs or features such as Weathercall, so I apologise if I get something wrong here. I definitely think that the safest thing to do is also definitely not jump directly into recommending specific ones that OVO offers in case I go wrong. But I hope you’re OK with me giving my thoughts here.

In some ways, I’d be tempted to suggest considering an Economy 7 tariff which OVO can do and throw that onto a smart meter. In theory, it is possible to have storage heaters controlled by a smart meter, so that they charge up at the appropriate times and use the cheap rate whenever possible. Tim can hopefully help there.

You bring up a really interesting question too and I don’t think many people ask about this one.

As for customer service, it can be a struggle at times due to COVID-19 causing havoc everywhere, but I would still expect a reasonable level of service regardless. One of the great things about this forum is that we have volunteers such as myself helping out a lot, along with OVO staff such as Tim who are constantly on hand to help out where needed. We can answer almost anything that’s not account specific and doesn’t involve personal info.

I really do appreciate you asking this question too, as we love puzzle solving and getting unique questions! If you’re OK with hanging in there for a bit, we’ll try to figure out your options. Tim should be able to reach out to a few internal teams to get help too, as this definitely sounds like a complicated switch if you do decide to go ahead.

Userlevel 2

No problem.

Thanks.

Hopefully something can be worked out

Will post pictures and will ask SP what system we have when i can manage to get a hold of someone.

cheers

Userlevel 7
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No worries :slight_smile:

After all, the last thing I’d want to do is say oh yeah, go for this option and then it ends up completely crippling your wallet… While also freezing your house into a block of ice.

As far as I’m aware, OVO doesn’t strictly do any like for like options similar to Weathercall right now, but there might be some kind of magic tricks they can do.

The other thing that might be worth looking into, is the Smart Home Heat offer OVO is currently doing. That would also let you have at least some control over the heating, which Weathercall doesn’t seem to allow. It’s an option you could consider if you were willing to upgrade your storage heaters too, but it’s not mandatory.

Just for context, I’m also going to drop this publication here as well which relates to Restricted Meters like yours.

Userlevel 2

 

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Userlevel 2

Some pics of the setup we have, possibly Comfort Plus Control?

Userlevel 7
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Ooh, nice one. Thanks @Gus123 ! Bear with me for a bit and I’ll try to figure this out. I can also get extra help if it stumps me.

Also, I just wanted to update you and @Smartinfo quickly. I’ve asked Tim to summon some extra help for your question from OVO’s side and he’s on the case. You should get an update on this one soon.

Userlevel 7
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Ok, as far as I can tell, that’s definitely a pretty rare meter type, possibly a restricted meter or DTS meter of some kind. I’m not the expert with these as they’re pretty rare, but there’s a few puzzle solvers on the forums who can probably help with that.

If I was to make a rough guess, I’d say you’re probably on something like Comfort Plus Control, Total Heating Total Control or Comfort Plus White Meter with Weathercall. It’s pretty tricky to know for sure though!

I’ve also had a chat with the legendary @Tim_OVO this morning about this and he’s on the case. You’ll hopefully get an update today or tomorrow once Tim catches up with his to-do list. Thanks for hanging in there!

Userlevel 7

Thanks for all that info, @Gus123 it’s helped @Blastoise186 and myself know this a lot better. 

 

I have seen set ups like this before. One main actual meter, but a separate option dedicated to the appliances linked up to the ‘off peak’ register. In this case with its own supply number (meter point administration number, MPAN).

 

I’ve actually moved this thread over to the topic we have on it already. 

 

@Gus123 @Andy Winter please be advised that I have confirmed that OVO are currently NOT able to take on related MPAN supplies. This is an internal billing platform related limitation that will be removed as an issue ASAP. For now, the advice remains as follows:

 

If you have two MPANs find a supplier who are cheap (and ideally renewable energy based) and have confirmed that they are able to take on both related MPAN supplies. Make sure they are happy to visit and fit a SMETS2 smart meter free of charge. You may need to select one with a 5th port so your heating appliances can be connected in the same way they are currently. An engineer might be best placed to confirm this to you.

 

That leaves one meter, and one supply, with the second supply now able to be removed from the national database by your supplier. That will mean you stop paying two standing charges! After that you will have a meter that will allow you to switch to any supplier you wish, included OVO

 

Please let me know if this advice sits well, or any follow up questions. I’m hoping I’m on the mark with this one. 

Userlevel 2

Thanks for the legwork Tim. Your answer makes sense, even though it is disappointing that OVO can’t take on my supply, so I will do as suuggeted and try to find someone who can. Whether i subsequently move to OVO is a moot point - tbh the amount of effort it’s taken to get this answer makes me think I may not bother.  
 

Cheers

Andy

Userlevel 7
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Thanks for getting back to us @Andy Winter , sorry it didn’t work out as you’d hoped.

Even if you eventually decide to go with another supplier and not take up the offers with OVO, you’re more than welcome to drop by the forums here anytime to ask for advice and get help for free. We’ve got quite a few useful guides and posts that might come in handy.

Good luck with getting your supply up and running. We’ll be here if you need us.

Userlevel 2

For interest I selected Octopus.  Got straight through to a knowledgable agent on their frontline desk who processed my request over the phone.  She established that I’ve got an Economy 10 setup - which may explain my issues since it appears that Economy 10 has this 2 meter / 2 MPAN setup where one meter is dependent on the other.

My bills have slowly gone thru the roof these last few years 

However I’m struggling to switch from Npower as I have economy 7 storage  heaters 

 

So one supply  Number for my normal electric , one supply number for my economy 7 , two daily standing charges 

 

One meter , was like this when I moved in , no other supplier can deal with this issue 

any help please , I’m paying over £100 per week to heat a 2 bedroom flat , Ive only got two storage  heaters , one in living room and one in bedroom , I am really struggling with the cost of this 

 

Thank you in advance 

Userlevel 7
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Welcome @Joanne10001 ,

It sounds to me as if you’ve got Related Meters, which is likely the cause of this issue.

At the moment, OVO can’t handle these, which is unfortunately the same issue you’ll get with almost any supplier. OVO is planning to make this possible though and it’s currently being worked on.

In the meantime, there’s a possible alternative option that you could do here, depending on your circumstances.

It might be worth upgrading to a smart meter and having that second meter ripped out, which would put you into a position where it’s easy to switch supplier - and this would also mean you only pay one standing charge. You’ll need to have your current supplier do this for now so that you can then unlock the freedom to switch.

Thank you for the reply 

 

I’ve only for one meter …  I’m not sure if n power can change this to a smart meter … I’ve got two supply numbers but both go into one metre 

 

I’ll ring them tomorrow to see if they can change it , but if they can’t I’m stuck with them ! 

 

I have got someone out to check the meter from n power  but that’s not until the 21st dec .. I’ll see what the engineer says as well 

Userlevel 7
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You’re welcome @Joanne10001 :)

The solution is to basically have npower get rid of that second MPAN (Meter Point Administration Number) somehow, so that you’re back to just the one MPAN. As soon as that’s done and the national database has been updated with the correct records, you should be good to switch to any supplier of your choice.

If you need any more help, we’ll be happy to offer as much as you need.

Userlevel 7

Yep @Blastoise186 is spot on, @Joanne10001 - get Npower to fit ONE smart meter, and remove the second MPAN. You’ll have your standing charge costs, and keep your two rate economy 7 set up (if you want to). 

Userlevel 2

This was my issue (except mine was economy 10).  Ovo was unable to take on the 2 MPANs due to a limitation with their billing system so I have gone to Octopus.  If you phone them and explain what you have in my experience their customer support team is right on the case.  Once I’ve switched over Octopus will come and replace the 2 meters with a single smart meter.  Once that is sorted then you can switch to Ovo if you want - or not if the deal at Octopus is better. Their contact number is 0808 164 1088.

I was very interested to read the comments about MPAN numbers as I went through months of turmoil after switching to OVO from my original supplier.

I had been with one supplier for over twenty years having owned my two bedroom bungalow from new.  I decided to switch to OVO after a recommendation from my father who was already a customer.  I was determined to move away from my original supplier after they threatened to increase my bills by a third unless I had a smart meter fitted.

My original meter had been replaced by the original supplier with a similar unit some years ago.  When switching supplier to OVO I have to admit that I had no idea what a MPAN number was.  I certainly do now though!

My electricity meter is known as a Heatwise Meter.  It was only fitted to a small number of properties in the East Midlands.  It is a five phase meter with means it records five readings.  One MPAN suppliers electricity to the property for the majority of current consumers (lights and sockets etc), The second MPAN supplies electricity to the immersion heater to heat the water supply to the hot taps.  My gas boiler only heats water for the central heating.  The first couple of readings on the meter are for the first MPAN supplying the day and night rate for the normal current consumers.  The fourth and fifth readings are for the day and night readings for the second MPAN that supplies the day and night readings for the immersion heater.  The immersion heater supply is switched on and off independently by a radio signal. It is possible to override this signal with a boost button inside the house.  This has never been used hence the third reading on the meter has always remained on zero.

My switchover from my original supplier was delayed as the original supplier only released one of the two MPAN numbers to OVO.

Initially, after starting the switch to OVO only one MPAN number was recorded by the customer service team, which meant that my annual estimated bill was miscalculated.  

When I contacted OVO customer support I was informed that the only reason I could have two MPAN numbers was that at some point my two bedroom bungalow must have been subdivided into two properties at some point.  This suggestion seemed ludicrous to me particularly as I have owned to property from new and know this to be untrue.  Luckily after several emails and phone calls I eventually had a reply from a member of OVO customer services who recognised what a Heatwise Meter was and how it worked.

After the second MPAN number was added to my account I was contacted by OVO who said that my monthly payment needed to be increased by £27 per month to make up for the shortfall.

I record my meter readings on a monthly basis through the OVO APP.  Despite this OVO sometimes send an independent meter reader to collect the readings himself.  Worryingly the gentleman who collected the readings pointed out that he could only record three readings.  Not much use when a Heatwise Meter displays five readings.  Therefore I have had to contact OVO customer services a number of times to inform them that the readings he has recorded are incorrect.

I do not regret switching to OVO but I am still not happy that OVO charge two standing orders for just one electricity meter as a result of the two MPAN numbers. My original supplier only ever charged me one standing charge despite the Heatwise Meter having two MPAN numbers.  As a result of this my electricity bills increased since I switched, but as I pointed out my original supplier were threatening a huge increase too.

OVO have continued to contact me a number of times in an attempt to swap me onto a smart meter.  OVO acknowledge that my account details indicate I do not under any circumstances want a smart meter but continue to try to bully me into agreeing this change.  I have so far resisted this but worry they will make this change without my permission.  
 

I recently spoke to a gentleman who fits smart meters who acknowledged that a change over from a Heatwise Meter to a smart meter would not be straight forward.  Given the number of problems I have had with MPAN numbers the thought of this change fills me with dread so will continue to resist this change.

Userlevel 7
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Welcome to the forums @Chris M .

It sounds like your query is ideal for some of the experts on this forum, no doubt a certain @Transparent  will spot your comment and get excited…

It’s a bit of a tricky one here, because the equipment used to transmit the radio signals via Radio Teleswitching is reportedly getting near the end of its useful service life and there’s concerns that once it goes bang, it’ll be game over. To me, it sounds like your HeatWise meter might be affected by that. However, if you don’t use the RTS feature anyway, this particular issue might not be a problem for you. But if the Boost register is the one that’s at zero, this may still be a problem.

Having just looked up the details, it’s apparently standard practice for HeatWise meters to carry two MPANs (Meter Point Administration Number) and therefore attract two Standing Charges, as it’s a 1:1 relationship. This isn’t specific to OVO, but is common across all suppliers. I also note that HeatWise is a legacy tariff that's not really offered anymore, so it might not be very good value either.

Looking at the details however, I definitely agree with you that switching out a HeatWise meter and replacing it with any other meter type (smart or otherwise) is tricky and would be a complicated upgrade.

The main problem however, is that all meters have a limited service life and they eventually have to be replaced. This is true for traditional and smart meters equally, and there’s not really a way to bypass the rules on this. However, OVO would generally need to get your approval to make an appointment to do any meter exchanges or upgrades. They won’t act without you knowing about it first.

On the other hand, I’d be curious to ask if there's any particular reasons why you’re not keen t upgrade the meter to a smart meter. If there’s anything in particular you’re worried about, we can certainly discuss that here and as the forum is volunteer led, there’s no pressure into doing anything you’re not comfortable with,

If you’re worried about the MPANs, I actually have good news here. Upgrading to a smart meter would allow OVO to simplify your meter setup and set you up with just a single MPAN for the future. They’d take care of updating the records and once the upgrade is done, second MPAN is decommissioned entirely. This would also mean you’d stop paying two Standing Charges, since there’d only be one MPAN to charge for.

I hope this helps, but please feel free to ask us anything and we’ll do our best.

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