Solved

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

  • 23 November 2018
  • 62 replies
  • 4160 views


Show first post

62 replies

Userlevel 7
Badge +5

Hi again @Chris M .

I’ve just been doing some more research into these legacy HeatWise meters, and it definitely looks as if you won’t be able to go back to a HeatWise type tariff once you’ve switched to any other type of tariffs. Probably the best I can recommend would be to look at Economy 7 and/or Economy 10, which can be attached to any of OVO’s tariffs.

It’s also unlikely that you’ll benefit much from the current meter anymore and those standing charges from 2 MPANs is likely to drain your wallet pretty heavily over time, no matter which supplier you’re with. It’s worth considering whether you’d prefer to keep paying two standing charges from having two MPANs, or upgrade to a new one with a single MPAN and one standing charge. This would also mean that if you ever leave OVO for a new supplier, future switches would go through much more smoothly.

Having looked into the finer details, the reason E.ON wanted to put the bills up was because they were ending the tariff you had been on and they wanted to move you to a different tariff without the cheaper off-peak rates HeatWise offered. It looks like E.ON would have also started applying two Standing Charges as well, but I’ve not been able to verify this.

I have heard stories of some suppliers being rather aggressive about forcing customers to upgrade to smart meters, but to my knowledge OVO doesn’t use such tactics. While the Better Smart Energy tariff OVO offers does require you to not have a smart meter yet and be willing to upgrade, that’s the only OVO tariff which has such a restriction. The regular Better Energy tariff and all the others make having a smart meter upgrade optional, but is available for members who’d like one.

You are of course under no obligation to replace the current meter with a smart meter, provided the certification on your current one remains valid. However, they don’t last forever and once the certification expires, the meter would need to be replaced anyway. Given the fact that there are no further stocks of traditional meters anymore and the benefits of upgrading in your own case, it may be worth considering.

We can certainly offer as much advice as you could ever ask for on the forum completely free of charge and with no commitment.

Thank you Blastoise186  for your detailed replies.  You guessed correctly who my original supplier was.  I felt they were trying to bully and intimidate me into changing my tariff.  That was the main reason I moved to OVO after 22 years of loyalty.  Following this experience I would never go back to them no matter what they offered in the future.  

I realise that there will need to be wiring alterations necessary when I am finally forced to accept a smart meter, but will pay the higher bills until that point as at least I have a system that works for me.  As I mentioned earlier it took so long to get to the point where I am now with OVO I am reluctant to “not fix something that isn’t broken”.

I am happy with OVO so far so not interested in moving again.

Thank you for taking the trouble to research my query.

Regards

Chris

Userlevel 7
Badge +5

You’re most welcome @Chris M , I’m glad I could help.

If you ever do decide to upgrade and would like advice on how to sort out the wiring, we’ll be happy to help with that as well. We like to be transparent upfront about these things so that you can make informed decisions. Whichever path you take, we’ll be here if you need us.

In the meantime, please do stop by again if you need anything else. We’ll be here for you.

Userlevel 7
Badge +5

Just a quick update and note for this thread for anyone who may find it useful. If you happen to have two MPANs on your meter(s), there’s a good chance that it’s a legacy Radio Teleswitch Meter of some kind.

Having looked through resources, it’s clear that the Radio Teleswitching System used to control ALL types of legacy RTS based Radio Teleswitch Meters is confirmed to be shutting down by the end of 2023 and this would effectively cause such meters to cease functioning properly. In particular, the automatic controls that switch meters between the different rates and turn heating/hot water on and off will almost certainly be affected.

I’ve not been able to pin down an exact date, but estimates seem to suggest somewhere between March 2021 and December 2023, but the latter is a very rough guess on my part.

It’s likely that suppliers will be contacting affected customers on the basis of acting in best interest, and to avoid leaving customers without working heating and hot water supplies. There is ultimately no way to convert existing RTS/DTS Meters to allow them to remain in use without upgrading to a smart meter.

I will try to provide a list of known affected meter types when I can, but here’s a few which I’ve confirmed are definitely affected:

  • Total Heat Total Control
  • HeatWise
  • Weathercall
  • Comfort Plus
  • White Meter
  • Storage Heat Control
  • WarmWise
  • Economy 9 and Economy 10 - ONLY if controlled via a Radio Teleswitch
  • Economy 7 ONLY if controlled via a Radio Teleswitch - Smart Meters in Economy 7 mode are not affected
  • Supertariff
  • Winter Warmth
  • Superdeal

I’m going to have a chat with Tim about this as well, to see if we can put together a proper guide for what you can do.

Userlevel 7

Hi @Chris M and thanks for sharing this experience. 

 

@Blastoise186 and I have had a chat about concerns about the radio timeswitch infrastructure, which prompted me to get some more info internally. Which is:

 

Radio teleswitches are in decline due to the installation of Eco 7 meters with built in timeswitches. Most of the meters that are still using radio teleswitches are over 10 years old and most will be up for recert soon. The signal to the radio teleswitches uses the BBC Radio 4 longwave signal which the BBC have been looking to phase out since 2014.

 

So it’s as I thought: we really need to be getting our smart meters in at these properties. Their days are numbered! 

I have one meter but it had two mpan numbers. 
This is because I have storage heaters. 
Would I still be able to switch you and have a smart meter? 
 

If so would the smart meter have one or two mpan numbers? 

Userlevel 7
Badge +5

Hey there @Chrisbolt ,

 

Yup, this should be possible - but not via the self service switch portal.

 

My advice would be to chat with the Support Team to get things sorted. If they’re able to set up the switch, you can swap the meter out later. Alternatively, you may need to switch the meter out first, which will allow the second MPAN to be retired and will guarantee switches going through smoothly.

Userlevel 7
Badge +5

Hi again @Chrisbolt .

I forgot to include a few more details last night, sorry about that! The good news is that since smart meters have full support for Economy 7, you can have one smart meter that can take care of both Day and Night rates/usage instead of needing two regular meters. All smart meters are capable of having Economy 7 mode enabled/disabled without needing to replace the meter. So if you ever did decide to remove the storage heaters and no longer needed E7, that’s easy to sort out.

There are also smart meters that are fully capable of controlling things like storage heaters, so that they only come on automatically during the cheaper Night rates and get switched off just before the meter flips over to the Day rates.

The other good news is that switching to a smart meter means switching to just having a single MPAN, which in turn also means only a single Standing Charge (which also means cheaper bills).

Getting your old meters switched out for a smart meter is also free, and there’s no extra costs to have your storage heaters hooked up to one either. In actual fact, if you let OVO know you have storage heaters, they can also make sure you definitely get the right type of smart meter to handle it.

As long as you don’t have any unusual meter types, the upgrade path is generally fairly easy.

We can definitely give you some more advice on this too. Sometimes it can be a little bit tricky to work out exactly what’s possible, so if you’re happy to snap a few photos of your current setup and pop them in your next reply, it should help us to make sure we’re giving the right advice.

Userlevel 7

Some great advice on smart meters from @Blastoise186, hope it was helpful, @Chrisbolt?

 

As mentioned, give us a call to discuss adding more then one supply (MPAN). It’s dependent on this most-basic of functions being available by our in-house built billing platform. I’d love to hear back from you after this is raised. Call us on 0330 303 5063 to discuss. It’s better to do this on the phone as it may need verbal confirmation if a new contract is agreed. 

Userlevel 7
Badge +5

Indeed.

Ideally, if you’re planning to switch suppliers AND get a smart meter upgrade, it’s usually best to let your new supplier take care of the process for you after switching - not least because you can often get a slightly better deal this way. It also makes sure the initial In-Home Display you get with the smart meters is definitely fully compatible with your newly chosen supplier. Back in the SMETS1 days, this was also basically the ONLY guaranteed way to make sure smart meters would even work at all with a new supplier if you were planning to switch.

These days however, we’ve got the fancier SMETS2 meters - as with most suppliers, OVO no longer installs S1 unless they absolutely have to - which will work fine no matter who you’re with. So these days, the reason I still recommend switching before you get the smart meter upgrade is more about getting access to the special cheap deals and IHD compatibility. Hopefully it’s possible in this case as well! But if not, you can always get your existing supplier to do the upgrade first and then switch to OVO from there.

Don’t worry if you switch suppliers during the six to eight week commissioning process either! Switching during this period won’t break an S2 meter at all - control of it will simply be handed over to your new supplier rather than the one who installed them.

Userlevel 5
Badge

@Tim_OVO - is it possible to switch with two MPAN’s now?

Userlevel 7

Thanks for spotting this potentially inaccurate ‘Best Answer’, @Mw2870.

 

I’m checking this one with our onboarding specialists so we are giving consistent advice in terms of the possibility of switching with multiple MPANS - I’ll pop back with an update shortly. :thumbsup:

Reply