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

  • 23 November 2018
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I'm looking to change suppliers and Ovo is definitely high on the list.

However I am told we are a bit unusual, we have two meters, one to do the cheap nighttime electricity, and one to do the day rate, so that means two MPAN numbers etc.

Is this something Ovo can accommodate? I had another supplier tell me they could but it would mean two standing charges, which is definitely something we don't currently pay to one of the big suppliers.

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Best answer by Tim_OVO 26 November 2018, 13:58

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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:

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

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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.

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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. 

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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.

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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.

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? 

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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! 

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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.

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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.

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

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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.

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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.

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.

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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.

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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). 

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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.

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 

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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.

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 

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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.

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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.

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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

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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. 

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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!

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