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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 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 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:

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My original meter had been replaced by the original supplier with a similar unit some years ago.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.

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 there @Andy Winter ,

Hmm… This is a good one actually. Sorry to hear you’re struggling a bit! You’re definitely in the right place to get help however.

I’m definitely going to call in @Tim_OVO here as well. He knows a bit more about the internals than I do. I’d be tempted to suggest getting that dead meter completely disconnected and removed but it’s a bit fiddly.

We’ve got a few puzzle solvers here on the forums who can hopefully give you some great advice. Tim is well placed to offer advice on why the transfer might be failing. It sounds like some of the agents are getting a bit confused as well, but we’ll try to advise on this.

Please hang in there for a bit. Tim should spot this thread soon!

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Gotcha.

Yeah, probably not a good idea to risk another try via the website if it’s just going to fail again. You are right too about Economy 7. This is indeed possible with smart meters (it would be a design flaw otherwise!). :wink:

Right now, I’m very tempted to recommend you ask your current supplier to rip out that dead second meter, since it would completely eliminate the second MPAN from the equation. However, if you’re OK with this, I’m actually going to recommend keeping both for now and go with your original plan of moving both over and knocking out the second one later.

For the benefit of any other agents you chat with, I’m going to write up some info for them here.

To get your switch underway, an agent at OVO needs to submit a switch request that covers BOTH of your MPANs at once in order for it to go through. If an agent is not sure, please ask for the case to be escalated to a second level team and they can check this out.

OVO have recently rolled out a new billing platform which is developed by their sister company Kaluza. It’s a completely custom built platform that gives a unique opportunity to have full control over the entire thing, but it also has a few bugs here and there. I’d be very interested to see how well it handles your use case because there’s a similar story over here. 

 

While that one is about one electric meter and two gas meters, it proves that it is indeed possible to do exactly what you're after. If you’re quick, the Live Chat and phones are still open for another half hour or so today, so you might be able to squeeze in a quick one. Live Chat tends to be best. Please provide them with a link this this thread and ask them to read through quickly. It helps a lot. :sunglasses:

 

We’ll be here if you get stuck again.

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Thanks - I’ll try that tomorrow.  I’ll use live chat and link to this thread so I don’t have to repeat the story again.

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You’re welcome.

And yep, if you let the support team know you had a chat with me in this thread and give them a link, it will almost always make life easier. Sometimes it takes them a few minutes to read through everything, but hopefully you’re OK with that.

As for the smart meter, that’s definitely something best done after you switch, since it’ll be easier for OVO to get everything sorted out once you’re on-supply. If you still get stuck, drop a reply here again and we’ll pick up right where you left off.

It also sounds to me like you’ve discovered a bug in the platform. If you’re OK with this, would you be able to fill out a quick bug report too? It helps the developers a lot and is highly appreciated. I’ve also posted a guide too, if that helps.

Thanks for helping to catch this one!

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I’ve been onto the live chat, which didn’t go as well as I’d hoped.  Here’s the transcript…

 

 

Kyle has joined the chat

Hey, how can I help you today?

12:12

Hoi Kyle

Sent at 12:13

I want to switch to OVO from Powershop. I’ve had a couple of attempts but both failed because I have 2 meters (one is economy 7) but you only applied for 1 MPAN. I’ve been on the support forum and the expert there have made some suggestions and they have said I should send you the link to the discussion. https://forum.ovoenergy.com/switching-suppliers-144/1-meter-with-2-mpans-can-i-switch-to-ovo-5255?postid=33909#post33909 My 2 MPANS are ...redacted... My address is ...redacted...

Sent at 12:13

Okay so I can look into this for you can you confirm your full name, email address and the acct number that was on the previous sign up so I can look into this for you please?

12:14

Sure. 

Sent at 12:15

name Andrew Winter

Sent at 12:15

email ...redacted...

Sent at 12:15

Thank you

12:15

account ...redacted...

Sent at 12:15

I can see yesterday it appears you asked for us to cancel, do you now want to bring both supplies over?

12:16

Yes please - yesterday's experience with a newbie agent was very frustrating but I think eat experts on the forum have given enough information so that you can make the switch. 

Sent at 12:17

Okay bear with me while I get this raised to our Transfers team now

12:17

This will take me around 5 minutes or so but I'll be as quick as I can

12:17

The tariff I want is Better Smarter 

Sent at 12:18

Better Smart Energy

Sent at 12:18

Cool - happy to wait thanks Kyle

Sent at 12:18

Okay I've just spoken to our Transfers team now 

12:21

At this moment in time we are unable to onboard properties that have related MPAN's. This is due to a technical issue with our system that prevents us from doing this at the moment

12:22

This is something we're looking to fix however at this moment in time we do not have a way to be able to process this signup I'm afraid so I do apologise for the inconvenience with this

12:23

Is this because of your migration over to a new billing system?

Sent at 12:23

This is correct. I asked them then if there kis a way around this at rpesent and they said not at the moment, although we're looking to get this resolved, but he was unable to get a timeframe for me I'm afraid

12:24

That's disappointing..... Is this level 2 who have told you this?

Sent at 12:25

I agree it isn't ideal. I'm not sure what you mean by level 2 as this isn't how we operate, but this has come from the Transfers team themselves who onboard our accounts and finalise losses so this is their specialist field

12:27

Ok. Do you mind if I copy this thread to the support forum?

Sent at 12:27

Absolutely happy for you to do this

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Thanks for flagging this, @Andy Winter - not the news any of us wanted to hear. 

 

I don’t doubt Kyle, he’s a pro web chat agent. BUT I want to triple check that and then I’ll update this topic so it’s clear to everyone. 

 

I WILL BE BACK

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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

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

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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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Been wanting to escape this terrible company.

They say that as we have two mpans we cant get a smart meter as they are not compatible.

This was apparently fitted in 1996 so they assume the electric storag e heating system must have been fitted then.

They could change it to a single but we would have to pay for it and also pay for an electrician of our own to check the wiring is compatible and change it if needed.

This seems very obstructive/unhelpful, they refer to SP Energy Networks as if its a differnt entity altogether, but they must have been part of Scottish Power back then

So looking for best/easiest way to get a smart meter and move from SP.

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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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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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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.

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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.

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

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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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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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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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