I have browsed the forums here for a few days now and found some very informative threads (the staff and community seem really helpful and knowledgeable!) but I still wanted to make a post asking about my specific situation.
I wanted to post here before applying to switch, as last year I tried to switch to two different companies (Bulb and SSE) and both moves fell through. After all the time and effort I put into working out what was going on with my set up and trying to get a decent deal, I reluctantly gave up and stuck with my current provider, but I’m going to try again this year before winter hits.
I am a private tenant, currently with EDF but would like to find a company that can offer me a better tariff to go with the somewhat ancient and expensive electricity and heating set up in my rented flat in Scotland. The flat has no gas supply, and is heated by one main storage heater and two smaller ones, though I have only ever used the main one. There seems to be two electric meters (with two MPANS): a H00C17109 “Horstmann radio telemeter series 2a” and a 7411577 "English Electric" meter (I will post photos below). The Horstmann reading ticks up negligibly when I have the storage heaters turned off, but when I had the heater turned on in the colder months, it racked up bills like I’d never seen before. During the winter months, I was seeing monthly usage readings of over 1000kWh and bills of £120 just from the one storage heater on the Horstmann meter, not including (albeit the much more manageable ~£30-40) English Electric meter usage costs, which I assume covers all the other electricity I am using. As I have been on long term sick leave, bills of over £160 per month for electricity this winter are going to be really difficult to pay. Frustratingly, the house still only reached a temperature of 16 degrees last winter with the main storage heater on all the time, which was barely manageable, but I couldn’t afford to turn any of the other heaters on.
EDF have me on a tariff that doesn’t seem to take advantage of off-peak energy and they cannot or will not put me on one. Instead, the Horstman meter is on what I think is a low rate (13.65/kWh) without a standing charge (as I pay one on the other meter) but I still wonder if something like Economy 7 would be better, even if slightly, as I realise that storage heaters are expensive to run in general. Not sure, but I think the reason they can’t put me on that is because I have two meters. I’ve been on the waiting list to change to a smart meter for a year, but it hasn’t happened yet.
So.. my questions.. (sorry if I’ve overexplained the background!)
After reading around on here, it seems that OVO may be able to switch me over and fit a new meter (5-terminal SMETS2?) and put me on a suitable tariff. Does anyone know if I can do that, and how I would go about it? I really worry about being moved to OVO, and then not being able to get a cheaper tariff because they aren’t able to move me to a new meter system for whatever reason. I read that there was some kind of billing issue that made this not possible, is that resolved now?
Also, it would be helpful to know if I would need to pay for an electrician myself, as then I would need to see if the landlord would be willing to cover the costs, and I know how that usually goes. I am also going to look into the possibility of getting my landlord to agree to buying more efficient storage heaters as I think they can be subsidised, but I’m not holding much hope.
I’ve attached photos below of my set up. I know I have two MPANs from previous conversations with EDF, but I have received conflicting advice about how these meters are working - either as two completely separate devices with two separate circuit systems for the heaters and for everything else, or as some kind of interdependent system where one meter ‘tells’ the other to turn on and off or switch rates. I suspect it’s the former given I pay bills for both meters but radio telemeter meters are commonly used for the latter?
Any advice to send me down the right track much appreciated!