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New Home with THTC - how can I get support dealing with changing the meter and tariff?

  • 4 January 2024
  • 21 replies
  • 516 views

We have just bought a new home in the Highlands and it has THTC supplied by OVO ( previously SSE I believe). For some reason that I don't  fully understand it has 3 meters. One standard and two for the THTC.

When I contacted OVO to set up my account they were adamant that there was only the standard meter and could only offer me a standard tariff with one rate. So no benefit for the storage heating etc wired up to the THTC.

When I signed in to my account it is showing 2 meters the standard and one of the THTC one but all still on the same tariff.

I checked with the previous owner and he supplied OVO with 3 meter readings when he left. He also said that OVO were due to change the meters but had failed to make an appointment.

My questions are

1. How do I get OVO to acknowledge there is a third meter here?

2. Shouldn't OVO be offering a tariff for the HTHC set up.

3. Can I switch to another supplier with the current set up to get a suitable tariff?

4 How do I progress the meter changes and will this allow me access to other tariffs and suppliers?

Thanks for any help

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Best answer by Emmanuelle_OVO 5 January 2024, 11:59

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21 replies

Userlevel 7
Badge +1

Hi @Walphelps ,

OVO is basically the only THTC capable supplier so switching away is basically impossible - I’d recommend against doing so anyway as most suppliers won’t touch your setup. Bear with me and I’ll ask the Forum Moderators to stop by.

Userlevel 7

Updated on 19/01/24 by Abby_OVO

Hey @Walphelps,

 

I’m afraid this is one for the Support Team, I can provide some advice though.

 

How do I get OVO to acknowledge there is a third meter here?

 

It may be that there are two separate accounts, if you provide each of the meter serial numbers they should be able to identify the supplies and ensure they are all on the same account. 

 

OVO is working on a solution for replacing THTC meters but this is not in place yet, the support team will let you know if they can offer a meter exchange at this point. 

 

This similar topics may have some helpful advice: 

 

 

Hi @Walphelps ,

OVO is basically the only THTC capable supplier so switching away is basically impossible - I’d recommend against doing so anyway as most suppliers won’t touch your setup. Bear with me and I’ll ask the Forum Moderators to stop by.

Thank you for the feedback.

Unfortunately I have struggled with the support they don't appear to know what THTC is and have to put me on hold while they talk to someone else.

Is there someone who deals with THTC that I can contact at OVO?

Userlevel 7
Badge +1

The latest news is that OVO will contact you when they’re ready to replace the current meters. That’s probably going to be the easiest solution to this one.

Userlevel 7
Badge +2

Thank you for the feedback.

Unfortunately I have struggled with the support they don't appear to know what THTC is and have to put me on hold while they talk to someone else.

Is there someone who deals with THTC that I can contact at OVO?

Hi @Walphelps 

As you have found the triage support process for complex meter setups with OVO is poor, although OVO are not alone. There are many examples on the forum unfortunately.

I think you would will be lucky to get a resolution via that route.

You could just sit back and wait for ovo to contact you, but it sounds like your account is already complicated... OVO have been telling customers a way forward will be revealed in Spring, unfortunately this date has changed several times.

Also OVO are currently the second worst supplier for the number of smart meter installations in the last ofgem annual stats and got the second highest fine from the regulator, so it may take a long time for all the THTC meter setups to be sorted.

Personally I would log an official complaint, include as much detailed information as possible including pictures, old bills etc and tell ovo exactly what you want to happen.

https://www.ovoenergy.com/feedback

Then after 8 weeks or a deadlock letter you can ask the Ombudsman for help if things are not sorted.

https://www.energyombudsman.org/

This isn’t the same situation but an example of someone with a THTC meter getting their issue sorted and compensation for not being on a suitable tarrif in a timely manner. It seems reasonable that the Ombudsman will rule in your favour if it gets that far although your situation is different. Hopefully it won't as ovo are trying to reduce the number of escalated complaints which is currently the highest in the country.

https://www.homeenergyscotland.org/switching-restricted-thtc-single-meter-electric/

 

You can also post a review on Trustpilot if you like

https://uk.trustpilot.com/review/www.ovoenergy.com

Userlevel 1

Moving to a new supplier at this point may be more trouble than its worth. I have a two meter THTC set up and, like others in my area, joined Octopus a couple of years ago as their tariffs were much cheaper than SSE (now OVO) I’ve had no problem with their billings and its easy to get through to them. However, they seem to know next to nothing about THTC and have been useless at giving me advice on what to do post RTS shutdown. They also told me that the THTC meter is still the property of SSE (presumably now OVO) and that their engineers could not touch it. 

Hi @Jeffus 

Thank you for the fuller picture of what is happening and the advice on the way forward. I was already considering that a complaint might be my next best step so I'll try that next.

Userlevel 7
Badge +2

Hi @Jeffus 

Thank you for the fuller picture of what is happening and the advice on the way forward. I was already considering that a complaint might be my next best step so I'll try that next.

It may not speed anything up, but apart from sitting back and waiting there isn't another option I think.

To be fair to ovo, I am sure it isn't easy finding a solution that works for all the setups unfortunately.

It won't be quick, but I hope you make progress.

Userlevel 7
Badge +1

To be honest… I think you’re going to have to switch back to either OVO or a supplier that fully supports THTC in order to get this fixed - and there’s barely any that do. Octopus has shown no interest in THTC support and to be brutally honest, they should never have taken you on if they weren’t willing nor capable of supporting you. Black mark for Octopus there. Sorry, but it just is.

AFAIK OVO isn’t responsible at all for your meters if you switch away and cannot touch them whilst you’re with another supplier.

Userlevel 7
Badge +2

Just FYI

These are the latest stats on the number of the wider RTS meters overall left by supplier, the majority of which are domestic.

950,000 to remove at the last count

The top 14 currently according to Elexon from the meter database by MPID are:

Scottish Power  SPOW

OVO OVOE

EON EOND

Octopus  MRCY

British Gas TILL

Bulb REGE (now part of Octopus)

EDF LOND

EDF EDFE

British Gas BGAS

Shell FRST

EDF SEEB

SSE plc IMPO

So Energy GESL

British Gas ENRD

You would need to take a closer look at all the others in the graph to see which MPID are basically the same supplier. For example Octopus takeover of Bulb. This may change the top suppliers.

I was surprised how many RTS meters Octopus/Bulb had to migrate at some stage from a quick look. I expected the RTS meters to be concentrated in the legacy suppliers

 

Userlevel 7

Hi everyone,

 

I wanted to step in here with some extra context around total heat total control (THTC). There is lots of jargon in this message. If you have a THTC set up and you’re unsure with the information I’ve written, you can speak to trained advisors when calling from the number registered with your OVO account: 0330 303 5063.

 

THTC was a meter type specific to a region in Scotland (MPAN 17 to be precise) and to a specific supplier who’s customers have now migrated to OVO. If you have this type of meter you have 2 MPANS. Not all suppliers can support this meter type which may be why Octopus are suggesting issues working with the meter. 

 

OVO will be moving all THTC OVO customers onto a different meter type due to the radio time switch (RTS) switch off (please be advised that RTS still doesn't have a definitive date and it keeps getting extended) and we will be in touch with everyone when that change is ready to be put in place.

 

OVO should be the only supplier with this meter type however if you have THTC and you switch supplier away from OVO you will need the new supplier to set up all registers to be billed to the one unit rate, or have your meter exchanged by the new supplier.

 

On that note, other suppliers won’t have a replacement THTC meter to install, so they wouldn't be able to do a ‘like for like’ meter exchange. If that’s you and you still have storage heating what they'd likely need to do is change the meter to a standard economy 7/domestic economy set up. However with this solution the you could potentially require a private electrician to rewire the meter supply to avoid having two meters, one for heating/hot water and the other for all the other general supply. Just to reiterate the point, a meter exchange is definitely possible for anyone with a THTC meter that has switched supplier, although the vast majority of THTC customers will be supplied by OVO. 

Userlevel 1

Thanks for the information Tim_OVO.  That is useful.  As somebody who is stuck in the THTC hell I’d just like to ask what the reasons for the THTC unit prices being FAR higher than comparable dual rate solutions available to other OVO customers and other suppliers?  It seems to me like OVO are milking THTC customers because they know they can’t easily move suppliers. 

 

The very least OVO could be doing is offering a peak/off-peak tariff that is competitive with those available to other customers while they sort out the logistics of resolving the issues with migrating away from these meters.

Userlevel 2
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Thanks for the information Tim_OVO.  That is useful.  As somebody who is stuck in the THTC hell I’d just like to ask what the reasons for the THTC unit prices being FAR higher than comparable dual rate solutions available to other OVO customers and other suppliers?  It seems to me like OVO are milking THTC customers because they know they can’t easily move suppliers. 

 

The very least OVO could be doing is offering a peak/off-peak tariff that is competitive with those available to other customers while they sort out the logistics of resolving the issues with migrating away from these meters.

Couldn't agree more.

Userlevel 6

Hi @dmacaulay75 

 

If you came over to OVO with THTC meters, it’s likely you’ve come over with the tariff you were already on as we don’t run any THTC specific tariffs ourselves, so any customers with THTC have come to us and continues on the tariff deal they were already set up on with the previous supplier.

 

Would you be able to share with us which tariff are you on at the moment? This may help us get a better understanding if the difference.

Userlevel 1

I’m on a 1 year fix at 28.32p per kWh which with storage heating is VERY expensive with seemingly no access to other options which are available to other customers.  I looked up the THTC plan rates at https://plans.ovoenergy.com/ and they are only marginally cheaper for night time rates and FAR more expensive for standard unit rates.  I don’t see how this can be justified.

 

I wasn’t on any other tariff previously or with another provider in this property as I have only recently purchased it and I am a new OVO customer.  

Userlevel 2

Interesting to read this, I'm in a similar position, small ex council house in Shetland, 3 meters. I'm looking to move to a single meter arrangement to allow us to install air to air heat pump heating and enable us to select the most suitable supplier.

I'm expecting OVO to be off no help whatsoever given the location, and they've already stated they have no plans to install smart meters in our region.

Even if they were to install a smart meter or 3! we're still stuck with only one supplier option.

I know moving to a single meter will involve house wiring changes that we'll need to fund, I just need to understand how to proceed with the move from a 3 meter arrangement to a single meter - even if it's the original ancient meter!

So I guess I'll be following the Ofgem complaint route.

I'll be raising a new post on the forum, just commenting on here so you know there's lots of folk in a similar position and it would be helpful if Ofgem could step in and force OVO to develop a process given we find ourselves in a position which ties us to OVO.

 

 

​​​

Userlevel 2

Property is in the Shetland isles, it's a type of THTC (storage htr) I know the house wiring will need work to move to single meter. OVO have already said there's no plans to install smart meters in this region, but replacement smart meter(s) won't enable to move to a single meter.

Is there an OVO process that would enable us to move the total supply to a single mpan?

Userlevel 7

Please do keep us updated with how your situation progresses @Infiltrator, it might be helpful for other Community Members in a similar position. 

Userlevel 7

Hey @Infiltrator,

 

There’s some helpful advice given by Tim_OVO on this topic: 

 

I wanted to step in here with some extra context around total heat total control (THTC). There is lots of jargon in this message. If you have a THTC set up and you’re unsure with the information I’ve written, you can speak to trained advisors when calling from the number registered with your OVO account: 0330 303 5063.

 

THTC was a meter type specific to a region in Scotland (MPAN 17 to be precise) and to a specific supplier who’s customers have now migrated to OVO. If you have this type of meter you have 2 MPANS. Not all suppliers can support this meter type which may be why Octopus are suggesting issues working with the meter. 

 

OVO will be moving all THTC OVO customers onto a different meter type due to the radio time switch (RTS) switch off (please be advised that RTS still doesn't have a definitive date and it keeps getting extended) and we will be in touch with everyone when that change is ready to be put in place.

 

OVO should be the only supplier with this meter type however if you have THTC and you switch supplier away from OVO you will need the new supplier to set up all registers to be billed to the one unit rate, or have your meter exchanged by the new supplier.

 

On that note, other suppliers won’t have a replacement THTC meter to install, so they wouldn't be able to do a ‘like for like’ meter exchange. If that’s you and you still have storage heating what they'd likely need to do is change the meter to a standard economy 7/domestic economy set up. However with this solution the you could potentially require a private electrician to rewire the meter supply to avoid having two meters, one for heating/hot water and the other for all the other general supply. Just to reiterate the point, a meter exchange is definitely possible for anyone with a THTC meter that has switched supplier, although the vast majority of THTC customers will be supplied by OVO. 

 

There might also be some helpful advice in the following topics: 

 

 

 

 

Userlevel 2

Ok, brief chat with a very unhelpful customer assistant who tells me they can’t help at all as their hands are tied by the government who dictate the smart meter roll-out programme, apparently I need a smart meter before one of my meters can be removed. And its also illegal for a private electrician to remove a meter. This appears to be at odds with the info given above by Tim_OVO above.

I guess its time to escalate and see if I get any further before taking the Ofgem route.

Userlevel 2

I had a follow up call from someone in the customer support team who had much more knowledge of the THTC position and a much better telephone manner.

But no further ahead really, ultimately I can only replace my 3 meters (2 mpans) with a single when OVO are rolling out new smart meters in my area. I can have the house wiring mods done when I'm ready and route the whole properties supply via one of the existing meters but that still doesn't allow me to choose a more suitable supplier as I still have 3 meters and very few suppliers will entertain that.

 

I'm going to have a chat with Ofgem and see where that takes me as at the moment I'm effectively locked into OVO and their timescale!

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