Total Heating Total Control Tariff

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xraybel
xraybel Posts: 2 Newbie
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edited 18 August 2021 at 4:29PM in Energy
I found out by accident that the digital teleswitching for this tarriff will be turned off in March 2023.  SSE (now Ovo Energy) have not informed me of any change, presumably because nothing is definite yet.  I called them today to find out what my options are.  I am currently paying £450 per month which covers our 7 storage heaters and hot water - a household of two retired people.  When the house was new 28 years ago our bills were £110 per month for a 4 person household!
OVO have told me not to worry and that they will come up with an alternative and I will probably go on to a timed tariff.  However, my concern is that on a timed tariff I will lose the THTC boost to the heaters during the day and is essential during the winter months to keep the house warm.  This question could not be answered, only that a smart meter would solve this but as yet they are not available for THTC heating system.  Turning off the signal will therefore result in a colder house which is a worry.  I am therefore trying to think ahead as it looks like I will need to invest in a new heating system.   Another call to their tariff team suggested changing my meters to an Economy 10 system.  Has anyone changed from THTC to an Economy 10 tariff?  Has anyone retro-fitted ground source heating? 
I feel totally at the mercy of SSE(Ovo) as there is not competition for the THTC tariff and turning off the teleswitching will leave me in the cold.
Thank you for reading and all advice gratefully received.   

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  • molerat
    molerat Posts: 32,025 Forumite
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    edited 18 August 2021 at 12:20PM
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    This would be best in the energy forum.
    This change has been in the pipeline for many years now, I am surprised that you are surprised by it happening.  You really need to get your metering changed to E7 (or maybe E10) and would need an electrician - at your cost - to look at your current set up and advise on what, if any, wiring changes may be necessary, again at your cost. THTC has not been competitively priced for a long time. And yes you will lose the daytime boost.
  • MattMattMattUK
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    xraybel said:
    I found out by accident that the digital teleswitching for this tarriff will be turned off in March 2023.  SSE (now Ovo Energy) have not informed me of any change, presumably because nothing is definite yet.  I called them today to find out what my options are.  I am currently paying £450 per month which covers our 7 storage heaters and hot water - a household of two retired people.  When the house was new 28 years ago our bills were £110 per month for a 4 person household!
    Firstly I have to point out that this is insane, You are paying £5,400 year for electricity, you should be paying around £1,000. Find a new supplier as soon as you can and also work out what energy you actually and if you potentially need to change equipment or add insulation.
    xraybel said:
    OVO have told me not to worry and that they will come up with an alternative and I will probably go on to a timed tariff.  However, my concern is that on a timed tariff I will lose the THTC boost to the heaters during the day and is essential during the winter months to keep the house warm.  This question could not be answered, only that a smart meter would solve this but as yet they are not available for THTC heating system.  Turning off the signal will therefore result in a colder house which is a worry.  I am therefore trying to think ahead as it looks like I will need to invest in a new heating system.   Another call to their tariff team suggested changing my meters to an Economy 10 system.  Has anyone changed from THTC to an Economy 10 tariff?
    Economy 7 or Economy 10 will both be find and would almost certainly work out better value, you need to work out what your actual usage patterns are and then you can work out which one will work best for you.
    xraybel said:
    Has anyone retro-fitted ground source heating? 
    Yes, but ground-source heat pumps require a lot of work to fit, you would probably be far better off with an air-source heat pump. Additionally the best option would be a ground/air to-water as this could also heat your hot water, but would require piped radiators in the home, the to-air options are not great because of the UK climate and would not heat your water, so you need to factor that into your costs. However as your current costs are insanely high I would imagine you could break even at some point in the second year. 
    xraybel said:
    I feel totally at the mercy of SSE(Ovo) as there is not competition for the THTC tariff and turning off the teleswitching will leave me in the cold.
    Thank you for reading and all advice gratefully received.   
    Teleswitching is a technology that has long been superseded and if this gives you the impetus to change your energy usage then it is a good thing as it will save you a significant amount of money. 
  • Reed_Richards
    Reed_Richards Posts: 4,206 Forumite
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    xraybel said:
    Has anyone retro-fitted ground source heating? 
      
    I have a heat pump but it is an air source heat pump rather than ground source.  It heats my house via radiators and supplies hot water via a cylinder.  A heat pump like mine should cut the amount of electricity you use for heating and hot water to about one third of what it is now; perhaps a bit less if you keep your house warmer than most people do. 
    Reed
  • Gerry1
    Gerry1 Posts: 9,938 Forumite
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    TD;DR: Ideally change to high heat retention NSHs such as Dimplex Quantum and switch to E7.  You can then choose any supplier you like.  In reality you can probably change a few and move other around, perhaps ending up with eight or nine if you have the space but want to keep the costs down.
    Fully Monty: The March 2023 date is probably just a bit of a scare story.  THTC and similar Restricted Hours Tariffs are a pain because they are expensive, there's little or no competition and they're being made massively expensive or being phased out.  Your teleswitch is probably updated by the Radio 4 Long Wave signal on 198kHz.  The data contract was due to expire earlier but has been repeatedly extended, and may well be extended again.  We were all supposed to have smart meters by now but that's slipped by five years, and the teleswitching contract may slip similarly as well.
    Even if the data signal is switched off, IIRC the teleswitch will still switch at the same times, just like a digital watch will still show the time if you stop checking it against the Greenwich Time Signal.  Teleswitching just stop it drifting, and can vary the switching times by +/- 15 minutes (at least on E7).
    Unless you do something dramatic such as switching to LPG or a heatpump, the answer is probably to increase the storage capacity and then switch to E7.  Some old storage heaters needed an afternoon boost because they were too small by modern standards, but energy was ultra cheap back then.  Modern high heat retention ones are more efficient because less heat is given out during the night when it's not needed.
  • bsms1147
    bsms1147 Posts: 2,261 Forumite
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    Out of interest, what are your current and standing charge rates?
  • Gerry1
    Gerry1 Posts: 9,938 Forumite
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    I fear we may have a long wait for a reply.
    @xraybel joined in April 2018, has posted twice and was last active on 11 Aug at 4:50pm.
    Perhaps they're cold because they're on a comet that won't return until December 2024?
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