Complex Meter - RTS shutdown


I have what is classified as a complex meter set up originally designed by Scottish power for homes off the gas grid. 

I have 2 MPANs - 2 separate electricity supplies. 1 is 24x7, the other is off-peak to supply boiler only. My electric heating system is designed to only work with this set up. I.e it requires 2 power supplies. 1 24x7 which supplies central heating pump, the other switches on and off and powers the heating elements at fixed off peak times. I get 18 hrs off peak each 24 hr period so there is always hot water/heat available. 

I have an RTS unit situated alongside the meters but I’m not sure it is still in use since the meters were upgraded to digital (not smart). 

The times have drifted to eg 10:02 - 16:32 —2 minutes past the advertised switch times. This indicates to me that they are not RTS controlled which means I would not be affected by the RTS switch off in March. Can anyone confirm? 

My supplier (not SP) has not been in touch to change the meter. I do not want to change the meter because I would have to change my heating system & I can’t afford to do that. But I’m anxious that it may stop working in March 2024 if I do nothing. 

Any advice appreciated. 



  • Gerry1
    Gerry1 Posts: 9,768
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    RTS times can vary ±15 minutes.  In theory this could change day to day but mine's always stayed the same.  The grid would wobble if everyone switched at the same instant.
    It's very unlikely that RTS will cease after 31 Mar 2024.  The contract has been extended many times before and negotiations are ongoing.
  • mmmmikey
    mmmmikey Posts: 1,591
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    As per @Gerry1 above the meter it does seem very unlikely to drop dead at the end of March and it's also quite possible that the deadline is extended. But it does seem inevitable that you'll have to change to a smart meter before very long. Even if your meter still works, it's possible that SP will stop the tariff as they are required by law to get as many customers onto smart meters as possible. This is by no means certain but it is a risk you need to factor into your thinking. Or you could just cross that bridge when you come to it. But one way or the other you're going to have to get a smart meter sooner or later and your current tariff will probably cease.

    You may find that one of the smart tariffs that suppliers such as Octopus are offering allow you to keep your existing heating system cost effectively, and there may be some merit in investigating the options so you can change to a smart meter at a time of your choosing rather than have it forced upon you.
  • QrizB
    QrizB Posts: 13,663
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    mmmmikey said:
    Even if your meter still works, it's possible that SP will stop the tariff ...
    We don't know who OP's supplier is, only that it's:
    Alex_ST said:
    (not SP)
    It's not clear to me what tariff they have, but any tariff where:
    Alex_ST said:
    I get 18 hrs off peak each 24 hr period
    is going to be a challenge to replace.
    Having said that, it's also possible that their "18 hours off-peak" is barely any cheaper than the SVT. Without more detials it's impossible to say.
    N. Hampshire, he/him. Octopus Go elec & Tracker gas / Shell BB / Lyca mobi. Ripple Kirk Hill member.
    2.72kWp PV facing SSW installed Jan 2012. 11 x 247w panels, 3.6kw inverter. 30MWh generated, long-term average 2.6 Os.
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  • Thanks for replies so far. Really all I need to know is if there’s a way to find out whether my RTS equipment is currently “live” or not. There must be a way to find out?

    Slightly more worried given @Gerry1’s comment that the 2 min “drift” is not drift after all…

    My deal is unbeatable currently. It was something of a bespoke setup to get me to switch. I won’t be switching or changing anything. I know the smart meter will come eventually but I’ll hopefully be long gone by then. There is a plan to roll out gas to the village so no point replacing a boiler still under warranty till then. I plan to move next spring anyway. I just don’t want this to become an issue in the interim or for the new owners if I’ve moved by then. 

    I’ve spoken to the network operator. They can’t tell me. My supplier also seems to have no idea. 

    Presumably they would have been in touch if my account had been flagged as RTS-affected? Then again, after a lifetime of misery with energy retailers not understanding complex meters I have very little faith in people doing what they’re supposed to do. 

    Is there an easy way I can block the radio signal to test whether my heating still works? Cover the RTS box with aluminium foil or something? 


  • Gerry1
    Gerry1 Posts: 9,768
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    edited 15 December 2023 at 9:24PM
    A look at your RTS unit may  tell you.  In this example the small red flag in the bottom right corner shows which rate is in use.
    If you follow the wiring from the company fuse to the consumer unit snd it goes through the RTS unit then it's likely that RTS controls your switching times.  Ditto if there's a thin wire linking the RTS unit to the meter.
    Screening the RTS init won't stop it switching; you'd have to screen behind it as well and, even if successful, it would remain on its last settings just like a wristwatch in a drawer that's not set by the pips any more.
    If it did work, every student household with E7 would be on permanent cheap rate !
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