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If you don’t have a smart meter, you need to take action

Posted: March 12, 2024

In June 2025, if you do not already have a smart meter, the signal which controls your heating and hot water will be turned off.

This will mean one of the following will happen:

  • You will lose the use of your heating and hot water as it will not charge up.
  • Your heating and hot water will be switched on constantly and will be very expensive.


What is the Radio Teleswitch Service, and what is it used for?

The Radio Teleswitch Service (RTS) uses a radio signal to tell some older electricity meters when to switch between peak and off-peak rates.

RTS is used for some traditional multi-rate meters and was designed to support those who use electricity for their heating and hot water.

This may include those who use electric storage systems, panel heaters or immersion heaters in water tanks – some of which typically charge up overnight.

RTS allows energy suppliers to offer different tariff rates; so that consumers can make use of cheaper off-peak tariffs to charge their heating and/or hot water systems up overnight.


The 2025 deadline

RTS is an industry-wide service and all electricity suppliers should contact impacted customers to offer them a smart meter upgrade before the RTS service ends on 30 June 2025.

You must contact your supplier to arrange the meter change before this date.


What you need to know

Ofgem, the energy regulator for Great Britain, expects energy suppliers to replace all RTS meters before the service ends in June 2025.

Don’t worry, if you have an RTS or DTS meter, you can upgrade to a smart meter.

Smart meters are the only technical replacement for RTS meters because they can be programmed to deliver a similar service.

RTS is also known as Dynamic Teleswitch Service (DTS).

You must contact your electricity supplier to find out when they can install your new meter.


How to find out if you’ve got an RTS meter

If you’re not sure whether you have an RTS meter, there are a few things you can look out for:

  • There may be a separate switch box near your meter with a radio teleswitch label on it
  • Your property is heated using electricity or storage heaters
  • You get cheaper energy at different times of the day. Your tariff might be: Economy 7, Economy 10 or Total Heating Total Control (THTC)


Will I be able to stay on the same tariff I am on now?

Your supplier will be able to tell you which tariffs are available to you. They should offer a tariff that is suitable for the hot water and/or heating set up in your home.

If you think you have RTS equipment in your home, or you’re unsure, contact your electricity supplier. They will let you know whether you have an RTS meter, and when you can get your smart meter upgrade.


What happens if I don’t upgrade to smart meters

If you decide not to upgrade, the heating and/or hot water provisions in your home will be affected.

You will find that your heating and/or hot water is continually left on or off, or the charging-up happens at the wrong time of day. Your electricity supplier won’t be able to confirm how much electricity you have used during peak or off-peak times, which means your electricity costs could be much higher than before.


The benefits of smart meters

A smart meter will give you a similar service to your RTS meter. You should speak to your supplier to find out more.

Smart meters can be programmed to deliver a similar service to RTS. With a smart meter:

  • You’ll get accurate bills based on the energy you’ve actually used, not an estimate
  • Meter readings are submitted automatically, so there’s no need to manually submit your energy readings
  • You can keep a closer eye on how much energy you’re using and how much you’re spending
  • You can see where you might be able to save energy, for example by turning the heating down when you don’t need it or switching the TV off at the wall
  • You’ll have access to ‘smart meter only’ tariffs


Some RTS customers may not be able to upgrade to smart meters yet

There are some situations where your electricity supplier won’t be able to offer you an appointment for a smart meter upgrade just yet. If that’s the case, speak to your supplier about when they will be ready to carry out the upgrade.


To find out more about RTS, click the links below:


Energy supplier contact details

You can call the following numbers to arrange for update works to be done. Most of these suppliers will also have an online chat service which can also be used.

  • OVO – 0330 175 9669
  • Scottish Power – 0800 027 0072
  • Scottish/British Gas – 0843 770 5045
  • Octopus Energy – 0808 164 1088
  • Utilita – 0843 770 5062
  • EDF – 0333 200 5103
  • Eon Next – 0843 770 5036
  • E – 0333 103 9575
  • Sainsbury Energy – 0808 501 5277
  • Shell Energy – 0330 094 5800