They say all good things must come to an end, but we can assure you all that the Economy 7 options will continue.

This change will actually help the energy network manage the output of the grid, with major appliances using the least intensive time period to operate. The change thats coming around the Radio-Teleswitched (RTS) analogue meters, the external operational mechanism is currently scheduled to be switched off on 31st March 2024.There is now a need to ensure your meter setup will function beyond this date.

What is the Radio Teleswitch System?

The Radio Teleswitch System (or RTS for short) is a system that was created to help with the control and management of electricity meters that had special tariffs such as Economy 7 prior to the existence of smart meters. It has a few features that are seen in smart meters today, such as remotely switching between day or night rates and automatically turning heating/hot water on or off, but doesnโ€™t have the ability to collect meter readings.

How does a Radio Teleswitch work?

The radio RTS receives an inaudible signal at a specific time to switch On/Off your off-peak board to provide energy to off peak operational appliances such as storage heating and electrically heated hot water cylinders. The signal is piggybacked on the Radio 4 signal, so in effect, your teleswitch has been listening to the shipping forecast and the trials and tribulations of cricket on Test Match Special since it was installed many years ago.

Why is it being switched off?

The transmitter system the BBC uses to broadcast long-wave transmission still uses 1930โ€™s technology and has been on life support for many decades. BBC Radio 4 long wave transmitter equipment uses a pair of valves that are no longer manufactured and impossible to replicate. The glass valves are one metre high, and a faulty valve could cause a catastrophic transmitter fault. Whenever the valves fail, a dangerous “arc of power” surges through the 700ft Droitwich transmission masts. With a move to more digital options such as DAB or online streaming, means investment in upgrading the long-wave transmitter is no longer viable.

How do I know if my system will be affected?

If you already have a smart meter this will not need an upgrade as it does not require an RTS signal to operate. If you have an analogue meter, you should check for the presence of an RTS switch. The simplest option is to discuss the meter setup with your energy supplier. The energy supplier will know the meter and the system you are using. They are currently in the process of contacting customers who will be affected by the upgrade. This is the full responsibility of the energy supplier, not the end user.

Will I need to change my tariff?

There should be no need to change tariffs, but you should always check that you are on the best value option.

Will my storage heaters need upgrading?

In short, no, but you should seriously look at upgrading to the Electrorad High Heat Retention ThermaStore. ThermaStore HHR storage heaters are up to 27% cheaper to run than older-type storage heaters and up to 40% cheaper to run than electric heaters or electric radiators. They will also improve your property’s EPC score.