Radio Teleswitch electricity meters: consumer guidance

Changes to electricity meters using Radio Teleswitch (RTS) technology and how they affect households.

The BBC radio service that supports RTS meters is being phased out and is planned to end 31 March 2024. If you have an electricity meter which switches between peak and off-peak tariff rates, such as an Economy 7 or 10 tariff, or it automatically turns on your heating or hot water, you may have a meter that uses Radio Teleswitch (RTS) technology.

If you do not know if you have an electricity RTS meter, you should contact your supplier. Your network operator can also tell you who your electricity supplier is. Search for your network operator on the Energy networks association website.

If you have an electricity RTS meter

You should not lose your electricity supply or functionality before 31 March 2024. Your electricity supplier will contact you to arrange an upgrade to your meter and replace it with a smart meter. We expect them to manage this process before 31 March 2024, if you have any questions or concerns, you should contact your supplier.

We are monitoring the progress of suppliers and have asked them for updates on their work to replace and upgrade all RTS meters. They must make sure that their customers have a suitable electricity meter installed and that their service is not disrupted.  

Areas where smart meter signals do not work

Smart meters need a signal to work. The signal comes from the Smart Metering Wide Area Network (SM-WAN). This is a national network that connects smart meters and energy suppliers. Your electricity supplier will tell you if your home can connect to the network and if not what your options are for replacing your existing meter.

If you do not want a smart meter

You can choose not to upgrade to a smart meter.  However, you may not have the same functionality as you have now, and you may also be limited with the choice of tariffs.

Energy suppliers are required to install smart meters as part of the UK government’s programme to replace older energy meters in homes and businesses across England, Wales and Scotland. You can find information about smart meters and the benefits of having one installed on the Smart meters website.

You should speak to your supplier to understand all the options available to you.

Support

You can get advice about your energy supply from the Citizens Advice website or contact the Citizens Advice consumer helpline.

If you live in Scotland

Get information and energy advice from energyadvice.scot.