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What is the Radio Teleswitch Service (RTS) and what’s it used for?

The Radio Teleswitch Service (RTS) helps electricity suppliers switch between peak and off-peak times and controls when your heating and hot water switches on and off.

Do I have RTS equipment in my home or business?

If you use electricity for heating and hot water (using electric storage/panel heaters and/or immersion heaters), and you have tariffs that offer cheaper rates during off-peak periods, you may have RTS equipment in your home or business. Usually there will be a large black box next to your meter. This is the RTS equipment. 

If we believe you have an RTS meter, we’ll contact you to book a meter exchange. You can also register your interest in a smart meter installation in your account.

An Economy 7 meter next to a Radio Teleswitch
In this picture, the black box to the right of the meter is the radio teleswitch, which controls the off peak hours.


How does the RTS equipment in my home/business receive updates?

Your RTS equipment receives updates through Longwave radio broadcast. It uses the same radio frequency as the BBC uses for delivering radio programming.


When will RTS be turned off?

While Longwave radio transmission has been reliable over the years, the BBC has announced plans to migrate unique Longwave content to other broadcasting platforms. That means Longwave radio broadcasting and RTS is due to end in March 2024.


What happens when Longwave radio transmission ends?

When Longwave radio transmission ends, RTS will also end. If you have RTS equipment please arrange a smart meter upgrade as soon as possible to avoid disruptions to your heating and hot water.


What will happen to my off-peak hours when I have a smart meter installed?

About 80% of our customers’ hours will only differ by 15 minutes or less. For example, if your off peak hours are 00:15 - 07:15, your off peak hours will probably change to 00:30 - 07:30. Off peak hours may differ slightly depending on the area you live in.

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