Mon. Apr 15th, 2024
alert-–-nearly-a-million-brits-face-being-forced-onto-controversial-smart-meters-as-the-bbc-switches-off-longwave-radio-service-that-tells-devices-when-to-switch-to-low-feesAlert – Nearly a million Brits face being forced onto controversial smart meters as the BBC switches off longwave radio service that tells devices when to switch to low fees

The BBC will stop transmitting a 40-year-old long-wave radio service which will force almost a million household to switch to smart meters or risk paying higher heating bills. 

Since the late 1980s, the BBC has broadcast the Radio Teleswitch Service (RTS) which tells meters across the country when to change their fees from high to low. 

Around 900,000 households, mostly those that are off the gas network and use electricity for heating and hot water, use tariffs such as Economy 7 or Economy 10 which offer cheaper power at night. 

The signal is broadcast from a BBC transmitter at Droitwich in Worcestershire telling meters across the whole of the UK when to switch tariffs on and off.

However, as the 40-year-old RTS system reaches the end of its operational life, the system will be will turned off by June 2025. Which means customers will have to switch to smart meters to keep their payment plans. 

A woman checking her smart meter. Around 900,000 households that use the Radio Teleswitch Service (RTS) will have to adopt smart meters by June 2025 or risk paying more money (stock image)

A woman checking her smart meter. Around 900,000 households that use the Radio Teleswitch Service (RTS) will have to adopt smart meters by June 2025 or risk paying more money (stock image) 

Broadcasting House, the BBC's headquarters in central London. Since 1980s, the BBC has broadcast the RTS system which tells meters across the country when to change their fees from high to low. As the 40-year-old system reaches the end of its operational life, the BBC has announced it will turn off the transmitter by June 2025

Broadcasting House, the BBC’s headquarters in central London. Since 1980s, the BBC has broadcast the RTS system which tells meters across the country when to change their fees from high to low. As the 40-year-old system reaches the end of its operational life, the BBC has announced it will turn off the transmitter by June 2025

According to The Telegraph, the decision to switch off the transmitter is part of the BBC’s plan to end all long wave transmissions which use up a lot of energy to broadcast and are not as good quality as FM. 

All radio transmissions currently broadcast on long wave radio will end on March 31 this year and from April 1 be transmitted over FM and digital radio.  

Smart meters remain controversial due to privacy concerns over how the data they collect is used. In December last year, it was estimated 2.7million smart meters were not working properly with some customers being charged as much as £900 without warning.      

The many customers who use RTS systems, including 304,000 just in London and the south of England, are being urged to switch as soon as possible to avoid a backlog. 

Dhara Vyas, Energy UK’s deputy chief executive, said: ‘Doing so in good time will minimise the disruption, help ensure a smooth upgrade to a smart meter and mean that customers continue to enjoy the benefits they currently get from RTS.’ 

Ofgem have warned that many customers may not even be aware their meters use RTS. 

A spokesperson for the watchdog said: ‘Ofgem has made clear its expectation that all RTS meters must be replaced with smart meters at least three to four months before the RTS close down date, and suppliers should not delay this work any further.

‘Smart meters bring immediate benefits for customers, helping them to access more competitive tariffs. It also makes it easier for suppliers to spot when households might be struggling with bills and offer support such as emergency credit.

‘We have written to suppliers to raise our concerns about the slower progress of installations for smart prepayment meters, and the potential impact of that on vulnerable households.’

The BBC have been approached for a comment.  

error: Content is protected !!