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RTS shutdown and your tenants

SFHA Strategic Partner Changeworks shares advice for the upcoming RTS shutdown in June 2025. 

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The Radio Teleswitch Service signal is due to shut down in June 2025. This will impact the heating of around 250,000 Scottish households. In this article, we explain how to support any tenants who may be affected.

What is the RTS? Why is it shutting down?

The RTS is one way that energy suppliers can switch tariff rates on electricity meters. This means their customers can access cheaper rates of electricity at certain times of day. These types of tariffs are important for people who rely on all electric heating and hot water.

The RTS uses longwave radio signals. Longwave radio is becoming obsolete. As a result, the RTS won’t work properly anymore. For this reason, it’s being shut down.

Do any of your properties have an RTS meter?

A property might rely on the RTS if:

  • It uses mains electric heating (e.g. storage heaters)
  • It doesn’t have a smart meter
  • The tenant’s energy tariff offers cheaper electricity at certain times of day (e.g. Eco 10, Total Heat Total Control, Heatwise, etc.)

How will the RTS shutdown affect tenants?

If any of your tenants have a meter that relies on the RTS, this will need to be upgraded to a smart meter before the shutdown.

If a tenant’s RTS meter is still in place after June 2025, their heating and hot water supply is likely to be disrupted. Possible disruption includes the heating and hot water staying on all the time, not coming on at the correct times, or not coming on at all. For these reasons, it’s crucial to upgrade to a smart meter in time.

What needs to be done? Who needs to do it?

The RTS meter will need to be upgraded to a smart meter. With a smart meter, tenants can continue accessing off-peak electricity rates.

If the energy supplier isn’t able to offer a smart meter upgrade, they must look at alternative options to make sure that your tenants’ electricity supply isn’t interrupted.

To upgrade to a smart meter, whoever is responsible for the energy account will need to contact the electricity supplier. If any of your properties have heat with rent or heating charges, this responsibility will sit with the Housing Association, not the tenant. If there’s any uncertainty about whether a property has an RTS meter, it’s best to check with the electricity supplier.

Housing associations can support tenants by raising awareness of the RTS shutdown. Sharing the guidance above can help those tenants who are responsible for their own energy supply to check whether their current meter uses the RTS. Housing officers can then support those tenants who rely on the RTS signal to contact their electricity supplier and upgrade to a new meter.

For more information and energy advice, visit www.changeworks.org.uk

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