Supporting consumers on restricted meters in Northern Scotland

Since large areas of Northern Scotland are not connected to the gas grid, electric storage heating is common. For around 72,000 households, this type of heating is coupled with restricted meters and Total Heating Total Control (THTC) tariffs.

The THTC tariff and metering system is notoriously complicated. Customers have two different electricity meters with three circuits. The first meter connects to their heating and hot water, whilst the second connects to their lighting and appliances. Furthermore, each meter is on a different tariff.

Local Energy Scotland’s latest report looks at the issues associated with such a complex method of using and paying for electricity.

What did we find?

Amongst other challenges, the report identifies:

  • A lack of information on how to best use the tariff in a cost-effective way
  • THTC is considerably more expensive than other tariffs
  • Restricted meters are not future proof, meaning householders will be further negatively impacted as energy supply and usage changes

Following on from these challenges, a number of solutions are suggested:

  • An update of the current – but widely unadhered to – Restricted Meter Remedy. This states that larger suppliers should allow customers on Restricted Meters to switch to any of their other electricity tariffs, without having to change their meter.
  • Improved information made available to customers on THTC tariffs
  • A clear process for changing restricted meters

It is clear from the report that THTC metering and tariffs are detrimental to the vast majority of customers. Despite previous extensive research in this area, these issues persist. We urge that the solutions presented in this report be implemented, so that the negative impacts on THTC users in Northern Scotland might be mitigated.

The full report is available by clicking the link below