RTS shutdown (Radio Teleswitch Service)

A rural village where homes may be affected by the RTS shutdown. There are several white houses with grey roofs on a hillside.

The RTS signal is due to shutdown on 30 June 2025. We know a lot of people are concerned about this, which is why we’ve put together this guide.

Below, we’ll explain what the shutdown means, whether it affects you, and what you need to do.

If you have an electricity meter that relies on the RTS, then you should contact your electricity supplier as soon as possible.

What is the Radio Teleswitch Service (RTS)?

The RTS lets electricity suppliers switch tariff rates on electricity meters. This allows customers to access cheaper, off-peak electricity at certain times of the day. Such tariffs can reduce energy costs for people who rely on electricity for their heating and hot water.

Does my electricity meter use the RTS?

Your meter may use the RTS if you are on a tariff that charges different electricity rates at different times of day. Some examples are:

  • Economy 7
  • Economy 10
  • Total Heat Total Control (THTC)
  • Comfortplus with WeatherCall/White Meter
  • Heatwise
  • Warmwise
  • Budget Warmth

Your electricity meter definitely doesn’t use the RTS if:

  • It’s a smart meter
  • You don’t get cheaper, off-peak rates for your electricity

If you’re not sure whether your meter uses the RTS, then it’s best to contact your electricity supplier. They will be able to tell you.

Why is the Radio Teleswitch Service shutting down?

The RTS uses Longwave radio signals to switch tariff rates. It’s the same Longwave radio signals that the BBC uses, but which they are moving away from. Longwave radio is becoming obsolete, which means RTS won’t work properly anymore.

When is the Radio Teleswitch Service shutting down?

The RTS signal is due to shutdown on 30 June 2025.

What will happen when the RTS shuts down?

You should be able to switch away from your RTS meter before the shutdown. (See the What should I do if my meter uses the RTS? section below).

If you don’t switch to a different meter, then your heating and hot water is likely to be affected. The heating and hot water might stay on all the time, not come on when you want it to, or not come on at all. For these reasons, it’s really important to get in touch with your electricity supplier to make sure you switch in time.

What should I do if my meter uses the RTS?

If your meter uses the RTS, then you should contact your electricity supplier as soon as possible.

The RTS will be replaced by the smart meter network, which currently covers around 99.25% of the UK. If your area is connected to the network, then your supplier will discuss switching you over to a smart meter.

With a smart meter, you’ll be able to keep using your electricity as before, taking advantage of off-peak rates.

What if I can’t get a smart meter in my area?

At the moment, you can only get a smart meter if you live in an area that’s covered by the smart meter network. That’s because energy suppliers need this network to send information to your smart meter. This information includes telling the meters when to switch between off-peak and peak pricing.

However, two solutions are being looked at. Either:

  1. Suppliers will work out a different way to communicate with smart meters, or
  2. Suppliers will offer smart meters that have pre-set off-peak and peak switching times.

What if I don’t want a smart meter?

You don’t have to have a smart meter, but it’s the only planned replacement for meters that use the RTS. If you’re unsure about smart meters, it might be helpful to look at our smart meter page. We’ve included a myth-buster section to address some common concerns.

If you definitely don’t want a smart meter, then you may have to make changes to your electricity system. This would involve paying for an electrician to change your home’s internal wiring and the way you control your heating.

It’s also important to bear in mind that your supplier will likely have to change your tariff. They will probably start charging a flat rate for electricity, instead of offering cheaper, off peak rates.