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posted by ruraldev | A year ago
Re: Comfort Plus to Economy 7

I started this post so here's an update, I didn't change the meter in the house but I also have storage heaters in a commercial building next door so as a test I made the heaters "smart", although the garage is a single rate meter I treated it as a test for the house.

I've put a Sonoff TH15 and contactor at each heater and used node-red to control when the heaters are on and off based on temperature and time of day and it is working perfectly, it looks like I am saving almost 25% on power costs. I've also got a wind turbine feeding that building and I've got another device making use of excess generation but I've had it for about 10 years so it shouldn't be making a difference.

So I think the conclusion is that it is possible to use an Economy 7 meter and save money. I'm trying to get a time of use tariff at the moment but no-one is offering one for commercial connections at the moment.

As an aside next year we are building a new garage, covering it with PV, installing battery storage and puchasing electric vehicles, funny enough mostly funded by SP Energy Networks.

posted by MarkEd | A year ago
Re: Comfort Plus to Economy 7

I have since made progress on this - here's my experience - and yes it is possible!

Because SP really don't want to get you off Comfort Plus cos it's a major money spinner for them and a rip-off for us you have to shame them to get them to do anything. Write a TrustPilot review and that gets them moving,  you'll get a response next day. You actually get through to people who know stuff, are helpful and make things happen - rather than the useless online people who only have a script - a script that is wrong in most cases.

If you have a CP meter and storage heaters, the chances are you have a separate circuit for the heaters that gets activated by the CP meter. So all you need is an E7 meter that does the same - they exist, I just got them to install one. You may need an electrician to check out how your wiring works if you're not sure - I was sure as I've monitored our electricity fr years because of SP's incompetence.

So I now have access to all the tariffs on Uswitch etc, which will save me £500 pa. It is possible but you have to shame SP into doing it. How sad is that?

posted by 69 | A year ago
Re: Comfort Plus to Economy 7
I have been told that it is OFGEM guidlines which imply you can ask for a meter type which suits your heating system i.e. space heating and water heating. My immersion heater was always on my ring main/lighting fuse board and not my storage heater board so I was never constrained into only heating my hot water (immersion heater) when the Night Rate was active through the night. The big Comfort Plus White Meter had a radio operated switch inside to energise the storage heater board. The Economy 7 meter is a tiny digital unit which now feeds my ring main/ lighting board and via a big Sangamo time switch, the storage heater board. The time switch was supplied and set by the SP contractor who did the meter change, everything was done free of charge. I feel if you can get your own electrician to move your water heating circuit from the storage heating board to your ring main/lighting/cooker etc board, then you may be in a better position to get a straight meter swap like me. You may have a timer on your water heater circuit which should be looked e.g. it MAY have a normal ring main supply for the clock and a separate supply for the immersion heater power switching. If you are in Scotland then someone independent like CITRUS may help you move forward so long as your circuits suit Economy 7 if that is what you want. I still have to wait longer for the National Database to be updated and show my property on Economy 7, then I can sort my tariff out. Hope this helps.

posted by ruraldev | A year ago
Re: Comfort Plus to Economy 7
MarkEd, Do you have the manufacturer/model of the new E7 meter you have?

posted by Redgirl | A year ago
Re: Comfort Plus to Economy 7

Hi All

Great to read this thread. Just off the phone with SP and extremely frustrated.

I need to re-arrange my SP tariff. I see what they offer online, calculate and choose. I ring them up say want to change. We'll give you our best tariff they say. Ok I say fire away. It turns out their verbal "best" tariff is about £170 dearer than the one offered on their drop down list that I have chosen.

You'll need to speak to  a broker to get that rate they say. So ring the Broker. Oh we don't do that kind of meter they say. You'll need to ring SP.............etc etc

When I rang SP back to say it's not right they advertise the CCPlus tariff options, knowing that CCplus doesn't come under the Broker remit. I asked about changing meters and was told couldn't do that due to the way they're wired. Can only change if it's faulty. 

So thanks to all for sharing experiences. This one han't gone away yet SP! Have just finished one ombudsman complaint about SP. Looks like another on the way........

posted by Graham09 | A year ago
Re: Comfort Plus to Economy 7
hi all

I am in the same situation with my mum, whos got white meter comfort plus electric storage heaters. I have spoken to SP and one person said as long as landlord is okay they would replace the meter for free to allow E7. I spoke to SP today and they said moving from a three tier, day , night and control to E7 day and night would mean losing the control and therefore the ability to provide electricity for the storage heaters

posted by Davc | A year ago
Re: Comfort Plus to Economy 7

@Graham09   An electrician can explain it to you.  The storage heaters can be connected to the house circuit and they will need a time switch to avoid them warming up during the day.  That is assuming the whole house switches to cheap power at night.

Alternatively an E7 meter with two outlet wires is available.  One supplies the house circuit, and the other is dedicated to the storage heaters and only comes on at night.

SP have both meters available.


posted by omendata | A year ago
Re: Comfort Plus to Economy 7


Yes i have storage heaters and water cylinder from the old days my flat is 1960's

I just checked and my standard online tariff comfortplus white meter is way more expensive than any of the other tariffs

Complete madness it was supposed to be cheaper but the control rate is now more expensive than the night rate

Phoned Scottish Power complained about leaving me without leccie for 7 days so they have arranged to swap in an Economy 7 meter and take the old Horstmann Series K Telemeter out for free.

Then you can swap to another provider like Buld or Co-Op who are cheaper

These white meter tariffs mean you are locked to Scottish power until you have the meter changed and Bulb and Co-op accepted my switch then had to decline because of the meter and tariff i have been on for the last 15 years!

It used to be the cheapest tariff but time s change and the night rate 2 is cheaper than the control rate 3 so better off with Economoy 7 day night rates!!

Hope that helps

PS. You can blag a meter swap for free if you are nice to the UK helpdesk folks

If you get put through to India or Pakistan just hang up and redial or try during the day as the Davox dialler usually routes to the Uk call centres - at night it switches over calls to the useless Indian call centres who wont give you any help or leeway they just follow the script like robots and are about as helpful as a chocolate tampon!

posted by omendata | A year ago
Re: Comfort Plus to Economy 7

PS Folks

Dont do what the call centre do and base things on ££££ saved

You need to take the day night and control rate and standing charge prices and stick them in a spreadsheet and do the calculations - I phoned their helpdesk and they quoted a completely more expensive tariff when you actually did the calculation

Its ridiculous that Scottish Power cannot calculate these things properly



posted by 69 | A year ago
Re: Comfort Plus to Economy 7
I can only relate my experience and subsequent E7 installation as follows. The small E7 meter only records, it does not switch. The time switch was installed, set and sealed by the SP contractor just as the E7 meter is sealed. It is the time switch that tells (controls) the meter to record Rate 2 (night) as well as supplying my storage heater board. Based on this I can't see how any SP adviser should imply the only swap the meter and not fit a time switch too. I always spoke to the UK Direct Debit Team because that's how I pay, they would pass me through to the relevant department for arranging the installation. I can understand how some SP call centre advisers haven't a clue what is needed for E7 to work and be tamper proof.