A taste of things to come? - UK smart meter data access

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(Ben Aylott) #1

I thought this might be of interest to people here. We are starting to see consumer access devices (CADs) appear for the UK smart metering system (e.g. These devices are conceived as giving home users access to all the juicy high-resultion high-accuracy data available from their smart meters over the Zigbee SEP Home Area Network.

This probably isn’t ready for prime time yet… it all relies on quite a few things… probably you need a SMETS2 metering system which no supplier seems to be installing at the moment, the supplier also needs to support a ‘remote pairing’ procedure (which is how these devices gain access to your home system), and who knows there may be compatibility issues with different meters based on past experience! But this would actually start to realise the value of this billion pound+ public investment by giving consumers and authorised third parties access to the meter data.

(Ben Aylott) #2

If anyone wants to more about the direction of the UK smart metering systems this is a good website to look through:

(stuart) #3

Even that page contradicts itself…

“consumer access devices for electricity data every 10 seconds for gas and every half hour for electricity”

followed by (spelling mistake) and then the complete opposite!

“eletricity consumption data should be available in 10 second increments whereas gas consumption data should be available in half hourly increments”

(Greebo) #4

If I’ve noticed anything with the current generation of content producers,
it’s that proof-reading is “so last generation”.

Far more important to put something out there fast than to put something out there “right”. :roll_eyes:

(Ben Aylott) #5

I think it is just a typo, it is (proposed) electricity 10s / gas 30 mins. I think the lower gas resolution is partly because smart gas meters are battery powered.

(Trystan Lea) #6

Thanks @beaylott, interesting!

(Paul Reed) #7

From my understanding, suppliers are under pressure from the government to install smart meters, and at the moment, they are all still installing SMETS1 meters, which send data back to the individual suppliers, so if you switch supplier, eg from SSL to EON, the smart meter may no longer work & act as a smart meter, and readings will have to be manually submitted to the new supplier.

It’s written in the legislation that (at the moment!) customers can refuse to have a smart meter fitted if they wish, and it’s probably wise to do so, until their supplier starts installing SMETS2 meters (due any time - but ask your supplier).

SMETS2 is the latest standard, and an agreed protocol across all suppliers, so maybe worth waiting for!


(Ben Aylott) #8

This is our thinking - wait for SMETS2. It is hard to recommend SMETS1 when it is looking increasingly likely that the meters will not be ‘adopted’ into the wider system and will have to be replaced. UK gov needs to de-emphasise installation of SMETS1 meters as many suppliers are currently using it to meet their quotas.

(Ben Aylott) #9

For those interested, a bit of an update on how things are going. Some OVO customers have now been successful in pairing energyhive and Hildebrand Glow CADs to their SMETS 1 Secure elec/gas meters. More info here:

You can see there that there was some push back initially from OVO on their facilitating access, however as is noted their, it is a requirement of their license conditions to facilitate CAD access to the SMETS HAN containing the meters which maybe part of the reason why they have given in. The data belongs to the customer by law and ultimately we all paid for these meters through our bills… so rightly so!

Why this is so exciting is that there are a range of white label zigbee sep gateways costing ~£20 and running on hardware very similar to a home router + linux (openwrt). At the moment many CAD suppliers are refusing to provide devices which you can hack on, primarily because they want to insert themselves between you and access to your data as a ‘platform’. For example, the Hildebrand Glow and Chaemeleon devices want you to get data through their API, but there is no particular reason why you shouldn’t be able to get it locally with a suitable device.

Carbon Co-op and Megni (OpenEnergyMonitor) are currently actively trying to source just such a device so that we can develop an open source stack which can be used to connect to UK smart meters directly through the HAN (not going through a ‘platform’). If anyone has any tips it would be great to hear them. I envision an ‘emonCAD’ project setting up once we have a suitable device (or devices) identified which we can try to get paired into a SMETS HAN and start developing on.

(Ben Aylott) #10

Similar types of smart meters (based on Zigbee SEP) were deployed in certain states in US sometime ago and a project to create an open source gateway (dubbed OpenSEG) was pursued there:

(Trystan Lea) #11

Thanks Ben!

(Ben Aylott) #12

I have spoken with the people who make the Eagle CAD for US / Canada market ( which is quite an interesting device as it provides the data locally on a REST server or will post it to a server of your choosing. We are going to order one and see if we have any luck getting it connected to a UK SMETS system.

(Aideen McConville) #13

Ah interesting!

I once reached out to [](ZigBee addon for Raspberry Pi - Can talk to ZigBee Smart Energy networks (special firmware required) ) and got a prompt and very helpful reply.

This was quite a while ago (Mar-2015) and due to the insurmountable administrative and security issues, I didn’t pursue it at the time. I’m pricking up my ears again now!

Chameleon on the other hand didn’t deign to even reply to emails.

(Ben Aylott) #14

Thanks for info. This is exactly the kind of hardware we need to acquire or develop. I may get back in touch with them to see if it is still available and support. The difficulty will be getting compatible firmware (SMETS needs Zigbee SEP 1.2b).

(Ben Aylott) #15

The other issue is that if it is not certified then it will not have a production certificate…

(Ben Aylott) #16

You can now buy the Hildebrand Glow CAD on their shop:

We would be interested to hear about experiences with it if anyone buys one.

(Ben Aylott) #17

We have also just received an Eagle 200 (discussed above) and will be trying to get it working with an OVO smart meter.

(James Bewley) #18

@beaylott did you manage to get the Eagle 200 paired with your smart meters?

I’ve been offered a smart meter upgrade through Bristol Energy and would really like to get at the data via an Eagle 200.

Bristol Energy are very small so I imagine they sub-contract the meter management out to a third party. SMS-Plc are the company doing the installation and I guess they would also manage the access to the SM HAN but I am still trying to find out who exactly to chase down and get confirmation.

Meters will be SMETS1: Secure Liberty 100 electricity meter and the Liberty EG4V-10 gas meter.

(Ben Aylott) #19

We have been waiting on a suitable test meter although we should have one in next few weeks.

I am not sure about bristol energy. I think it is worth contacting supplier now and outlining what it is you want to do and pointing to the license requirements. I would be very interested in their response. You might have more luck to start with with a Hildebrand Glow ( which seem to be at least known about by some suppliers.

(James Bewley) #20

I’ve sent emails to Bristol Energy and SMS-Plc to try and get some answers, fingers crossed.

I’m pretty sure Bristol Energy don’t have the resource to do this sort of thing as it took over an hour on the phone for them to understand what meter tails were when up-rating to 100A supply. I’m recently out of contract so I’m prepared to move supplier, maybe OVO?

More interested in getting the right CAD as I want it to be open and have the option to handle the data directly (do any support MQTT I wonder?).

I gather from this document that the SM HAN on SMETS2 meters is using Zigbee Smart Energy Profile v1.2. I have a Zigbee radio around somewhere so DIY might be an option, although I don’t have any knowledge of SEP at the moment.

People in the US seem to have success with the Eagle 200, I assume their meters are also using SEP v1.2.