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

On the point of the tech, you are indeed correct in your assessment that these are Zigbee SEP 1.x devices so at some point a DIY/open source solution should be perfectly possible. Ourselves and Megni are working towards this (slowly) and we actually have some funded projects on the go at the moment which should help push this along.

If you are going to try and do something yourself I would target 1.2 as some 1.1 hardware may not have good enough crypto support for SMETS. SMETS adds other requirements. Of course you still need the supplier to do the remote pairing for any device to work. This makes a bit of a chicken and egg problem. The answer for us maybe to purchase an un-provisioned SMETS meter which can be used for testing so we can simulate the pairing procedure. There are also some restrictions around Zigbee certification which means that you cant use a DIY device in the field.

On the Eagle 200, I have just been told that an OVO test meter will be installed tomorrow. We will try to go through pairing in next few weeks.

Yes, DIY could be a little tricky.

I think OVO and Bristol Energy probably both use SMS-Plc as the Data and Communications Company (DCC)? Our Customers | SMS plc

Will be interested to hear your experience of pairing / using the Eagle 200.

There is only one DCC… are you thinking about meter operator? They play a different role in both SMETS1/SMETS2 and also compared to current metering system… under SMETS2 they dont control what is often referred too as the ‘head end’ for example (which in smart metering is basically the DCC). Under SMETS2 the pairing is a DCC function so the supplier should be able to do this directly. Under SMETS1 this maybe facilitated by a meter operator as with traditional meters. The issue for the supplier is that they are required by their license to support this for both SMETS1 and SMETS2 irregardless of how it is done. My impression is that OVO are much more tapped in to their SMETS1 back end as they are using to do quite advanced things like time of use tariffs. Also you should bear in mind that SMETS1 devices are going to be migrated into the DCC system by the end of 2019. So eventually should be able to do it for both SMETS1/SMETS2 the same.

@beaylott I’m getting lost in the acronyms but trying to get an idea of who exactly pushes the button to whitelist a device so I can have the best chance at guiding Bristol Energy through the process.

So from what I understand there is one DCC (a consortium of companies)
SMS-Plc are the meter operator (likely for both OVO and Bristol Energy), I’m guessing they are also likely to do all meter management for Bristol Energy.

So I’ve just had a reply from the makers of glow which suggests the supplier (Bristol Energy) need to put a request in with the meter manufacturer (Secure) who implement the change. Not sure if the change mentioned is specific to the glow CAD but hopefully will make things easier from July.

"… To give you an idea of the lay of the land here, we’ve found utilities have been very resistant to opening up the HAN, for a couple of reasons.

Firstly, they have tried to claim it is a security risk, or that it is not company policy to allow a third party device to connect to their meters. This is a) not true, our device is certified and poses no security risk, and b) Smart Meter licensing obligations require them to allow the connection of third party CADs. Like I say, we have had resistance, however we’ve had a little more success with smaller utilities, which will hopefully be a positive in your case.

The second reason they have given as refusal is that currently, Secure charge a £500 fee for whitelisting runs (whether it is 1 CAD or 1000). Although this is a small amount for a massive utility, the Ombudsman recently sided with the utility when one of our customers went to them to try and help get the CAD joined. However, we have been working with Secure on this point and they have developed some functionality for us which will dramatically reduce the cost of whitelisting runs. This is in user testing and should be fully available on the 16th of July if all goes well. This may not mean utilities immediately agree to open the HAN, but it removes one of their significant arguments against doing it."

Yep all sounds pretty familiar. As glow say we will eventually win because it is in the supplier license in black and white that they have to facilitate access. If the CAD devices are certified Zigbee SEP 1.2 then that is enough under SMETS for security etc.

On a side note, BEIS/Ofgem have told us they are very interested in hearing about suppliers which are not playing ball. That isn’t to suggest that you should escalate complaints immediately , but there is a point to starting to gather evidence on the replies we are getting from suppliers.

I assume the cost of whitelisting will also disappear with SMETS2 as well as this is a DCC function.

Bristol Energy have responded and this is apparently the first request they’ve had to pair a CAD. The good news is they seem keen to help and say they will ask the meter supplier to setup my CAD while they install the In Home Display as long as I can provide the information they are after.

The meter supplier is asking for an ASN file which I hope to get from the CAD manufacturer:

“ASN files that must have five major fields that includes Mac address, serial number, Install codes, Supplier name and hardware firmware version followed by Zigbee compatible certification.”

So, should I go ahead with the installation of a SMETS1 meter or should I wait for a SMETS2 meter? Will the SMETS1 meter be upgraded to SMETS2 eventually anyway?

You could probably make the file yourself from separate info but yes good to get from CAD maker if possible. One would hope they are used to supplying this info so should be able to provide it immediately.

If Bristol Energy are willing to help get this working with the SMETS1 I would go for it. In terms of CAD functionality SMETS1/SMETS2 is largely the same, you will get similar data in both cases. The obstacle is mainly pairing the CAD so if you have a supplier willing to do it I wouldn’t care that much about which SMETS it is. You can always get a SMETS2 meter later.

Hi guys,

Thanks for this thread it is very enlightening.

I just moved house with an existing Secure installation and a SMETS1 smart meter from Eon. We are about to move to Utility Warehouse as our provider who are also still rolling out SMETS1 meters, but I am very interested in getting the Glow CAD and trying to get that connected.

I have contacted Utility Warehouse asking for details of the smart meter that they are using and I have tried to get some answers from SMS (although they only told me to go back to the utilities provider). And I am planning to post my progress here as I hear back from them.

Hi guys, very interesting thread and exactly the sort of thing I’m looking to do. I’m a smart meter installer for one of the big six so if I can help I’m happy to. I should point out that Im not officially here to represent my company!

Great…if you have the inside track with the smart metering team at HQ you should give CAD pairing a go as they maybe more amenable to doing it for you!

I was just thinking that. I just need a willing volunteer or myself. You probably know this, but basically what happens on an install is we put in the meters then call hq with the following info:
Comms hub serial number - the bit they talk to.
MPAN and MPRN - the ref numbers of the property.
Gas, Electric and IHD (in home display) serial numbers.
They then communicate with the electric meter, that then prompts us to turn on the ihd and it pairs, then the same with the gas meter. It would be worth trying with a third party CAD as I suspect they only want to know the serial number to confirm its the right one and not an attacker. Though I’ll admit I don’t know exactly how the ZigBee Han is implemented. The people at hq might notice that the serial number is vastly different to any of the two models we use. Also, we tend to use two different smets 1 meter sets. The displays are parable with both though there was one batch of chameleon displays that only worked with one manufacturer.

This is a really interesting thread - sorry to join in like this so late on, but a question that might add to the general knowledge here:

A SMETS1 meter is installed where I live, but by a previously supplier (First Utility). The new supplier (EDF) can’t use it. So, without my going in weilding an Ofgem PDF and quoting article 49 and all the rest at them, what are their obligations to provide me with access to the data for my energy usage if a SMETS1 meter is already present at a property and is unable to be managed?

  • Who is now responsible for enabling CAD pairing?
  • And, if something goes wrong with the meter(s), who is responsible for their maintenance now?

Because, if I’m right, the new provider can’t manage the meter, which means that they can’t perform the necessary steps to enable me to extract data off it myself (IE pairing my own CAD to it).

  • Does this mean that they aren’t able to fulfill their legal obligations to provide me with the data and, therefore, would have to replace it with a SMETS2 unit (or their own SMETS1 unit…)?
  • Or would Ofgem think “you know what, they’ll get updated to be DCC devices sometime anyway, theres no point bothering with this!”

I don’t think it would be considered reasonable to have to replace the whole unit, but if that data can’t be exchanged and it is beyond their power to enable that to happen, then it would imply that they have to.

  • A question to @Paul_Mellers , then, I suppose; Since many providers will use the same SMETS1 devices (this one is a Liberty 100), is it practical (or even possible) for an engineer to change the unit’s 3G/4G connection to communicate with the new provider? Like, you know, swapping a SIM out :joy: ? Seems mad that this wouldn’t be possible… I mean surely it must be, otherwise it wouldn’t be able to be migrated in the future for DCC communications…

Hope things are progressing your end, too, @beaylott!

I think you have hit the nail on the head. As you say, there is a difference between the theory and practice atm. Suppliers are really dragging their heels over CAD pairing, their current favourite reason for refusal is that they are not ‘certified’ (this is assuming you even get to talk to someone who actually understands what you want). There is some truth in this as SMETS is unclear over what the status of CADs are (unlike IHDs/ALCs), however it was previously assumed that they were ok as long as they were Zigbee Alliance certified (which I think all these devices advertised in the UK are). Unfortunately I think there is enough ambiguity in SMETS and the SEC about CADs for them to wiggle out of doing anything under SMETS1. They can also argue that the service they provide with your smart meter meets the requirements for giving you access.

Sadly I think it is as you say - I think the attitude of suppliers and the regulator is that this can all wait until the SMETS1 migration is complete or you get a SMETS2 meter. We (Carbon Co-op) continue to raise these issues with Ofgem and the government at every possible opportunity.

We are currently considering launching a service where (we think) about 80% of SMETS1 customers should be able to access to the data that can be reported remotely (this is not as good as the data you would get from a CAD but it is better than nothing). This should not care about what supplier you are on as we are going to the metering head end systems directly. I will keep the forums posted about this.


Thanks for all the info in this thread guys.

I think Octopus Energy are in a similar situation with the Secure Liberty 100
smart meters. They seem to have a mysterious portal, often that they dont’t understand,
or are unfamiliar with or have never been asked to access before.

This portal, run by a “secure” entity is where if I really hassle them they can get a
screenshot of my dayly midnight snapshots. There must be some kind of limititation
on access to the data as they make an almighty fuss and will only send the data
under extreme pressure. They have enabled an API which gives a tiny snapshot of 30 min
data in an XML format. So if they can actually harness that API capability and then
present the data in a user friendly way there might be a solution.

There has been little to no progress since May so I am not holding my breath.

I really enjoy this thread. I too have a dormant SMETS1 meter (Secure Liberty 100), but I am taking a different route to have a CAD paired. It seems that the rules of the game are well defined once the DCC is in the picture, thus we would not have much more room for excuses from energy suppliers.

DCC is the new government strategy to centralise communication services between smart meters and energy suppliers (mandatory for SMETS2).

I would not expect my old energy supplier (who I no longer have contract with) to go through the trouble of engaging their currently contracted smart meter system operator (SMSO) just to have a CAD enabled for me. This will no longer be necessary once the device is transitioned from their SMSO to DCC.

See the expected flow on page 3 (“Local Access via HAN using a CAD”) in the following publication:

The good news is that BEIS is giving an ultimatum for energy suppliers to take all reasonable steps to enrol SMETS1 devices in the DCC within 12 months from when they inherit a device / consumer.

See the outcome of the BEIS consultation here:

As soon as the old SMETS1 device becomes part of the DCC, it will be treated just like the new generation SMETS2, whose expectations for CADs are clearly defined.

Apparently, a request to have a CAD paired can also flow through “Other DCC users” and not only restricting us (the consumers) to a specific energy supplier.

Therefore, lacking a better option, my current strategy is to put pressure on my supplier to enrol my SMETS1 device in the DCC (or else upgrade me to SMETS2).

Once this is done, I suspect that pairing a CAD will not be so much of an issue anymore, and I can use whatever supplier I want without loss of the device’s “smart” capabilities. I am finding it a better prospect than having to go back to my old supplier and getting stuck with them (yet hoping they will play ball).

It will surely take a while to have everything resolved, but let’s see what happens :wink: I would be devastated if I end up having to use one of those energy meter clamp solutions in the end.

Best wishes for a happy 2019 everyone!

AS a matter of interest, will the old supplier still have access to the data from the meter? How would that fit into GDPR I wonder.

I’ve always absolutely refused to have one fitted; it was just a thought.

I believe in most cases the energy supplier delegates the management and data collection to a third party (SMSO). Based on what I read, it seems Secure Meters, the manufacturer of Liberty 100, also provide such SMSO service to energy providers installing their meters. In this case, if you swap providers, your old energy provider might no longer have access to your meter readings (nor will the new provider), but the SMSO will remain having full control. Hence why moving the devices from SMSO to the DCC (regulated entity) becomes a more appealing prospect. I decided to switch providers and I can see that my device is still connected to the WAN (i.e. SMSO’s communications network). It is quite discomforting to know that a third party not linked in any way to me (or my energy supplier) still have access to my energy usage data. Not much I can do until my meter is either replaced or transitioned.