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

Just as aside, My mum had a SMETS1 fitted by First Utility, she switched a while back but Octopus are now getting data from it, so things are definitely moving along.

Why though the suppliers cannot simply provide a CAD with local API access - or even a USB port and a data interface is beyond me.

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I’ve been in contact with Hildebrand today, and it seems things have shifted a bit ( at least with regards to SMETS2 and the DCC. ) Here’s the email I received:

The really good news is that now that the SMETS2 regime is in place, the suppliers are no longer a barrier because in addition to selling the IHD/CAD we are also a DCC Other User (a process which involved building our own connection to the DCC and passing extensive tests and audits) - this means that you can switch to whoever offers you the best deal and we can then sell you our SMETS2 IHD/CAD :

Display and CAD - Smart meters – Glow from Hildebrand

We also provide our customers with API access to their data.

Apparently there are a few suppliers who are still being rather slow about installing SMETS2 meters - so before making your final choice, we recommend that you double check.

They’ve sent me their API information and it’s pretty standard JSON based stuff, but they can also publish via MQTT apparently. They’ve got a solution for SMETS1 but I suspect that’s a bit trickier to get paired, but not really looked into that.

This would seem to solve the data access issue, and I have to say I’ve been impressed with the responses from Hildebrand to the point where I’ve now booked my smart meter install and will be ordering the CAD/IHD device shortly! ( I’ve got no association with them, but it’s rare to actually have a sensible conversation with [email protected] these days!!! )

Yes its all looking good. Carbon Co-op will have SMETS2 smart meter data ‘any day’. Perhaps the much delayed golden age of energy data has begun!

Octopus are shaking things up a bit.

I held out to get my SMETS2 meters installed by Bristol Energy although they still don’t have the capability to actually process the meter readings.

I’ve since moved to Octopus Agile and they were able to get the meters working fairly quickly and provide access to all your data and historic hourly energy prices via their own API; so no need for another device to sit on the HAN. Hopefully some other providers will catch up with this type of innovation in their services.


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The only issue there is that every provider will be slightly different, meaning changes every time you switch providers. By having a third party device in the network you avoid this issue.


You might be interested in this thread:-

Two things missing from my point of view:
(a) it accesses data from an Octopus website, not from the meter directly. The only security is security-by-obscurity; one ‘secret key’.
(b) it only provides half-hour usage data, not realtime.

Yes they are doing some great stuff. Only caution I would make is that if you are building solutions on their API they will stop working if you switch supplier. At the moment there isnt much choice but this will change. That is why carbon co-op still think there is room for a more standardised non-supplier offering which can follow you around if you change. Tariff data should also be accessible for your SMETS2 meter independent of who your supplier is.

Tariff or Consumption data?

Tariff AND consumption data since the agile tariff changes hourly based on cost to octopus. I use it to schedule the car charging which is working great, I even occasionally get paid to charge the car when the cost goes negative.

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I assume this would be the same for a “DCC Other User” like Hildebrand?

Would be nice to have some standardisation.

Hildebrand electric data is real time. Gas is half hourly, I assume to preserve gas meter battery. Hildebrand are accessing meter directly via wifi on their HID display conected to SMETS 2 meters.


TOU half hour tariffs are not stored in smarts meters at present. Fixed tariffs are but not automatically. I had ask Octopus to update gas tariff on my meter.

The Hildebrand IHD provides real-time consumption data but I was interested in the comment about them also able to act as a “DCC Other User” and provide data via an API. I presume this means they are getting their data from the DCC and not the HAN?

Oops, I read it as from not for :man_facepalming:

The Hildebrand IHD transmits real time meter data direct to Hildebrand servers. They are allowed to do this as a DCC licensed Other User. Hildebrand provide that data to the meters registered user via their API from Hildebrand servers. As I understand it DCC poll SMETS2 smart meters only a few times or possibly only once every 24 hours. Octopus then get their Data from DCC. That is why Octopus data for SMETS2 meters is only available via the Octopus API 2 days in arrears.

It is available though via DCC. We get tariff and consumption data for the smart meters we are connected too. It’s also available for most SMETS1. You would also be able to get this via a CAD but in that case it is the same data.

Just to clarify as far as I have been told it is only fixed tariff data that is available from the meter. Half hour TOU tariff data is not stored in the meter and the indication I got that this may never be possible. Do you know if this is the case?

This is super interesting!

How does it work in practice, what’s the process with Hildebrand to open the binding window in the HAN and connect the CAD?

I haven’t been through the process yet, but my impression is once the meters are installed you just ask Hildebrand to connect their IHD/CAD. They then have to verify that you’re actually authorised to request it ( i.e. it’s your HAN they’re connecting to ) and that’s about it. Once authorised, they handle it directly.

not sure if I’m just being dense, but with the Hildebrand CAD, is the realtime usage data via MQTT messages available directly from the CAD on the local wifi network, or is MQTT reliant on subscribing to a Hildebrand server on the internet?