Is there a user accessible networked meter reading on the new Generation 2 Smart Meters? — Bulb Community

Is there a user accessible networked meter reading on the new Generation 2 Smart Meters?

I've been tracking my electricity meter readings every week for about 12 years so I can track how our usage is, calculate annual usage, etc.

Next week, I am scheduled to get a 2nd generation smart meter which has an In-Home Display, which I assume I can use to read the meter (or can continue to read the meter itself) and add it to my records.

However, as a software developer, it would be better if I could write an application to access the networked meter, as the IHD does, and read and store the meter reading directly.

Is this possible?

Comments

  • edited June 9
    StarNamer said:

    Is this possible?

    Yes, but in reality it's very very difficult.

    What you need is a Consumer Access Device (CAD) that is paired on the Home Area Network (HAN) used by your meters. The HAN uses Zigbee radio, which is easily accessible to the maker community, but any device has to go through the necessary testing and certification before it can be paired on the HAN. This limits options to a commercial device of some sort, of which there aren't many (any?) yet. There were a couple of options for SMETS1 but none that I know of yet for SMETS2. Even then, the meter readings had to go via the manufacturers cloud service and back to you via their API. There was no peer-to-peer functionality to pull the meter readings directly over your local network.

    Even if you manage to purchase a suitable device, Bulb as yet have no way to pair the device for you. It's something the supplier has to do, you can't do it yourself. Anecdotal evidence suggests other suppliers aren't much better with this procedure either, although it should be noted that they are required by their operating license to assist customers with pairing their devices.

    Some of the Chameleon In Home Display (IHD) devices installed by Bulb have an option to connect to local WiFi, but as yet it doesn't appear to do anything. Apparently it's used only for firmware updates. Perhaps some local API will be implemented later by Chameleon, but I doubt it.

    TL;DR: Yes but no.
  • Or Bulb could do what others have done, produce an API with access to the half hourly readings they receive.
  • edited June 9
    Thanks @Hooloovoo . I have been told that the IHD will need to connect to my WiFi and had hoped that it would therefore make some service available on the network, but your reply indicates it's normally using it's own radio network. This is clearly aimed at getting the reading to the supplier with little or no provision for the customer to access it. Like you, I doubt an API will become available in the near future as there probably isn't the demand for it, although @phproxy indicates others have done so - hopefully Bulb is listening. I'll keep searching in case some enthusiastic hacker/make comes up with something better. Meanwhile, I'll just have to continue doing manual readings every week! I trust the IHD will at least make this easier. :)
  • edited June 9
    StarNamer said:

    I have been told that the IHD will need to connect to my WiFi and had hoped that it would therefore make some service available on the network, but your reply indicates it's normally using it's own radio network.

    Yes, it's an entirely separate private network. Relying on the customer providing WiFi and internet access to get the readings to the supplier wouldn't exactly be very sensible or reliable.
    StarNamer said:

    This is clearly aimed at getting the reading to the supplier with little or no provision for the customer to access it. Like you, I doubt an API will become available in the near future as there probably isn't the demand for it, although @phproxy indicates others have done so - hopefully Bulb is listening.

    An API is on the Bulb roadmap. But @Eleanor at Bulb said on here a while back now that it's been put back and there is no longer any firm date on when they might even start working on it, never mind it actually becoming available. Bear in mind that a supplier API would give you only the half hourly readings. If you wanted the more granular 10 second cadence data from the electricity meter, you still need to interface directly with the meter somehow.
    StarNamer said:

    Meanwhile, I'll just have to continue doing manual readings every week! I trust the IHD will at least make this easier. :)

    It may or may not. My IHD that Scottish Power provided does allow me to view the current raw meter reading. But I gather from posts on here that some other devices do not. I'm afraid I'll have to defer to someone else that has one of the model installed by Bulb to confirm whether the actual meter readings are available.
  • The Chameleon devices supplied by Bulb do show actual meter readings (via the OK button menu).
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