Smart Meter consumer access devices

Hi Bulb! Can you tell me if your smart meters allow the connection of additional CAD (consumer access devices) such as: Glow Zigbee CAD for Smart meters – Glow from Hildebrand

I understand that this is permitted as it’s my usage data and I would like to record it for my own purposes.
If I purchased this device would it be easy to connect up to your SMETS 2 meters?

Thanks!

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Hey @garethp - we’re going to be trialling CADs that will be paired at install, but I’m not too sure on the possibility of remote pairing a CAD yet. I’ve asked one of our SMETS2 pros to look into it and I’ll get back to you with an update as soon as I hear back :slight_smile:

Any update on this? I’d very much like something the OP has listed to obtain real time usage information on my local network, particularly since I’m now trialling the new Bulb Smart Tariff beta. It is listed as compatible with my Elster meters.

I know Bulb are looking at API options for smart meters (see http://community.bulb.co.uk/discussion/comment/22902/#Comment_22902 ) which might be easier to integrate with (using standard HTTPs calls) than having to integrate with Zigbee.

But the Glow Zigbee device does look like it will work - it might worth dropping Glow an email using their ‘contact us’ page giving your meter model details and asking if the supplier needs to do anything and, if they don’t, whether you will be able to just return the device if it can’t pair. If it needs supplier setup/configuration, it should be disclosed on the product page in my opinion (as it’ll be a compatibility issue) and the fact it doesn’t mention it to me implies it should work ‘out of the box’.

AFAIK, all CADs need to be paired to the smart meter by your supplier. Typically you give them the required device pairing details and they enable it.

The DECC’s info on smart meters has always advertised that the public can connect their own devices to smart meters:

Accessing data via the Home Area Network Smart Meters will establish a wireless ‘Home Area Network’ in a consumer’s home. This will be a local ZigBee wireless network (the SM HAN) which gas and electricity smart meters and in-home displays will use to exchange data. Consumers will also be able to pair other devices that operate the ZigBee Smart Energy Profile (SEP) to this network; such devices are typically known as Consumer Access Devices (CADs).
(page 3.)
I know Bulb are looking at API options for smart meters (see http://community.bulb.co.uk/discussion/comment/22902/#Comment_22902 ) which might be easier to integrate with (using standard HTTPs calls) than having to integrate with Zigbee.
The issue with this is there'll likely be rate limits and it's not going to be an instantaneous read. For historical data it'll be fine, but for current/recent data it's not such an ideal solution.

There’s been some fun discussion on the OVO forums about connection and after a load of CS rubbish, they did get their CAD paired.

https://forum.ovoenergy.com/smart-meter-compatibility-67/can-i-connect-a-cad-to-my-smart-meters-if-ovo-open-the-home-area-network-han-1102

I know Bulb are looking at API options for smart meters (see http://community.bulb.co.uk/discussion/comment/22902/#Comment_22902 ) which might be easier to integrate with (using standard HTTPs calls) than having to integrate with Zigbee.

That, at best, only gives you the half-hourly data, not the quasi-realtime data available direct from the meter.

But the Glow Zigbee device does *look* like it will work - it might worth dropping Glow an email using their 'contact us' page giving your meter model details and asking if the supplier needs to do anything and, if they don't, whether you will be able to just return the device if it can't pair. If it needs supplier setup/configuration, it should be disclosed on the product page in my opinion (as it'll be a compatibility issue) and the fact it doesn't mention it to me implies it should work 'out of the box'.

I’ve done just that, and got a quick reply. In fact, it’s possibly the best most comprehensive reply from any company ever. Most impressed.

I don’t want to post the whole reply on here, but in summary, yes it will work with my Elster meters guaranteed. As @mowcius says it has to be paired by the supplier once you’ve provided them with the device details. Hildebrand (Glow) says that some suppliers have been very helpful, some have been very resistant. The supplier has an obligation to support customers with this under license obligations 49.4(d) & (e) Standard conditions of electricity supply licence (Electricity Act 1989).

I’ve emailed Bulb to start a dialogue with them about pairing a CAD.

I've emailed Bulb to start a dialogue with them about pairing a CAD.
I look forward to hearing how you get on.

I suspect you might be the first person to ask so it might take them a while to sort the process out.

There's been some fun discussion on the OVO forums about connection and after a load of CS rubbish, they did get their CAD paired.

https://forum.ovoenergy.com/smart-meter-compatibility-67/can-i-connect-a-cad-to-my-smart-meters-if-ovo-open-the-home-area-network-han-1102

That was the thread I read this morning that started all this off :slight_smile:

Quick update on this:

It turns out the Glow CAD cannot work offline. The API that Hildebrand make available is purely for getting the data back out after they have stored it. This means that it can’t work without an internet connection, and most importantly it will become a brick if/when they cease to support the services. That’s a deal breaker. I just want an Ethernet-Zigbee bridge device that lets me access the realtime data.

What are the chances of Hildebrand dropping the services? Well they currently run energyhive. They are no longer promoting or selling energyhive-compatible hardware, or making improvements to the existing services. They are shifting from energyhive to their new ecosystem called Glow. How long will it be before they decide Glow needs to be deprecated for another new ecosystem?

Not only that, but the web dashboard that is mentioned on the CAD page of the Glow shop, linked above, is still under development. Odd they don’t mention that in the sales blurb before you purchase isn’t it? The new app is called “Bright” and can apparently be found on the Play store, but they couldn’t be bothered to give me a direct link. I wonder if any of them have ever tried searching for “Glow” or “Bright” on the Play store? Go on. Give it a try. I’ll wait. Did you find it? Because it beats me.

How disappointing.

With a bit of luck the Open Energy Monitor people will be able to get something working before long. I’ve used Zigbee before and it’s simple enough. The only real difficulty is getting a device certified to be allowed on the HAN.

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@Hooloovoo, that is disappointing. Have you looked at the Prescience Mira?

Admittedly I don’t know what data can easily be extracted from it but as it runs on OpenWRT, it might be simple enough to get.

I also have no idea if an end user can simply buy one or if you have to be an energy supplier. The talk of fully branded apps makes me think it might be the latter.

@Hooloovoo, that is disappointing. Have you looked at the Prescience Mira?

No, I hadn’t heard of that one. I will make enquiries!

I suspect since all these devices are intended to be used with a mobile app, that they all require data upload to the cloud. I don’t necessarily object to that, I just want to also be able to log data locally offline to ensure continued service long after the manufacturer has got bored of supplying online facilities.

Since it runs on OpenWRT that’s very promising indeed.

Look at that. “Local API integration” and “External API integration”. Yes! That’s what we want. This looks brilliant. I wonder how they intend to sell it since as you say it looks intended to be branded to a supplier of some sort. Anyway, I’ve sent them an email.

Let me know how you get on!

Let me know how you get on!

@mowcius I did get a reply, but not a very good one. They said that the devices are not available for retail, and even if they were given it’s very difficult to pair a third-party device on the HAN that it likely would never work.

They did confirm that their devices are P2P, meaning all communication between the app and the CAD occurs on the local network ensuring better continuity and availability than purely cloud-based devices. The internet services are only used for remote access.

They said the best bet to acquire one of their devices is to speak to my supplier and ask them to consider a trial of their products. Any thoughts on this @“SamC at Bulb” @“Eleanor at Bulb” @“Selina at Bulb” @“Daniel at Bulb” ??

@Hooloovoo, good news on the p2p side of things, not such good news on the availability side of things.
It’s not very difficult to pair a third party device though, it’s the same process as connecting up an IHD or a gas meter to your Zibgee SE HAN communications hub. I imagine that Prescience devices have been whitelisted by most SMETS1/SMETS2 manufacturers (as there aren’t all that many), if they have any supplier customers at all, and then the specific device can be paired via a discussion with Bulb themselves.

I would be extremely interested in getting hold of a Mira for a trial when I get a smart meter if that’s something Bulb might consider?
I know a number of devices have been trialled in the past - perhaps alternative CADs could be something for the future.

I could definitely see Bulb being the supplier of choice for anyone vaguely techy if they allow connection of and can supply an ethernet gateway device.
It’s all well and good having an online API, but it’s nowhere near as good as being able to extract (almost) instantaneous data immediately from the meter itself.

then the specific device can be paired via a discussion with Bulb themselves.

I think this is the “very difficult” part. Not the technical aspect, but the willingness of the supplier to do it. Recall the trouble that guy had with OVO, but he did eventually get it paired.

It's all well and good having an online API, but it's nowhere near as good as being able to extract (almost) instantaneous data immediately from the meter itself.

The key thing for me is access to the 10s cadence electrical data. Even when Bulb have their API working it’ll only be the 30 minute data that gets uploaded.

I think this is the "very difficult" part. Not the technical aspect, but the willingness of the supplier to do it. Recall the trouble that guy had with OVO, but he did eventually get it paired.
The suppliers don't really have much of a choice in the matter. They pretty much have to pair it if it's a certified device. I'm sure Bulb will be fine for that part (once they've figured out the process).
will be fine for that part (once they've figured out the process).

Again … I think often this will be the “very difficult” part rather than any particular stubbornness. You’re right it’s in one of the terms of their supplier license that they have to assist with getting devices paired, but that doesn’t mean they (or any supplier) will be able to do it any time soon.

Going back to this, Hildebrand appear to have an SMETS2 device now (although the store doesn’t yet list it).

This thread is also quite good: