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Discussion Starter #1
So something I realised not too long ago is that each energy companies will have their own slightly different smart meter and their associated display. The one I had for my previous house was vastly different to the one my parents have. The one my parents have (I forget the brand/type) but it was a much nicer design and seemed to have more useful information on the display. However, the one I had was very basic and lacking in detailed information.

Which energy companies seem to have the best design of smart meter displays that are the most useful? Any features that are especially useful for EV owners? I will be soon moving into a new house and I'm happy to temporarily switch to an energy company to get their "better" smart meter before switching out to my true preferred energy company.

Thoughts?
 

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Octopus seems fine but the battery only lasts about an hour so it needs to be plugged in. We had ours on for about a day then decided it was a bit pointless. So, you switch the kettle on and the consumption goes up; there’s a surprise! It’s now in my junk box.
 

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There aren’t that many different meters and IHD’s these days, and especially now that not only do we have SMETS2, but the first generation meters are also finally starting to work after switching you’re going to see less and less of people getting new meters from new suppliers but rather being stuck with whatever you already have for as long as it’s working.

The IHDs aren’t especially useful no matter what model you have. They are all going to give you simple information, just some do it in a way that looks prettier than others. The detailed information is often found on the suppliers website/app instead. Whilst mine hasn’t ended up in the junk drawer, it’s looking a little dusty and gets ignored in favor of the app where I can see a more detailed breakdown of my usage.

I have an EDMI meter with a Chameleon IHD3 now. It does the job quite nicely but honestly the only thing I’m that bothered about is not having to crawl around under the stairs with a flashlight to read the meters manually.
 

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I think IHDs are important and I used to get benefit from the old style monitor (Owl I think) pre smart meter.
So I now find it very frustrating that the Octopus supplies Pipit 500 is so useless and I would consider a switch if I thought I could guarantee a better monitor.
My old monitors would prompt me to check usage, but I’ve lost all that now and it flies in the face of the whole point of smart meters (continual accessible feedback on usage) in my view !
 

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I have a Chameleon IHD6 which came with my SMETS2 from Bulb Energy.
It's useful to use to see a baseline, but with an agile / flexible tariff they are useless for any monetary tracking.

The IHD6 does have Wi-Fi and sends data back to Chameleon / IBM Softlayer via MQTT which I wish was customisable or has a way to access this data so you can track your own usage, but as far as I can see it's walled garden.

To be honest, I'm close to just putting it in a drawer and not bothering - the only thing I occasionally look at is the instant electricity consumption.

**Edit: In the sense of EVs it has no value at all IMHO. My charger tracks all the energy consumption, which I use alongside the Agile API to track my EV energy costs in Excel.
 

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I think IHDs are important and I used to get benefit from the old style monitor (Owl I think) pre smart meter.
So I now find it very frustrating that the Octopus supplies Pipit 500 is so useless and I would consider a switch if I thought I could guarantee a better monitor.
My old monitors would prompt me to check usage, but I’ve lost all that now and it flies in the face of the whole point of smart meters (continual accessible feedback on usage) in my view !
Octopus supplied me with a Pipit 500 IHD and I tend to have it displaying the current situation of input/output rate most of the time. That's selected by pressing the 'Electricity' icon from the menu page then 'A/C' twice.

My gripe with it is that when I select 'History' I get a bar chart of recent imports (only ! I'd like a few export figures too) but with no scale - just a marker showing figure for the maximum.

What I'd really like to be able to do is to intercept the figures broadcast from meter to IHD then juggle them to display current situation and accurate recent figures on the same screen. I'd prefer that on a PC but would settle for a phone app or an Arduino script.
 
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What I'd really like to be able to do is to intercept the figures broadcast from meter to IHD then juggle them to display current situation and accurate recent figures on the same screen. I'd prefer that on a PC but would settle for a phone app or an Arduino script.
Yes I wish I could do something like that too... However what you need is an independent CAD (Consumer Access Device)... Technically the Chameleon IHD6 is a CAD, but locked down to Chameleon....

Hildebrand do SMETS2 compatible CAD's to access the data yourself now - like This. Pricey though, and if I'm not mistaken you might have to beg your supplier to connect it to your meter.
 

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Yes I wish I could do something like that too... However what you need is an independent CAD (Consumer Access Device)... Technically the Chameleon IHD6 is a CAD, but locked down to Chameleon....

Hildebrand do SMETS2 compatible CAD's to access the data yourself now - like This. Pricey though, and if I'm not mistaken you might have to beg your supplier to connect it to your meter.
It seems like this can be done independently of the supplier judging by this post:
UK "smart" energy meters
I'm very tempted for £65 + shipping.
 

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It seems like this can be done independently of the supplier judging by this post:
Nice - It would be Home Assistant I would plug into so glad it's there! I've e-mailed them to understand if they have some form of local API or data access without going to their servers or depending on the Internet. If that was the case I would bite for sure.
 

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I've had an IHD with British Gas Ladys&gyr SMETS 1 which was nice - could customise always on traffic lights for current usage, so could see at a glance if the car was still charging or the oven had been left on, and could drill down in menus and see actual meter readings.

131149


Octopus secure SMETS1 IHD is basic, display goes to sleep and returns to home screen so you have to select options again to go to previously displayed screen, also when sleeping the traffic lights go out. Also no access to meter readings, just Kwh and £ which as others have said does not work with dynamic priced tariffs so mine is in the drawer.

131150
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I have a Chameleon IHD6 which came with my SMETS2 from Bulb Energy.
It's useful to use to see a baseline, but with an agile / flexible tariff they are useless for any monetary tracking.

The IHD6 does have Wi-Fi and sends data back to Chameleon / IBM Softlayer via MQTT which I wish was customisable or has a way to access this data so you can track your own usage, but as far as I can see it's walled garden.

To be honest, I'm close to just putting it in a drawer and not bothering - the only thing I occasionally look at is the instant electricity consumption.

**Edit: In the sense of EVs it has no value at all IMHO. My charger tracks all the energy consumption, which I use alongside the Agile API to track my EV energy costs in Excel.
Yes, this is the one I have too. I really hate the Chameleon IHD6. It does not give many configurable options at all. Doing a Google search, the one by British Gas seems really good:
131162


131163


The bar charts over time shown on the display are especially useful.

I have no idea if this is the in home display I'd get from British Gas today but I'm hoping I do as I would very much like to get this one.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
I've had an IHD with British Gas Ladys&gyr SMETS 1 which was nice - could customise always on traffic lights for current usage, so could see at a glance if the car was still charging or the oven had been left on, and could drill down in menus and see actual meter readings.

View attachment 131149

Octopus secure SMETS1 IHD is basic, display goes to sleep and returns to home screen so you have to select options again to go to previously displayed screen, also when sleeping the traffic lights go out. Also no access to meter readings, just Kwh and £ which as others have said does not work with dynamic priced tariffs so mine is in the drawer.

View attachment 131150
Doh...I just saw your post. The BG one you mentioned is the one I really like but I'm saddened to hear that it's a SMETS1 device. Do their SMETS2 devices use the same display?
 

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A situation I find comical.
My mums house has Scottish power supplied SMETS1.
Moved to BG.
They can’t update or read them but the smart display can read them still.

So I can provide the now necessary readings from inside (and the display knows BG is the supplier) but they can’t read it......scratches head.
 

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Doh...I just saw your post. The BG one you mentioned is the one I really like but I'm saddened to hear that it's a SMETS1 device. Do their SMETS2 devices use the same display?
British Gas are still mostly doing only SMETS1 to this day to my knowledge. It’s likely but not guaranteed you’ll get a meter with the IHD you mention you like.

SMETS2 Meters from British Gas have a new IHD that looks a similar design but smaller with just the one screen. Also if the installation is contracted out to a third party (it’s rare but does happen especially in certain areas) you may get something completely different installed. I know around here a fair bit of their metering work gets passed on to Siemens for example.
 

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My recent eon install is SMETS2 and the display is pretty good.
Current use by fuel
Same vs daily budget
Calendar of previous days
Meter info and readings

BG successfully took them on with remote read just this week.
 

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Nice - It would be Home Assistant I would plug into so glad it's there! I've e-mailed them to understand if they have some form of local API or data access without going to their servers or depending on the Internet. If that was the case I would bite for sure.
Please let us know as I'm also very interested.
 

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Please let us know as I'm also very interested.
No plans - their response, which I appreciate their speedy and candid reply:

Code:
Thank you for your mail and enquiry. As you can imagine, you are not the first to ask about local API access.

The data does get sent from both the DCC and the local CAD to our servers, from where we make it available as either API or MQTT depending on the endusers requirements.

We appreciate your concern that we may go bust but that is the risk you need to decide. We did probably one of the first energy dashboards in the world back in 2009, energyhive, and continue to support those 65,000 customers all over the world, even though we retired that hardware five years ago. 

There are a range of reasons why we don't currently provide local access to the data - commercially it isn't our business model. Note that we believe we are the only UK CAD manufacturer to make the data readily available via our API's or MQTT. Practically, if we didn't have internet connectivity we couldn't join the device to the meter, provide firmware updates, deliver access to historical 30 minute data from before the CAD install, provide support, or any API access for other data streams we pick up from external sources, including the DCC itself.

You should also be aware that the only reason we can offer the services for SMETS2 customers is we invested heavily in becoming a SECAS approved DCC Other User.

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

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No plans - their response, which I appreciate their speedy and candid reply:

Code:
Thank you for your mail and enquiry. As you can imagine, you are not the first to ask about local API access.

The data does get sent from both the DCC and the local CAD to our servers, from where we make it available as either API or MQTT depending on the endusers requirements.

We appreciate your concern that we may go bust but that is the risk you need to decide. We did probably one of the first energy dashboards in the world back in 2009, energyhive, and continue to support those 65,000 customers all over the world, even though we retired that hardware five years ago.

There are a range of reasons why we don't currently provide local access to the data - commercially it isn't our business model. Note that we believe we are the only UK CAD manufacturer to make the data readily available via our API's or MQTT. Practically, if we didn't have internet connectivity we couldn't join the device to the meter, provide firmware updates, deliver access to historical 30 minute data from before the CAD install, provide support, or any API access for other data streams we pick up from external sources, including the DCC itself.

You should also be aware that the only reason we can offer the services for SMETS2 customers is we invested heavily in becoming a SECAS approved DCC Other User.

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Thanks for the update!
That's fair enough and I suspect it's the only way they can make their devices commercially viable.
I'll have to contemplate whether I replace the Smappee that I scrape data off at the moment.
Local vs accuracy hmmm.....
 

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I'll have to contemplate whether I replace the Smappee that I scrape data off at the moment.
I had looked at the Smappee some time back but thought it was rather expensive for what it offered - I do like the idea of learning power signatures and quite surprised there is not any open source solutions out there for it yet! How do you find it? I guess not very accurate?
 

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I had looked at the Smappee some time back but thought it was rather expensive for what it offered - I do like the idea of learning power signatures and quite surprised there is not any open source solutions out there for it yet! How do you find it? I guess not very accurate?
The power signature stuff is pretty useless truth be told, gave up on that a while back.
I got it for a big discount so it wasn't too bad. End of stock thing.
It's about as good as most of the other clamp type sensors however the app the actually pretty nice and has good historical stuff.
I also scrape it locally for my own records as I want per minute granularity.
Comparing it with smart meter, it's not too bad or accuracy being within about 10% but that varies a bit with load.
If I went with anything like that now, I'd use Home | OpenEnergyMonitor
 
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