Energy monitoring UK


(John Lockwood) #1

There are various energy monitoring devices like the Aeon Energy Meter which clamp on to the power cables to ‘read’ the energy usage. See https://aeotec.com/z-wave-home-energy-measure

There is also the Smappee https://www.smappee.com/uk/home which works on the same underlying basis but is smarter and more attractive.

There are also some smart wall plugs which can monitor the electrical usage of the device plugged in to the smart plug. See https://aeotec.com/z-wave-plug-in-switch

However what I have learned recently is that the various smart meters being rolled out to homes are themselves Zigbee devices. This means that in theory they could be connected to a Smartthings Hub directly and then monitored.

Note: Some terminology, a smart meter is the bit that replaces your old traditional meter and is normally hidden in a cupboard or under the stairs. The LCD display usually bundled with the smart meter is called an IHD - an In Home Device. There is also a CAD - a Consumer Access Device. Some energy supplier switching firms e.g. Labrador provide a CAD which links via Zigbee to your smart meter and then sends them the figures over the Internet.

So, in this scenario we could in theory link a smart meter to Smartthings making Smartthings the CAD.

Has anyone tried this sort of thing? I can’t myself as I currently still have dumb meters.

Is it possible to link a Zigbee device to more than one other system/device at the same time? One might want to still link the IHD as well as a Smartthings hub.


(Kraeg) #2

Although you are right, they are ZigBee, they are a different ZigBee profile. SmartThings only accepts ZigBee HA (Home Automation) so won’t be able to read the meter direct.

Plus I don’t think the energy company would be happy being a secondary controller to your own

Kraeg


#3

My energy company (EDF) keep bombarding me with emails/website messages about getting a smart meter. They’ve phoned me a few times too but I’ve never spoken to them yet. When i do eventually call, i’ll be saying that i won’t be agreeing to an installation until I can get free and open access to my usage data, either via a protocol such as Zigbee or via some other secure near-realtime stream.

I doubt the person I speak to will understand though and I suspect they’re still installing the initial smart meters that are not supported across other providers.


#4

It is also worth considering that the rollout of smart meters is an enabling technology to allow providers to introduce differential tariff pricijng. ie. We’ll be charged more for electricity at peak network usage times.


(John Lockwood) #5

I believe the smart meter uses Zigbee to the IHD. It is not clear what Zigbee profiles are being used, it could be Zigbee Smart Home Automation 1.2 and Zigbee Smart Energy 1.2 profiles or just ones of these.

I thought no-one had discussed this topic here I even did a search in the forum but it turns out (via Google) there has already been discussion about this.

See Can I integrate my Zigbee Smart Meter With SmartThings? as one example.

It seems Samsung Smartthings is being rather backwards in not supporting the Zigbee Smart Energy profile (and probably others).

Hmm, it turns out there is a Zigbee 3.0 standard which acts as a ‘meta’ standard meaning it contains the previous individual Zigbee profiles. This means in theory a compatible device would then support bother Zigbee Home Automation and Zigbee Smart Energy. The Smartthings Hub v3 is listed as a Zigbee 3.0 device. (The Hub v3 is not yet available in the UK.)


(Kraeg) #6

I’m not sure if the hardware in the V2 hub will be capable of running the ZigBee HA 3.0 or not, I know the fountain of knowledge @JDRoberts will know. Not sure if it’s a hardware upgrade or just firmware which ST MIGHT be able to push to the hub.

I still don’t think the energy companies will want a 3rd party hub anywhere near their hardware, it’s why all those extra products exist. I’ve personally gone with the MiHome stuff and it’s really accurate to the honest. I thought it would be a rough guess, but the energy clamp is really good and predicts my electricity bill to within a few £’s.

I also have extras which I have clamped to certain parts of my fuse board to monitor things like my AC, Garden shed and I have a spare ready for when I get an electric car.


#7

It doesn’t work that way. zigbee allows for many different profiles, only two of them work with SmartThings. See the following FAQ (this is a clickable link)

And zigbee 3.0 Doesn’t help as it does not combine all the profiles: only the ones previously based on the “Zigbee pro” profile. Which specifically excludes the zigbee profile used by smart meters. They have a different addressing scheme and are not interoperable.

https://www.silabs.com/community/wireless/zigbee-and-thread/knowledge-base.entry.html/2017/06/15/what_is_zigbee_30-tCs4

Is it possible to link a Zigbee device to more than one other system/device at the same time? One might want to still link the IHD as well as a Smartthings hub.

Unfortunately, no. The zigbee profiles that smartthings uses only allow for one coordinator per network.

In the US, it is common for utility companies to make the metering information from smart meters available through cloud access, Which can sometimes be linked to other logging applications with some integration to smartthings that way.

In addition, there is a third-party device, Rainforest Eagle, which can be linked with utility company permission to your smart meter network and then makes the data available through its own cloud. Some people have used that for SmartThings integration, But I don’t know whether that or something similar will be available in the UK.

See the following:


(cjcharles) #8

A decent solution is getting Loop energy meter, this works on both gas and electricity meters by clipping to a dumb (non smart) meter, ie with a dial and reading them. This feeds back to Loop via a small Ethernet device, but they have an open API which I have pulled into SmartThings. They also use this data to make it easier for you to switch supplier though you aren’t tied into anything. I’ve found it brilliant!


(John Lockwood) #9

@cjcharles
I am planning at some point on getting a Smappee Solar as I also plan to get Tesla Solar Roof tiles, this is also a clamp based energy monitor solution.

I had some additional information from TheLabrador and they tell me that Smart Meters can connect to four (Zigbee) devices, e.g. their own Retriever and a standard IHD. They also tell me that the Government in relation to the Smart Meter rollout project have issued guidance - but not an absolute legal requirement for smart meter providers to allow customers to connect to them. (Yes we will take that with a large pinch of salt.)

Just had a look at Loop Energy Saver I had not seen this before. Their website seems to be a bit out of date because it says in the FAQ they don’t yet have an API but are working on one. Do you have any links to the API and your (presumed) Smartthings Device Handler?


(cjcharles) #10

There are a few devices using the Loop API, though they are not well published for some reason - https://github.com/pavoni/pyloopenergy and https://github.com/marcosscriven/loop which is the one I am using (based on Node). I then pass the information via JSON to ST.

I have been meaning to make it a self contained device (via an ESP8266) for ages but have not got around to it sadly. Interpreting the data in ST is a super simple job however and is nothing more than a display from a JSON feed. The API uses SocketIO on an old version (0.9 from what I can tell), if you use a newer Socket.io client then it tends to fail so you do need to find the right version. Other than that the API is pretty easy to use and automatically gives you callbacks every time the reading is updated.

I had a look at Smappee and found their product offering very confusing and with poor differentiation between different versions, which makes me question whether any of it actually works or is still in concept stage! Ha. That said I agree the Loop website really doesnt do a good job of selling what is actually a unique and highly attractive (not visually) product.


#11

OVO have a gateway device that works over LAN. I’ve got one, until recently you could monitor true real time usage of Electricity and Gas and use this data to automate anything on smartthings. OVO have pulled that functionality and reduced it to a Dumb reporting device, so I can see usage but only 1 day behind. This is reportedly because of complaints about accuracy though I never had any issues.

Don’t expect most UK energy companies to engage with HA users, unless there is profit in it.

here’s the page for the OVO smart app [Release] OVO Energy (Connect) V2.2.5 (Smart Meter OVO customers)