Smart Meter Data

Access to your meter readings and more detailed consumption data from your Smart Meter was not a priority for the Smart Metering Programme, so it has taken a few years for services to become available. The concept from the beginning was for third parties to provide Consumer Access Devices (CAD) to allow customers to retrieve their own data.

The amount of data you can see will depend on the permission you have given; giving permission for half-hourly data collection will give the most. Daily readings is the default.

Timing of Data

Suppliers collect data from Smart Meters once a day, so you'll have to wait at least 24 hours to see your data on your suppliers website or app. Usually the data is collected shortly after midnight and loaded into suppliers systems in the early morning, so your data should be ready for viewing by 9am.

Your IHD receives data from the comms hub mounted on the top of your electricity meter more frequently. Electricity meter data is received every 10 seconds and the gas every 30 minutes. The gas meter is battery powered so the communications frequency is kept low to improve battery life.
This is where CADs come in as they use the IHD data and therefore you can see the data more quickly.

Who gets the Data?

Your data is carefully stored and only shared when necessary. It can be shared with:

  • Energy Industry Operators - These have your data to carry out essential functions such as meter readings, billing and wholesale energy purchases.
  • Market Regulators - sometimes necessary for research or reporting.
  • Law Enforcement Bodies - sometimes necessary to protect against fraud or aid criminal investigations.

In Home Device

The easiest way to look at your data is to use the IHD (In Home Device) that was supplied with the meter.

Typical facilities are:

  • Now - See the energy being used now.
  • Fuel - Select the fuel type - electricity or gas.
  • Calendar - See consumption so far today or by week, month or year.
  • Readings - See your current meter readings. These are used to calculate your bill.
  • Low / Medium / High Indicators - The IHD compares your current consumption with a recent period (usually the previous week) or the budget you have set and shows red (high), amber (medium) or green (low) indicators.

Online Account

Most suppliers will provide access to your usage data though your online account with them. However this data cannot always be downloaded.

Bright

Bright is the name of an App provided free of charge by Hildebrand Technology Limited which allows you to monitor your electricity or gas energy consumption.

Bright connects to DCC to access meter data. You can access your data for free once you have provided your GUID/MAC/EUI address (Globally Unique Identifier or Media Access Control or Extended Unique Identifier) from the back of your IHD. The fact that the MAC address isn't published anywhere provides sufficient proof that you are the genuine user.

Bright available on Google Play

Bright available on the App Store

And if you buy one of their Glow CAD devices you can see the data more quickly, in near real time. See Consumer Access Devices below.

Consumer Access Devices

A Consumer Access Device or CAD is a cloud-connected secure smart meter gateway device that accesses real-time energy data from smart meters and sends that data to a designated cloud service.

The steps are:

  1. Every few seconds the electricity meter sends data to the communication hub over the Intimate Communications Hub Interface.
  2. Every 30 minutes the gas meter sends data to the communication hub over the HAN (Home Area Network).
  3. The CAD receives the data over the HAN.
  4. If the CAD has a display it can provide the data visually.
  5. The CAD sends the data over WiFi to a cloud storage service.

Chameleon

Until recently Chameleon only dealt with suppliers, but now they have introduced a retail IHD with the name ivie Bud at the price of £49.99 + delivery. Although not a CAD we have listed it here as it will work with the SmartThings Energy app in the future. Its features are:

  • Can be installed and activated by the user
  • Compatible with most SMETS 1 and SMETS 2 smart meters that have been enrolled and adopted into the DCC
  • A compatibility checker is available to see if your smart meter is compatible.
  • Coming soon - Works with the SmartThings Energy app.

GeoTogther

Until recently Green Energy Options Ltd only dealt with suppliers, but they have now introduced a WiFi module to plug into the back of their Trio Touchbutton IHD which is often supplied as part of the Smart Meter installation. The cost of the module is £19.95.

Once installed you use the geo Home app to view the data.

geo Home available on Google Play

geo Home available on the App Store

Glow

Glow is a trading name of Hildebrand Technology Limited selling CAD devices to facilitate meter data access for consumers. The current offering of an IHD and CAD combined is £69.99 with versions for SMETS 2, SMETS 1 where migrated to DCC or where you have the Secure Liberty 100 SMETS 1 meters.

Importantly this CAD has a WiFi connection allowing data to be transferred to back to Hildebrand so that you can see it on their Glow app almost immediately. This also allows the electricity data to to shown on a minute by minute basis.

Don't want the display - then you can buy the CAD dongle for £49.99. SMETS 1 only currently, SMETS 2 expected April 2022.

Please note that the next sections are more technical and aimed at software developers.

Hildebrand Glowmarket API

Hildebrand have provided a free API to access the data they store from your meter via DCC or from their CAD device. It also supports the MQTT (Message Queue Telemetry Transport) message protocol.

You need to set up an account through their Bright app initially and wait for verification. See the following documentation:

Glowmarkt API documentation pdf

BrightGlowmarkt on Bitbucket

n3rgy

n3rgy connects to DCC to access meter data. As a domestic customer you can access your data for free if you give it the last 13 digits of your MPAN (Meter Point Administration Number on your electricity bill) or your MPRN (Meter Point Reference Number on your gas bill) and the GUID/MAC/EUI address (Globally Unique Identifier or Media Access Control or Extended Unique Identifier) from the back of your IHD. The fact that the MAC address isn't published anywhere provides sufficient proof that you are the genuine user.

After your initial registration give the system a couple of hours to retrieve the data and then you'll be able to download your data as zipped csv files.

Octopus Energy API

Octopus Energy provides a REST API for customers and partner organisations to interact with their platform. Amongst other things, it provides functionality for:

  • Browsing energy products, tariffs and their charges
  • Retrieving details about a UK electricity meter-point
  • Browsing the half-hourly consumption of an electricity of gas meter
  • Determining the grid-supply-point (GSP) for a UK postcode
  • Creating a quote
  • Creating a account.

Google Play is a trademark of Google LLC.
App Store is a trademark of Apple Inc.

(Page updated: 2022-04-16)

Questions & Answers


What is a CAD?
A CAD is a Consumer Access Device which provides access to your meter data through WiFi. These are relatively new and usually integrated into the IHD (In Home Display) provided by suppliers. One example of such a device is the Chameleon IHD3.
The IHD still needs a link to the meters to retrieve the data first so CADs do not provide an alternative solution where the meters and IHD are separated by a large distance. (Updated: 2020-03-05)

Can I buy an IHD off Amazon or EBay?
Do not buy a replacement IHD from Amazon or EBay or other general sales outlets as you won't be able to pair the IHD with the Comms Hub. Only a supplier can carry out this process with a normal IHD. Some IHD manufacturers are now making devices which customers can pair themselves, known as Consumer Access Devices (CAD). See Glow on our meter data page. (Updated: 2022-04-22)

What will energy companies do with the information they collect about my energy consumption?
Under Ofgem codes published July 2013, you can dictate how much data your energy supplier can retrieve from your smart meter and whether your supplier can share that information with third parties. See our Customer Rights page for your rights on meter readings. You can also decide whether or not your supplier can use that information for marketing purposes. Just call your supplier if you want to check or change your preferences. (Updated: 2019-10-21)

How do Smart Meters send data?
The communications hub or comms hub sitting immediately onto top of your electricity meter is responsible for receiving and sending all data. This data can be meter readings, commands or alerts.
The comms hub uses the Home Area Network (HAN) to talk to the electricity, gas and IHD (In Home Display) devices. To save battery power the gas meter communicates only every half-hour and so the comms hub stores a copy of the gas meter data for querying when required. This copy is known as the gas mirror or Gas Proxy (GPF).
The comms hub uses the Wide Area Network (WAN) to talk to the company responsible for collecting the data and passing it on to other businesses such as suppliers; for the latest SMETS2 meters this company will be the DCC (Data Communications Company) which the government has set up especially for this role.
Depending on the Communications Service Provider, which varies by areas of the UK, the radio technology can change depending on what works best in a local area. Sometimes your comms hub will communicate directly with DCC and sometimes it will talk through other comms hubs around you to reach a particular comms hub which has direct communications with DCC. This form of communications looks like a mesh when you draw out the possible links between meters and is therefore known as a Mesh network. (Updated: 2020-11-07)

How can I get my consumption data more quickly?
If you want your consumption data updated more quickly than the normal once a day frequency, you have a couple of options:
  1. Hildebrand Technology Ltd can retrieve data from your smart meter daily to display it in their Bright app. You can also swipe the screen in the app for a refresh via DCC and your smart meter.
  2. For updates every 10 seconds you could purchase the Hildebrand IHD/CAD. This device connects to the communications hub on your smart meter via the HAN as normal but passes the data collected via your home broadband to Hildebrand Technology Ltd so that it can be shown on the Bright app with less delay.
(Updated: 2022-01-15)

How much data is stored on a Smart Meter?
The SMETS2 specification requires the following data to be recorded and stored.
Half-hourly electricity data:
  • 13 months of consumption (Active Energy Import)
  • 3 months of active energy exported
  • 3 months of reactive energy imported
  • 3 months of reactive energy exported.
Gas data:
  • 3 months of half-hourly consumption
  • 13 months of monthly consumption.
(Updated: 2020-11-07)

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