User Guide for the Chameleon IHD

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Is there any roll out plan of the new Chameleon display to your existing loyal customers?? Seems a bit unfair if not!Bad news @AKWillows unless your Pipet IHD has a fault, we won't be able to replace it for free. It will come at a cost of £28. It's actually an alright bit of kit when you know how:

If your device isn't working correctly, we can send you out a prepaid label and a parcel for its return, before sending you out a Chameleon.

Hi @Tim_OVO I'm not sure I agree! The current usage screen does not remain as it defaults to an "estimated bill" screen after a few moments. It's current usage that would interest me. When I raised this with your support team when I first got it I was told "Yes it is a bit useless isn't it" - or words to that effect. My estimated bill never seems to reset and, having just looked at the device for the first time in ages, it is showing "no data" instead of any consumption information. It's a shame that new customers get this for free but you leave loyal long-standing customers with an older, less effective device.
I received my new Chameleon IHD yesterday but after contacting OVO to activate it and being told it would take about an hour it still hasn't changed the time to the correct time and it seems to think I have a pre-paid meter which I haven't and also I can't seem to get a Wi-Fi signal with it.

I don't have the time to keep holding on when calling OVO on the telephone their lines are always busy. I hope somebody here will be able to help as I think I may possibly have a faulty device.
Thanks in advance. Please don't give me anything too technical as I am a pensioner with limited knowledge.
Userlevel 2
HI @Coolnan

I'm a tech savvy guy, but havnt got far with getting my IHD to display both gas and electricity since my smart meter install last year. Apparently we are waiting for a software upgrade for our units to make them work for any longer than a few days.
Ive reset my IHD a few times and had a replacement electricity meter, but only get electricity readings for a few days before it reverts to gas only. I've found that you can reset the IHD by deleting the settings. It switches off, then switching it on with the button on the back starts the search for your data. Sometimes works for a while!
hello Tony,
Thank you for your reply to my problem.
I think what you are telling me is I will have to wait for the software upgrade? I am unable to use mine at all as it just isn't working at all just stays on the same information and I can't get it to link with my router, should I be seeing this on my Wi-fi setting on my laptop?
Sorry for all the questions but I am not sure what I should be looking for.

I did manage to get a short response from OVO earlier via FB but silly me I had forgotten to give them my a/c number and personal details in my original message so that has put everything back because it's now been 8 hours since I gave them what they need to know but no reply!
Maybe I will get some kind of answer from them after the weekend.
Userlevel 2
Hi @Coolnan

If you have the later Chameleon IHD, this doesn't use Wifi like (I believe) previous models, but communicates with the meters using Zigbee, which uses the same 2.4 GHz frequencies as Wifi, but with a different data protocol. So it doesn't show on your home network.
My experience was that the IHD will pick up the signals from the meters within minutes of the install, but failed after a few days. So this doesn't explain why yours hasn't worked at all.
It seems OVO are completely overstretched with this roll out of smart meters and displays. A very unsatisfactory situation, and it seems they are not interested in any help we can give them, even if some of us customers are pretty knowledgeable.
Let's hope they get there act together quickly.

A few points and a few questions. I appreciate that some of these perhaps belong on other threads, but asking here for starters...

1) Our Chameleon IHD (electricity only, we have no gas supply) was installed in November and has been working fine since.

2) It provides a very useful near-realtime display of actual usage, sampled every ten seconds or so. This is super-helpful for us as it allows us to see when our solar panels are producing more than the house is consuming on a near second-by-second basis. When we are producing a surplus, the IHD indicates this with negative consumption, showing a minus sign before the number of Watts or Kilowatts.

3) When the negative consumption reaches a sufficient level, we then plug one our two EVs in, to consume the surplus. With the Tesla, it is possible to manually adjust the amps being used for charging. This can go as low as 5A, which gives only 3 miles additional range per hour connected to the charger on a (normal domestic) 240v single phase AC, which is useful for 'trickle charging' on overcast days. You can step it up in 1A increments, which gives very fine control over the rate of charge to 'mop up the electrons' when the sun shines brighter?

4) By means of tweaking the Tesla charge amps up and down, we can increase or decrease the energy consumption to attempt to match the solar surplus. Annoyingly, whilst you can turn charging on and off (purely binary) via the Tesla iPhone app, the finer control for adjusting the amps is only accessible on the touchscreen in the car itself. So...

Question 1) Does anybody know of an app which allows you to access the Tesla 'adjust charging amps' function remotely via an iPhone?

Question 2) Better still, does anybody know of an app or platform, which can access both the Chameleon and Tesla IOT APIs, to enable automatic realtime adjustment of charge rate on the Tesla to mirror the rises and falls in solar production surplus?

Question 3) Even better still, does OVO intend to roll out Chameleon's i-vie Connected Home product (link here) on the back of the Chameleon IHDs, and, if so, will it enable the kind of functionality discussed above? Further on the Chameleon strand, will OVO be pushing this B2B supplier to fully integrate with the two major Connected Home IOT platforms, namely Apple HomeKit and Google Nest?

Question 4) Does anybody know of a device for intelligently interfacing solar to domestic EV chargers? What I'm looking for would be rather like a solar optimiser that realtime-samples the grid-side-of-meter wire and detects whether a net surplus is being exported, and routes any surplus it detects into an immersion heater. In this case, the ideal device would do exactly the same sampling at the meter, but would then route any solar surplus to the EV charger and, critically, varying the current available to charge the EV in realtime, as insolation of the solar panels rises and falls. For clarity, one would then just leave the EV set at its maximum possible charging amps and it would be the charge point which would vary the current. This would effectively automate the process.

Question 5) We also drive a Nissan Leaf. Does anybody know if/how it is possible to dynamically adjust the charge rate on a Leaf by accessing Nissan's APIs via a remote device? Or is a physical intelligent connection to the car required, such as in OVO's own Vehicle to Grid charger? I'd imagine that the OVO VTG team is pretty clued up on this.

Many thanks in advance for any intel.

Userlevel 2

Interesting set of questions - very similar to my thoughts, as I have a Hyundai Ioniq, and previously had a Leaf. I also have solar panels.
OVO have been promoting their smart charger which is supposed to be able to modulate the charging current according to your generation excess, but I would be loathe to consider it when the whole 'smart' system is in turmoil. You must have been lucky with your smart metering - mine was installed in October and my IHD has only worked intermittently although it is both gas and electricity, so perhaps two is too much for the Chameleon.
My Ioniq has settable charging current, but can't go as low as your Tesla. Charging current can only be controlled by the car, so an intelligent charger has to be able to communicate with the car via the control line in a charger cable, or by some external link to the car electronics. The Leaf has the 3G network connection, unlike the Ioniq, but AFAIK, the Leaf charging current is not variable from within the car. However, a Google search reveals this item which allows the Leaf EVSE charging current to be made variable, but only down to 6A :

I have been thinking of this charger to replace my standard British Gas/Polar one - the Zappi promoted by Robert Llewellyn in this YouTube video:

Good to be able to communicate with you.


Likewise, good to be able to communicate. Kudos OVO for providing the forum.

Like yourself, I have been coming to the view that the Zappi EV charge point might be the answer to my Q4, i.e. intelligently balancing EV charging with solar surplus. Particularly when combined with their (cleverly battery-less and wiring-free) export current sensor (harvi) and immersion heater/storage heater connector (eddi). There's a good system overview on the manufacturer's website here, see in particular overview diagram on p6 of the PDF.

I will be waiting to see their iPhone app (scheduled for this month, Feb 2019, release) before I take the plunge. As I travel overseas a lot for business, it is important for me to be able to monitor (and if necessary alter) energy routings remotely, to account for those circumstance where, say, the car isn't hooked up and the water in the tank is already at MaxTemp.

From a household POV (we're all Apple users) HomeKit integration is also important. As you say, the whole 'smart' system is anything but settled at the moment. Clearly API compliance with HomeKit and/or Nest standards will be necessary going forward for any player in this field.

Re your IHD issues, have you tried reconnecting the IHD to the smart meter? Or simply repositioning it so that no thick walls are in the way?

Userlevel 2

Re the IHD issues - I just checked again by resetting the IHD and placing it right next to the meters instead of two walls away. Same problem - only connects to the gas meter. Paging through the data on the meters, the gas meter shows the HAN signal (home area network) at -53dBm, whereas the electricity meter shows -99dBm which is presumably the bottom of its range. This therefore shows that my electricity meter isn't receiving a HAN (ie Zigbee) signal. Since it has worked occasionally, I'm not sure what can be wrong - either an intermittent hardware fault or dodgy firmware in the electricity meter or IHD. I have got a Zigbee USB sniffer I can connect to my laptop, and can see packets, but have no idea how to interpret them. I am waiting for OVO to fix the problem as it's currently outside my expertise.

Userlevel 2
ps - the link to the Zappi manual needed an 'f' adding to the end of the link.
Userlevel 2
pps - that I-vie product looks way more than I would ever need in a home energy system. So many things to go wrong!

Here's the correct URL for the myenergi (zappi, eddy, harvi) manual. Link here.

Can anybody please tell me if the "new" IHD display unit from Ovo (I've got one of the old black and white LCD ones - labelled "Securie"??) will display a "Usage Now" screen that stays on that screen permanently?

I'd like to monitor power usage in real time - a big reason for having a smart meter - but on the old unit after a minute or so it changes from the "Usage Now" screen to the "Account Info" screen which just displays a total bill, which is of no use at all really.

Userlevel 5
Hey @websanity - I've moved your post over here. More info about the Chameleon IHD above ☝🏼
We have a smart meter and the usage display unit does not show year to date gas usage. It shows electricity ok and daily and monthly gas. Can it be replaced.

Can somebody also explain to me the row of lights along the bottom of the unit that are lit either green or orange. I assume the third one is red but it has never been lit
Userlevel 5
Hi @steveben - I've moved your post to this topic. More info about the IHD above 👍🏼
I I have this smart meter, I'm confused after the engineer left I've noticed the date and time are wrong, also it appears to have a months reading on it, iv3 only had it for 1 week x
Userlevel 2
That doesn't sound quite right, @Annalisabond.

The IHD can take a while before gaining a stable connection and showing the correct information, but it should take more than a day or two to settle.

I'd recommend getting in contact us via so we can look into this for you.

Userlevel 7
Badge +2
Hi @Annalisabond Did you receive an email from OVO about 10 days ago with a link in it where you can download this new edition of the Smart Meter Guide?

It may answer your questions. However it still has some deficiencies in the guidance. See what I wrote here about one.


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