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When will the SmartThings app integration with the Chameleon IHD6 be available to OVO customers?


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I have just had my new smart meter fitted and have been provided with a Chameleon IHD6-CAD-PPMID. Googling that model number shows that it is capable of providing a feed of data to SmartThings. At present this seems to be limited to Bulb customers. Being the curious type, though, I went into SmartThings and went to add the meter. It comes up with a page to say that they’re not quite ready yet. There was a date given, which was today. Today that date has been pushed back.

i was wondering if there were any firm plans to provide this from the Ovo side (as with Bulb), or if it was something just between Samsung and Chameleon?

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Best answer by Jess_OVO 12 October 2021, 13:24

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Howdy @chriswsmith ! :)

This is a good question actually. I don’t think a forum volunteer like myself can answer this one easily, so I’m going to ask @Tim_OVO and @Jess_OVO for some extra help.

I think a lot of this is dependent on all three parties agreeing to make the feature available though and it’ll probably be on a supplier specific basis. We’ll keep you posted with any news.

Thanks!

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Thanks @Blastoise186 - I’m thinking that there is due to be a *general * release, soon, as the date I mentioned has been moved to just next week. 
I’ve found an app called Loop Energy which does a daily grab of your data at 5am (ish). To be honest: I’m looking for something that’s basically just a repeater of the ihd, but linked in to a smart home app. Something with a bit more live detail.

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Not heard of that app before! I’ve also heard of another one called Hildebrand Bright. I’ve never tested these apps myself but I should mention that OVO doesn’t provide support for them. If you need help with apps like Loop or Bright, you’ll need to contact the developers directly. Live real-time data probably isn’t possible for anything but the IHD itself I’m afraid. To be completely honest, things like all the extra latency from the data being sent from the Smart Meter, through to DCC, processed and then transferred to your preferred real-time app kind of makes it impractical because it can sometimes take several minutes to process a SMETS Command. A CAD enabled IHD is a workaround though and can be used for real-time data but hardly any suppliers enable it for that purpose. OVO used to do it back in the day, but had to discontinue it due to reliability issues.

It’s possible that OVO might consider supporting the Samsung SmartThings integration officially in the future, but I can’t say for sure. It’s definitely something that could have potential though. :)

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It’s pretty good - app and website. Gives a lot of tips, based on your usage. I’ve had my smart meter a week and Loop is already telling me that my phantom load is pretty high.

i realise that the “absolute live” won’t be possible due to the way that the data is collected - pushed every 30 minutes to the cloud and the 3rd party software getting the data from that cloud db. It’s a shame  that the CAD doesn’t come with a small web interface like most internet routers do. Just something enough to authenticate a user account and then send out a read-only stream of data. No control capabilities.


My hope is that I can tap into that 30-minute resolution data, so I’m only ever 30 minutes behind, rather than up to 24 hours.

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Yeah, I know what you mean there. There’s not really enough horsepower in an IHD to even run something like OpenLiteSpeed, let alone Apache Web Server - and having enough for that would significantly increase costs. Most routers use Apache though, while mine uses NGINX and it’s possible on those because they’re more powerful. But again, security comes into play here as well.

The more services you have running on an IHD, the more vulnerable it becomes to attacks. Not having a built-in web server basically makes them completely immune to all vulnerabilities and exploits because they simply won’t work. I’ve also scanned both of the Kecleon Brothers with some magic tricks that my router can do and it didn’t find anything of interest so there really isn’t much running on them at all. In actual fact, it only just managed to identify them as being a Chameleon IHD6-CAD-PPMID from the device fingerprints because it has a pretty large library to refer to.

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Yeah - just SSL/TLS and NTP traffic. Suspect the ssl/tls stuff is just administrative - updates etc. I’ve not tried to delve any deeper into that traffic, as it’s only firing off every 12 hours, or so, with the main burst and a couple of small bits of traffic in the middle. (Sounds like we have a similar router - mine runs on the UniFiOS, a custom Unix distro).

in terms of cost: it needn’t be much - just look at the Eve range of products which perform a similar task. Take, for example, their thermometer. It’s added into my HomeKit network via a shared key (so that handles the security) and each item stores a buffer of up to 3 weeks of  data. The main data store is on your phone. There’s no actual control aspect - it’s just treated for what it is: a sensor. Other products do control stuff, but the Eve Thermo is the most equivalent, as it records and makes available multiple data streams both in the house, connected locally and via hub (iPad, speaker or Apple TV) out to your devices remotely.
 

i suppose that’s something for further down the line for Chameleon.

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You figured me out then! Exploud is my router, which is a UDM-Base running on the latest beta UDM Firmware/UniFi OS release (gotta have that sweet WPA3 support!). Except that I have a lot more UniFi kit than I need for a one bed flat.

What I can say though, is that yep, that correlates with my observations as well. I definitely would love to see a SmartThings integration and given that it seems Chameleon are working on one, that’s probably the easiest way to do it right now. I’ve asked Tim and Jess to see if the teams at OVO have any plans to add support.

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Thanks @Blastoise186 . Much appreciated.

 My UniFi is growing - 2 boys are necessitating it, as they enter their teenage years. That and my penchant for tech. I’ve split off my IoT stuff into a segregated subnet and access via their remote access capabilities, rather than directly. Each of the boys then has their own subnet with associated WiFi SSID… then there’s the network for wired smart speakers… I had to get a WiFi AP just to have more SSID’s! 
 

Now I need to get smarter with the energy consumption that comes with all that..!

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Great minds think alike there. I’ve done the exact same setup with four SSIDs and six VLANs - and a LOT of kit in the form of the UDM-Base, three UniFi Switches and three UniFi APs. What I can definitely say is that if you use PoE via the switches, it’s actually pretty power efficient for the most part - especially since you’re reducing the number of power bricks involved and to be honest… You’re probably using UniFi Switches anyway that won’t use much more juice if they’re also powering an AP or two.

But anyway, can’t get too distracted! XD

Samsung SmartThings is probably something that could be more reliable than what OVO used to use for the real-time data in the legacy billing system back in the day when it comes to CAD features. Although the SmartThings app is only preinstalled on Samsung Galaxy devices, it is also available on the Google Play Store (currently requires at least Android 8 Oreo) and iOS/iPadOS App Store (currently requires at least iOS/iPadOS 12) as well so you don’t have to have a Samsung device to use it - and I would imagine that something like a Chameleon IHD6 would just work without needing a SmartThings Hub. So yeah, definitely worth keeping an eye on this sort of thing.

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Updated on 25/10/21 by Jess_OVO

 

Hi @chriswsmith and @Blastoise186.

 

I’ve checked this one with our Smart Metering expert who’s advised that OVO don’t currently have access to the SmartThings functionality directly, this is something we have looked into - however we’d like to assess the benefits it could bring our members against any security concerns.

 

This doesn’t prevent you downloading and accessing your usage data here yourself, however you should be aware that you’re entering into an agreement with a third party app to grant them access to your usage data. As such we’re not able to help with any technical issues you experience when using these type of third-party apps. However the team also wanted to mention that we’re of course always working on the online usage analysis tools we’ve got available via our own OVO app (download for Android and iOS) and online account.

 

Thanks as ever for your eagle eyes community members! :slight_smile:

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@Jess_OVO it may be worth checking out the (free to use) Loop Energy app. It does access the cloud data, based on the MPAN of the meter. There is a sync every 24 hours at 05:00 ish, getting the last 24 hours of data. 
 

What I’m saying is that Ovo may be missing out on a tech-head area of the market. The app also does things like do a solar / solar + battery simulation on your usage, so you can start to see how much you can save by going down the power wall / pv panel route. It offers some great advice that would sit wonderfully alongside the Ovo green energy advice and overall message. If the Ovo app could take that idea and build on it, whilst also adding a “current usage” (no pun intended… ok… maybe a little bit) angle then it would be a killer app. For the next generation (no pun etc) then there’s always the possible addition of the whole Tesla-style flow meter (look up the Tesla Powerwall 2 and the associated app for reference).

 

sorry. Brain getting ahead of my fingers and quite possibly actual logic…

 

just my 2p…

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Well, I can definitely say this. ALL valid feedback that’s posted on the OVO Forum is checked out by Tim and Jess, and they’ll forward on as much as possible - especially good ideas like this one - to be considered. You never know when you might get lucky!

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Update:

persistence pays off. It’s connected to SmartThings. No readings yet, but the page did suggest it may take up to 48 hours.

 Procedure was easy: in SmartThings: add a device, select Chameleon and then the only available options on the following two menus. Tap on the connect button at the bottom of the page, enter your house number/postcode, then upload a bill showing your meter id . It then goes through some checks and connects. 

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Update:

persistence pays off. It’s connected to SmartThings. No readings yet, but the page did suggest it may take up to 48 hours.

 Procedure was easy: in SmartThings: add a device, select Chameleon and then the only available options on the following two menus. Tap on the connect button at the bottom of the page, enter your house number/postcode, then upload a bill showing your meter id . It then goes through some checks and connects. 

Interesting to see that SmartThings have recently added the Chameleon option. It hasn't been there before. 

So lets see if those of us with newer IHDs can actually see any readings on the SmartThing app later and how frequently/real time the data is. Am not convinced my IHD is quite new enough but it didn't create an error. 

 

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Looks the same as my SmartThings looks. Time will tell, I suppose.

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Looks the same as my SmartThings looks. Time will tell, I suppose.

It may be Chameleon are capturing, storing and distributing data via their cloud for only Bulb customers.

I find it hard to believe Chameleon would provide the service for free. Although Glow don't charge any sort of service fee once you have bought their CAD

https://shop.glowmarkt.com/products/display-and-cad-combined-for-smart-meter-customers

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The data itself is marketable and (so long as properly anonymised) legal to distribute. Especially if sold on in the form of pre-compiled trend data. 
 

that glow display looks interesting. I especially like the mentioning of a consumer API.

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https://www.samsung.com/uk/smartenergy/setup/

https://www.smartthings.com/partners/smartthings-energy

 

So perhaps anyone with a compatible chameleon smart meter

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Out of curiosity, I checked, and my profile says

so I think I'll be looking into this too.

Thanks for the updates, all .

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Out of curiosity, I checked, and my profile says

so I think I'll be looking into this too.

Thanks for the updates, all .

That’s the version I have, too.

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I’ve started to test this integration out for myself as well actually. It doesn’t appear to rely directly on using an IHD as such, since I’m not seeing any additional network activity on the Kecleon Brothers while monitoring them using tcpdump - and also monitoring the Insights logs that UniFi Network generates for me.

With that being said, setting it up was pretty easy, especially since Oshawott is a Samsung device anyway and I’ve already got SmartThings set up. Beyond that, you basically just need to find Chameleon in the integrations list, verify your entitlement to the data and then give it 48 hours. Not too bad really!

And yes, I totally nicknamed it Raichu to match the fact that’s what I call my Smart Meter. Trust me, if I had a gas meter as well, I’d have named it Gastly! XD

I’m going to road test this puppy for a few days and see what I think before I make any solid opinions about it. After that, I’ll consider whether or not to recommend it. But what I can definitely say is that if you have a Samsung device, you probably already have SmartThings installed and it’s probably already set up with your Samsung Account which will make things a little easier.

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So far: 

The instant energy consumption figures don’t seem to be active (a little odd, as this is, after all an integration created in partnership with the manufacturer of the IHD). Maybe that’s the 48hour wait? 
 

My own opinion thus far would be that it’s not as good as Loop as an informational tool. Loop does far more analysis for you. I can see, though, that my next home appliance purchases will factor in SmartThings integration into my decision and, if those little numbers start ticking over: Loop will be consigned to a folder, rather than prominence 

on a Home Screen! 
 

 

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Loop:


 

This is the bit I like: being able to simulate with reasonable accuracy how effective a solar array/battery set-up would be, based on usage and real cloud cover data for the day.

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I’ve started to test this integration out for myself as well actually. It doesn’t appear to rely directly on using an IHD as such, since I’m not seeing any additional network activity on the Kecleon Brothers while monitoring them using tcpdump - and also monitoring the Insights logs that UniFi Network generates for me.

With that being said, setting it up was pretty easy, especially since Oshawott is a Samsung device anyway and I’ve already got SmartThings set up. Beyond that, you basically just need to find Chameleon in the integrations list, verify your entitlement to the data and then give it 48 hours. Not too bad really!

And yes, I totally nicknamed it Raichu to match the fact that’s what I call my Smart Meter. Trust me, if I had a gas meter as well, I’d have named it Gastly! XD

I’m going to road test this puppy for a few days and see what I think before I make any solid opinions about it. After that, I’ll consider whether or not to recommend it. But what I can definitely say is that if you have a Samsung device, you probably already have SmartThings installed and it’s probably already set up with your Samsung Account which will make things a little easier.

 

There might be a bit of info about how it works on the bulb website. For example It mentions the CAD sending readings once a minute. If true that would be better than the info that makes its way to suppliers via the smart meter which is at best 30mins snapshots. I wonder if Chameleon needs to send an instruction over wifi to kick start the CAD into action. 

Be interesting to see how granular the info is that gets to SmartThings. Am not sure how frequent the data is from the Glow CAD/IHD as a comparison. 

https://help.bulb.co.uk/hc/en-us/sections/360007073152-Smart-homes

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Not very exciting... It has put a record in the History at 6.15 this morning but simply recorded a zero reading.

 

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