Please, somebody. Is there a simple guide to getting IHD/CAD data into Home Assistant?

I obtained my CAD back in the Spring but had various problems because Octopus's smart meters kept failing. Eventually after ten (honestly) engineer visits, over eighteen months, the SMs began to provide accurate data to both Octopus and to my Bright app. I worked out how to access the APIs using Postman and was able to process all the info that I wanted in Excel. I have since produced a guide to the procedures.

Whilst my CAD was away back in London for repair, because one of the engineers had "pulled" the SM's comms thus bricking it, the MQTT upgrade was added. I thought that I should try to make use of this because of its ability to access data locally. This has taken me completely out of my Windows comfort zone. After about three weeks of trawling through countless online guides I eventually managed to see some data in Home Assistant. I apologise if the following account is boring but I need to explain my steps to where I have got so far and the fact that I haven't a clue how to proceed further.

I installed Ubuntu server 22.04 onto a spare Dell laptop. I had never used Ubuntu before. I then installed VirtualBox VM and followed that with HomeAssistant OS. Finally I added Mosquitto from HA's addons. Command line typing caused me no end of grief because of my many (age related) typos. Took me back to MSDOS 3.2! I struggled to discover the ip address that I needed for HA but I got there in the end. Having entered the details into the CAD and poked and hoped in HA I was delighted to see a rapid stream of data appear. Bottle of white opened and glasses raised!

All the above took me almost three weeks but it shouldn't have done. The numerous guides along the way have often assumed that the reader has previous knowledge. For example: what on earth is a YAML file? How may I capture the data that appeared in HA, in a form that I can use, and maybe enter it into an Excel SS as I can with API? I appreciate that not everyone will have a spare laptop nor a Raspberry Pi nor a Synology NAS to hand but an always on Linux server does appear to be a requirement.

I am sure that there must be many out there who, having obtained a CAD, would like to be able to follow an easily understandable guide on how to make use of the CAD's MQTT from setup, via broker to HA or such and then retrieve the SM's energy usage stats in a useable form.

Sorry if the above sounds like a moan. It is not intended to be. It is just in the hope that somebody with much greater knowledge and understanding of MQTT and HA etc might like to produce an easy to follow tutorial and help those less fortunate...such as I! All comments welcome.


  • Home Assistant is hard. It is not consumer focussed imo for anything other than basic automations. You have to learn YAML, or at least learn it's formatting foibles, before you can really start opening up it's world of possibilities.

    I migrated from SmartThings, which is much more consumer friendly, but you soon bump into its limitations because of this. Hence the switch for me. There are still times when I'm like....why is this sooo hard!! But that is tempered when you get something working, often after a lot of tinkering , googling, HA forum posting, and getting your tabs in the code in the right place. ;-)

    Getting the energy into the energy dashboard was pretty straightforward for me, but that's because I've been running hassio for a year and understand the underlaying concepts of how it all works now. But to somebody who hasn't been using HA for a few months and has setup other simpler things in it first, I would expect it to be completely daunting. The documentation isn't great and does expect a certain level of programming knowledge which I didn't have, but I persevered as I don't think there is any other type of system out there that allows the flexibility this has. The learning curve is steep though.

  • I have followed YouTube guides by Speak to the Geek for Home Assistant and my next project is for the CAD. This has been on hold a while as like you Smart Meter problems and 5th engineer visit tomorrow.

    The first two involved no data being available on the Octopus portal for a period of over 2 months each. The third was for just over a month. The engineer power cycled first two times and changed the Comms Unit on the third visit - fortunately as guided buy Jane insisted they carried out full swop procedure, which worked for the CAD but not the Chameleon IHD as supplied with the Smart Meter. The latter needed replacing and new joining procedure.

    During data failures generally the CAD and IHD have remained connected.

    The connection is still not stable and think it is the HAN as both the Glow CAD and Bright App show occasional periods of no data - varying lengths from half an hour to several hours. However during these periods the Chameleon remains connected.

    i really need a reliable stable system as having a battery installed within a couple of weeks.

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