The name's theunknowntech. I'm a forum volunteer here and a good friend of Blastoise186 - he's even more experienced than I am at this stuff but I'm rapidly learning too.
Recently, I've seen a LOT of people being told by customer service that they can get a new IHD on Amazon or eBay. Please allow me to tell you that this will NOT work, because most of those IHDs are either stolen, fake or already paired to someone else's meter. You can't use any of those. If you bought one, please send it back for a refund. I don't like to leave you without options though, so I've got some advice for anyone who needs a new IHD and can't otherwise get one.
I can already foresee myself posting this a lot, so I've decided to put it all into a dedicated thread which I can refer to as and when I need it.
If your current IHD - especially the terrible IHDL SmartView 2 - is broken, not working or has gone missing, this post will probably be useful to you as well. Just so you're aware, this post is written purely by myself in a personal capacity, with assistance from my friend Blastoise186 of the OVO Forum. It has not been reviewed by the moderators prior to being published. None of the links in this post are affiliate links and I won't get any kind of commission if you purchase any IHD I refer to.
What's wrong with the SmartView 2?Unfortunately, it's one of the most cheaply and poorly designed In-Home Displays I've ever encountered. In recent months, I've seen a ton of complaints of it freezing up, crashing, refusing to turn off and more. It's the very reason I gave up on it several years ago and the manufacturer has never fixed the flaws since. It is unlikely that IHDL will ever fix them unfortunately. And with no way to get firmware updates onto the SmartView 2, it's impossible to fix the fatal design and firmware flaws. Blastoise186 also had an earlier version in the form of the SSE Smart Energy Tracker back in the day, and it was almost as bad as the SmartView 2, except that it could actually be turned off via the menu.
Will my supplier give me another one?Maybe, but I've seen a trend for such requests to be denied more than approved. There's supposed to be a 12 month warranty though, so feel free to try it anyway. If you end up with another SmartView 2 though, you'll probably just get stuck in the same loop.
I don't want a full In-Home Display, can I have an app instead?Yes, there is an option for this from Hildebrand, called the Hildebrand Glow Stick. This works in conjunction with the Hildebrand Bright app and can be a potential alternative to an IHD, but you do need a smartphone to use it. It's a CAD or Consumer Access Device, so it can bridge the gap between your meters and their app. This is currently the only app I know of that is capable of handling real-time data.
If you just fancy historical data, I've got apps for that as well in my toolkit.
What are my replacement options?Well, that's the snag. You're pretty limited I'm afraid, because if your supplier won't get you a replacement IHD, you're basically out of luck. Or at least, you were until just recently.
If you have SMETS1 meters, your best bet is currently the Hildebrand Glow - make sure to select the SMETS1 variant. It's a pretty good IHD that you can set up yourself, but stocks are constantly running low so you might have to wait a while. It costs about £65 but will work across all suppliers. Just make sure to contact Hildebrand before having the meters or Comms Hub replaced, so that they can do some preparations ahead of the meter exchange. To join the waiting list for when more stock comes out, you can get in touch with Hildebrand using this link. A SMETS2 variant is also available for the same price - but please make sure to pick the right one! The best place to verify compatibility will be via this tool from Citizens Advice.
Hildebrand has also been providing me and Blastoise with advice recently to help improve this guide, so I want to shout them out to say thanks! Their help is HIGHLY appreciated.
If you've got SMETS2, then you've got more options. As well as the Hildebrand Glow above, you could consider the ivie Bud, which costs around £50 and works only with SMETS2 meters. Blastoise tried it out recently and it unfortunately didn't work for him, primarily due to unique circumstances related to his site. However, it's a far better IHD than the SmartView 2 and it's based on the well known Chameleon IHD6. Like the Hildebrand Glow, you can self-pair the ivie Bud without involving your energy supplier.
The community team also asked me to add a quick note here as well. If you are with E.On Next, the discount code EONNEXT5 will give you a 10% discount off of the ivie Bud. In the interests of full disclosure, I do not get any commission or kickback if you use this code and it's the same code you'll find at https://ivie.co.uk/eonnext/.
As for which one is better? Personally, I'd say the ivie Bud is the nicer one of the two, but I'm probably biased and that's partially because both me and Blastoise are Chameleon fans. Ultimately though, either one is probably fine and it'll really depend more on whether you have S1 or S2. With that being said, Hildebrand also makes a great use case for going for the Glow IHD, with features like their Local MQTT, API Access and a fully capacitive touch screen. Or you could even get both if you really wanted to!
If more IHDs come onto the market, I'll update this post.
Consumer Access Devices (CAD)
Hildebrand Glow Stick
Primarily intended to be used with the Hildebrand Bright app, the current Glow Stick is designed for SMETS1 Meters ONLY and cannot be used with SMETS2 meters. You set the unit up near your smart meter and it then sends usage data to the Bright app on a real-time basis. At £50 it's a pretty decent option if you have SMETS1 meters. Hildebrand are planning to launch a SMETS2 version within the next few months and will be happy to notify you when it's available if you contact them here. However, if you have the SMETS1 variant and your meters get replaced with SMETS2 (this is not the same as migrating the existing meters to DCC), then the SMETS1 variant will cease to function and you'll need to purchase the SMETS2 variant to continue using the Glow Stick.
Please bear in mind that the Glow Stick does NOT have a built-in display and you'll need the Bright app to use it. If you don't have a smartphone handy, this device will not work work for you. It's probably also worth noting that Hildebrand only appear to have a limited stock remaining of the SMETS1 Glow Stick. If you fancy one, I'd recommend getting one while you still can.
Please bear in mind that without the aid of a CAD, none of these apps are able to provide real-time usage data. They are generally for historical data only, unless otherwise noted. I have done a basic due diligence check against them to make sure they're legitimate, but otherwise I cannot vouch for them. The apps below are the ones I consider most trustworthy but there are of course others as well. I just don't have the ability to scrutinise every possible app!
Samsung SmartThings - Chameleon Integration with SmartThings Energy
Why can't I buy IHDs on Amazon or eBay? They're cheaper!True, but they're also technically stolen. Either way, IHDs purchased from those places almost certainly won't work and it's not worth the risk. If the IHD is already paired, you definitely won't be able to use it and this is the case for 99% of the IHDs sold on Amazon or eBay etc. There is also a risk that the device has been tampered with and could cause a security risk if they're used. You may as well send it back for a refund and use buyer protection policies if the seller refuses to take it back. The other reason is that these devices are supposed to come only from official and authorised channels, of which eBay and Amazon do not fall under. Unauthorised devices and devices obtained via unapproved channels/unknown sources cannot be paired for security and integrity reasons.
The only exceptions to this rule are for old style energy monitors that use clip-on leads to "read" your electricity usage from the cables and plug-in monitors that can be used to monitor energy usage for a single device/socket. As these do not interact with the smart metering system at all, they are exempt from the rules that apply to In-Home Displays for this purpose - and I know the moderators would agree with me on this. For these types of monitor, the only thing I ask is that you should make sure to keep to reputable brands and avoid any cheap Chinese junk. Mainly for safety reasons, but also to make sure it actually works!
Do I have SMETS1 or SMETS2 Meters?My crystal ball will reveal all, if you cross my palm with silver...
Please post photos of your meters in this thread and I'll happily identify them for you. From there, I'll be able to tell you which of the IHD's I know of that I can safely recommend. :)
Last edited by theunknowntech; 20-05-22 at 16:21. Reason: Guide maintenance and updates
Just another guy passing by... The unknown tech way...
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