A Consumer Access Device (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.

Real-time energy data can then be linked to other IoT and connected home applications to unlock additional benefits for the consumer. With a CAD, customers can also see their real-time energy data on mobile devices and obtain additional insights into their energy use. A CAD can be a standalone device or its functionality can be embedded into another piece of hardware, such as an appliance or IHD. An IHD CAD gives the benefit to consumers of CAD-enabled cloud services at the earliest opportunity, when their smart meter is installed. This provides an opportunity for the supplier to bring forward enhanced propositions to customers, thereby helping to differentiate from competing suppliers.

The consumer's gateway to a smart energy system

Smart meters, and the real-time data they generate, are the key to unlocking the benefits of the future flexible, digitalised energy system. Linking real-time smart meter data to IoT and connected home applications will help to bring about improved energy efficiency and personalisation. The rich and highly detailed nature of the real-time data from smart meters, and the unique insights that are possible from them, is a crucial factor. Extracting this form of vital predictive data is only possibly the installation of a CAD. This ensures that the consumer remains in control of who they allow to access their personal energy data and what they allow them to do with it. 

Connecting energy to the smart home 

The rollout of smart meters to all homes provides immediate benefits, such as an end to estimated bills and faster and easier switching. However, an even more exciting consumer benefit is the availability of time-of-use and dynamic tariffs. There are huge benefits to be gained from flexible tariffs that offer a genuine financial incentive for consumers to shift energy consumption behaviour by responding to appropriate price signals. 

In order to gain maximum benefits from flexible tariffs, consumers will need to eventually "connect" all energy consuming elements in their home - smart appliances, heating systems, EV charge points, microgeneration and battery storage systems. Combining this information with other sources of dynamic and personalised data, such as weather conditions, calendar details and building characteristics, will enable the most intuitive optimisation of the home environment, by building an ever more accurate understanding of the user's behaviours and preferences. 

Chameleon CAD Options

Chameleon’s IHDs can include an integrated Consumer Access Device (CAD). Chameleon also offers two versions of stand alone CADs:

o Wi-Fi Connected CAD connects wirelessly to the internet via the home router

o Cellular CAD connects via mobile network to the internet

Smart meter data is sent securely to the Chameleon cloud via the Chameleon API. Chameleon’s CAD API incorporates bandwidth management facilities. These help optimise traffic levels whilst providing access to near real-time data.