How to monitor power usage with Arlec PC191HA and Home Assistant

by Pete
Published: Updated: 13 minutes read

Are you looking for a way to remotely control and monitor your devices while also keeping an eye on your energy consumption? Look no further than the Arlec White Grid Connect Smart Plug In Socket With Energy Meter (PC191HA) a versatile and affordable device that can help you achieve just that.

Integrating the Arlec smart plug with Home Assistant is a straightforward process that can be accomplished in just a few steps. By following our guide, you can easily set up the Arlec smart plug to work with Home Assistant, allowing you to control your devices and monitor your energy usage from your Home Assistant app.

With the Arlec smart plug and Home Assistant integration, you can create “switch” entities for each device connected to the smart plug and control them remotely. You can also create “sensor” entities to monitor the power usage of your devices and identify any energy-wasting appliances.

By optimizing your energy usage, you can reduce your energy bills and be more environmentally friendly. The Arlec smart plug and Home Assistant integration provides you with the tools you need to make this happen.

Setup Tuya IoT and Create a new Project

For this to work, you’ll need to the following:

1
Arlec White Grid smart plug (PC191HA)

The Arlec White Grid Smart Plug enables remote control of electrical appliances via smartphone, voice commands, and schedules. It also provides real-time energy monitoring and easy installation. Overall, a convenient and energy-efficient device.

It’s available from Bunnings Warehouse in Australia.

Note: this device does not operate an ESP device, rather it uses a WB2S module and isn’t compatible with Tasmota or ESPHome. Using this guide, you can still connect it to Home Assistant out of the box, however you can replace the WB2S chip with an ESP compatible device if you wish to go native. See this Tasmota page for more information.

2
Create a Tuya Cloud Development Account

Next step is to setup a Tuya Cloud Account if you don’t already have one.

To setup a Tuya Cloud Development account:

  1. Visit the Tuya Developer page and click register
  2. Enter your information and verify your account via email.

3
Create a new Tuya Project

Next step is to setup a new Tuya IOT Project. Don’t worry, it’s free.

  • Head to https://iot.tuya.com/ if not automatically redirected after registration.
  • Click CLOUD > DEVELOPMENT
  • Click Create Cloud Project
  • Give your project a name, I called mine Home Assistant Integration
  • Industry and Development Method I set mine to Smart Home
  • For Datacentre, I chose Central Europe – this is important, but chose the closet DAC where you live.

4
Add Cloud Authorization

Now that you’ve created a new Project, go into the project and:

  1. Click on the Authorization Tab
  2. Click Add Authorization and follow the prompts
  3. You should have listed a Cloud Authorization API – you can have only one.

5
Add Service APIs

We’re almost there. Click on the SERVICE API tab from the top under your Project. We need to add service API’s Home Assistant to use to talk to our devices that have been registered with Tuya cloud.

  1. Click Service API tab (if you haven’t already)
  2. Click Go to Authorize
  3. Add the following service APIs listed in the image
  4. Click OK. Done.

6
Install Tuya App on Smart Phone

To add devices to your new platform, you’ll need to use the app available on Android or iPhone.

  1. Install the IOS app: https://apps.apple.com/us/app/tuya-smart/id1034649547
  2. Install the Android app: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.tuya.smart&hl=en&gl=US
  3. Once installed, login using your development account created earlier.
  4. We’re now ready to finally add devices.

7
Add your first device to Tuya Cloud

  • On your smart phone of choice, open the Tuya Smart app
  • Sign in using the credentials that you created above
  • Any device you’ve added so far will appear in the Home screen
  • From the Home screen, click the + button (top right), then select Add Device
  • Plug the device into a power socket and hold down the On Button (ie: put into pairing mode)
  • The Tuya App will continually scan and look – once found, follow the prompts to add it – make sure you name. I use PC191HA0x as a naming convention; as I have 6 of them my devices are called PC191HA01 o PC191HA06, etc
  • Confirm that you can see the device from the Home screen.
  • You can click on it and you’ll be able to control the plug via the app. If it has load (ie: something plugged into it drawing power), you should see the current usage and also be able to power it off / on.
  • Add any subsequent devices via the Tuya Smart app on your phone.

8
Confirm your devices appear in Tuya Cloud

One final step for Tuya is to check the devices appear in the cloud platform.

  1. In the Tuya Cloud platform, click on your project
  2. Click on Devices from the top tabs
  3. You should see your new device(s) appear in the list.
  4. If they don’t appear, wait for a few minutes

9
Install the Tuya Integration in Home Assistant

For this to all work with HA, you need the Tuya integration.

  1. From Home Assistant, click on Settings > Devices & Services
  2. Install the https://www.home-assistant.io/integrations/tuya/ integration
  3. Once it’s installed, proceed to configure it using your API credentials
  4. Tuya IoT Access ID = Available from your Tuya Project Overview page
  5. Tuya IoT Access Secret = Available from your Tuya Project Overview page
  6. Account = your Tuya Username
  7. Password = your Tuya Password
  8. If all goes well, you should have your devices automatically appear as devices, each with their own entities

10
Enable disabled sensor entities in Home Assistant

For some reason, not all entities are enabled by default when the device first appears. Luckily, they’re easy to enable.

  1. Click into the Tuya Integration in Home assistant
  2. Click on the device
  3. Under Sensors, you’ll see that some of the sensors do not appear and are disabled.
  4. Click on one of the disabled sensors, click the Cog button and flick the Enabled button
  5. Do the same for the rest of the disabled sensors. (It’s usually the Current, Power, Voltage sensors that are all disabled).
  6. Within 30 or so seconds, you should start to see data for those sensors.

11
Caveats

Like everything these days, there are caveats that you should be aware of.

  1. Tuya IoT free projects expire every 6 months. You can renew them for free again from the cloud portal. Read on for instructions on how to do so. It’s annoying, but hey, it’s free.
  2. Integration is provided by APIs to a 3rd party cloud provider. Unlike ESPHOME where it’s native and you can update each device or have control, here Home Assistant kind of acts like a client itself but the integration is seamless.

In Summary

There you have it – the initial setup might be a little long-winded, but once it’s working, adding and using devices in automations to perform actions on power, etc then becomes very easy!

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