Meross energy monitoring smart plugs

I’ve recently bought a pair of Meross energy monitoring smart plugs (sponsored link), and by integrating these with Home Assistant, I now get notifications when the washing machine and tumble dryer have finished.

Previously, I’ve used Tuya smart plugs. Which are fine, but these ones don’t do energy monitoring, don’t work with Apple HomeKit and I have some privacy concerns. The Meross plugs, on the other hand, do offer energy monitoring, can be used with 13 Amp devices, and also work with Matter. They’re also smaller, and feel more solidly built than the older Tuya plugs.

Matter support

These smart plugs also support Matter, the open smart home standard. This should mean that you can use them with any smart home ecosystem, whether that’s Amazon, Google, Apple HomeKit, Samsung SmartThings or Home Assistant. I was able to get them to pair with Home Assistant, but not with HomeKit. It turns out I need a device that can act as a HomeKit hub, which can be a permanently plugged-in iPad, Apple TV or Apple HomePod. It won’t just use any other Matter server on my home network. This is ironic as the Home Assistant app uses the same Matter provisioning process on iOS devices.

It’s also worth noting that Matter support is limited to turning the smart plugs on and off. I’m guessing the Matter specification doesn’t include energy monitoring as yet. Also, these smart plugs connect over 2.4 Ghz Wifi, which is worth noting if you’ve configured your Wifi network to only use 5 GHz. They don’t use Thread.

Screenshot of the hassio_appliance-status-monitor Blueprint being configured as an automation in Home Assistant

Making use of energy monitoring

If you want to take advantage of the energy monitoring capabilities of the smart plugs, you’ll either need the official Meross app (for iOS and Android), or use Home Assistant. Whilst I have installed the Meross app, I’ve set up the automations in Home Assistant. There isn’t an official Home Assistant integration for Meross, so you’ll need to install the Meross LAN custom integration which is available through HACS.

Once you’ve set it up and added your devices, you’ll need to set up the energy monitoring automation. By far the easiest way is to use this BlueprintBlueprints are essentially templates for automations that you can download and configure. Make sure you follow the instructions, as you’ll need to create four Helpers for each smart plug, and give them specific names.

You can then define actions to take when the energy monitoring detects the appliance has started and ended. In my case, I’ve told it to send a notification to my phone when the device has finished. In the case of my tumble dryer, this includes a 15 minute delay as it uses less power towards the end (and otherwise results in notification spam). You may need to tweak the power thresholds as well. If all goes well, then you’ll get a notification like the one in the screenshot below.

A screenshot of a notification from Home Assistant stating that the washing machine has finished, triggered by the energy monitoring smart plugs

Doing this means that you can get one of the key features of a smart device, without paying a significant premium. I paid £25 for the two plugs from Amazon, whereas it would have cost at least another £100 to buy a smart tumble dryer. Our washing machine is 9 years old and I’m not even sure that smart washing machines were on the market at the time.