I wanted to monitor the power usage of our water heater. However, because it draws 3000W, there weren’t a ton of options for what smart plug to use that supported both the needed wattage, zigbee and power monitoring. I ended up buying an ELKO SmartPlug 16A Zigbee plug. Since there is very little information about using this plug with Home Assistant, I’m documenting it here.
Getting the smart plug to pair with my setup took quite a few tries – which tracks with other comments online about ELKO devices being geared toward their own hubs. I’ve seen comments going as far as saying that ELKO might as well have dropped the Zigbee logo. The manual is a bit vague about pairing and what the other led signals mean, but after giving up on pairing, I decided to try one last time. This time it showed up immediately and was recognized as a SMARTPLUG/1 by Schneider Electric.
For reference, I am using Home Assistant 2022.10 with ZHA using a Conbee 2 stick. Both power usage and total usage are now logged as expected. All in all, this device works pretty much as I would have hoped.
Why would I do this? Well, there are several reasons. First and foremost I would like to know how much of my electricity bill goes toward the water heater. For this I used the Utility Meter helper in Home Assistant, and configured one for daily, and one for monthly usage. Another aspect is in regards to limiting the maximal power load either during peak hours, or reducing the total energy draw to stay below a certain threshold. In times of high electricity prices, it is another nice tool to have in your arsenal.