An introduction to hosted consents

Learn why consents are important to getting access to smart meter data and how best you can manage them.

Within Openvolt, we require that all meters have a valid hosted consent before you can access data for that meter; but what is a consent and why does it matter? On this page we'll explain why consents can help protect your liability (and ours) as well as capture essential information required by regulators in each country.


Eager to code? Follow the link below to dive in!

What is a hosted consent?

Put simply, a hosted consent is a mechanism to prove your application (and Openvolt) have the ability to access smart meter data on behalf of your customer. Hosted consents can be thought of as a passport for a smart meter. Without this passport, data sources in the country you wish to fetch smart meter data will not allow you access.

For example, lets assume you want to build an application that has customers across two different countries, the UK and the Netherlands. What are some of the questions you might need to ask around getting that information?

  • Which data source do I need to get my smart meter data from?
  • Are there any additional steps/information that my customer is required to know (such as login portal credentials)?
  • How do I find the correct meter number for my customer?
  • How do I prove I am allowed to access this information on behalf of my customer?

Hosted consents take the guess-work out of building an application such as this; all we are required to know is which flow you wish to take a customer through and our consent flow will take care of capturing all of the additional information that is required to facilitate pulling data for a smart meter. This will create an auditable consent from the customer that gives you the go-ahead to access their smart meter data.

How does it work

In simple terms, a hosted consent works by directing users away from your application to Openvolt, to provide consent, then returns them to your application flow:

  • When you create a hosted consent, you will be provided with a unique URL that can be used to redirect users to Openvolt to complete the consent.
  • After the consent is completed users will be re-directed back to your application where you can start using that consent to create meters and fetch data.

This common UX flow is the same as many online payment/login providers and that is easily understood by users and simple to implement into your code.

Why do I need a hosted consent to access meter data?

Put simply, to ensure your application stays compliant in terms of handling and processing smart meter data in behalf of your customers.

As Openvolt will be your connector for pulling smart meter data, we have a responsibility to ensure you have the necessary consent from your customers before you can access this data. By providing a hosted consent solution on your behalf we can ensure that regulatory requirements are met across multiple counties/regions.

There are also several other advantages to using hosted consents such as:

  • Significantly reduced development time by not needing to deal with the specific regulations for each country you wish to pull meter data for.
  • Automatic capture of any additional information that may be required by users (such as api keys, usernames/passwords)
  • A unified experience to capture consent from across many countries/regions for your users
  • A fully auditable system to prove when and how consent was provided.

If someone already uses my application? Is that not sufficient consent?

In some cases, the requirements for consent are quite simple, but in most countries there are additional steps and information that must be collected to prove consent for meter data was given. In the UK for example, gaining consent for a domestic smart meter includes steps such as:

  • Validating the information provided by the customer matches the meter number you wish to pull data for.
  • Ensuring customers are made aware of how their smart meter data will be used and who by.
  • Providing customers with a method by which they can revoke their consent to their smart meter data.

In the case of UK domestic consents, we also provide a friction-less mechanism for automatically finding a customers meter number based on postcode, as most UK customers will not know their meter number.

How can I ensure I am compliant across multiple countries/regions?

Openvolt's hosted consent system takes care of all of the regulatory aspects of gaining consents across multiple countries/regions. Integrating hosted consents into your application is very simple and can easily fit into your existing onboarding flows.

Example Flow - Collecting consent during onboarding.


Example use case

Lets assume you have an application that allows users to sign up and view how much energy they are using on a day-to-day basis. You could implement hosted consent during the onboarding flow like so.

  1. A user signs up to your application
  2. The user fills out their information such as name, email address etc on your application
  3. You create a customer on Openvolt using the users information
  4. You create a hosted consent on Openvolt and re-direct the user to the provided consent link
  5. The user is prompted for all of the required information for the given consent flow and on completion is sent back to your application
  6. You can then use this hosted consent to create meters on Openvolt to start accessing meter data on behalf of the user.

In some cases your users may need the ability to add more meters beyond the first. In this case the flow above would be exactly the same as steps 4-6.

What’s Next

Now you know what a hosted consent is, check out how to implement it into your code!