Restoring An Entity on Home Assistant Restart

3 minute read

The Problem

Recently I was developing a custom compontent which does some web scraping to get the status of my virtual punchard at my crossfit gym. It grabs the number of classes remaining as the state for the sensor then stores some other attributes like the expiration date, if it’s expired, classes remaining and total classes purchased.

It’s values really will only change at most from day to day. Since I don’t need to update the state and attributes of the sensor often (and it would be a waste to do so), I set the SCAN_INTERVAL to do updates once a day. The sensor would get the correct values and then I could use them to create a simple card like below.

Simple HA Lovelace Card

The problem I ran into is when I restarted Home Assistant for upgrades or config changes, all of the values for the sensor would revert to empty values. On top of that, without doing a force update through the dev services panel I would have to wait a full day for the values to get populated again.

RestoreEntity

Home Assistant, in general, has excellent documentation. However, I could not find any answer for this particular problem when searching the developer docs or the community forums. After browsing the code I found a helper class that looked like it would address the exact problem I was facing. It is named RestoreEntity and can be used as a mixin on your Entity class. I found a few examples of this class being used within the Home Assistant codebase, which showed me that in addition to using the mixin class we also needed to override the asnyc_added_to_hass method.

I implemented the method which you can see below. For brevity I’ve only included the important bits of my entity class.

class CrossfitSensor(RestoreEntity):
    """Representation of a sensor."""

    def __init__(self, hass, username, password):
        self._hass = hass
        self.username = username
        self.password = password
        self.attrs = {}
        self._state = None

    @property
    def name(self):
        """Return the name of the sensor."""
        return 'Crossfit Classes'

    @property
    def unit_of_measurement(self):
        """Return the unit of measurement of this entity, if any."""
        return 'classes remaining'

    @property
    def state(self):
        """Return the state of the sensor."""
        if self._state is None:
            if self.attrs:
                if self.attrs['expired']:
                    self._state = 0
                else:
                    self._state = self.attrs['remaining']
        return self._state

    @property
    def device_state_attributes(self):
        return self.attrs

    async def async_added_to_hass(self) -> None:
        """Handle entity which will be added."""
        await super().async_added_to_hass()
        state = await self.async_get_last_state()
        if not state:
            return
        self._state = state.state

        async_dispatcher_connect(
            self._hass, DATA_UPDATED, self._schedule_immediate_update
        )

    @callback
    def _schedule_immediate_update(self):
        self.async_schedule_update_ha_state(True)
    
    def update(self):
        """Get the latest data and updates the state."""
        # omitted for brevity

I needed to add the async_added_to_hass and _schedule_immediate_update methods. async_added_to_hass gets called when an entity is added to a platform. So the above code gets the previous state by calling async_get_last_state (this method is provided by the RestoreEntity mixin) then sets the _state attribute. Finally it issues an event call to let Home Assistant know that data for the entity has been updated.

I restarted Home Assistant expecting to see the sensor state and attributes populated, but instead they were again reverted to empty values.

The Solution

So what did I do wrong? It turns out that the actual code in the async_added_to_hass method was working just fine. It was appropriately setting the state of the entity to 0, since the punchcard was expired. I had assumed that the RestoreEntity would magically also populate my device state attributes stored in self.attrs.

Before calling async_dispatcher_connect I needed to also set the attributes. It turns out this data is stored in the state instance’s attributes property. I modified my method to set those like below.

async def async_added_to_hass(self) -> None:
    """Handle entity which will be added."""
    await super().async_added_to_hass()
    state = await self.async_get_last_state()
    if not state:
        return
    self._state = state.state

    # ADDED CODE HERE
    if 'expired' in state.attributes:
        self.attrs = {
            'expiration_date': datetime.strptime(
                state.attributes['expiration_date'], '%Y-%m-%dT%H:%M:%S'),
            'expired': state.attributes['expired'],
            'purchased': state.attributes['purchased'],
            'remaining': state.attributes['remaining'],
        }

    async_dispatcher_connect(
        self._hass, DATA_UPDATED, self._schedule_immediate_update
    )

I had to explictly check that one of the known keys was already in the state’s attributes before attempting to access them. If an update of values for the sensor had not yet run this would not have these keys in them. Then I simply set the dict on my self.attrs attribute. I then restarted Home Assistant and my values were still present in the dashboard.

TLDR

To retain state and attributes between restarts for your entity: