The XML format data is quite usable, but does require some programming expertise to make it sing.
So, in summary:
1. Is there an (easy) application out there that can pull the historical data from the monitor and convert it to a (standard) format like CSV for use in Excel or similar?
I use a number of packages to monitor my energy consumption and Solar generation. But the one that, I think would meet you needs, and which I display on-screen at all times I am not doing something else, is Techtonic Energy Station.
My screen is laid out to provide information at a glance like This
This product is not necessarily up-to-the-minute and I know it is not fashionable to pay for a product, but it is dirt-cheap and just keeps working. It can display Live data - what you would see on the Envi display (shown in the top-left corner of my image) or graph the live or historical data gathered by the Envi.
For your analytic purposes you can export the data from TES in csv format. There is one additional feature in the export -- it includes the minute-by-minute history that TES has been collecting.
2. Does the historical data dump work, and if so what trick might I be missing?
Yes it does work as described but I recommend you don't use it because it stops current data collection for 10 -20 minutes and even worse stops the clock. The history data is output automatically starting one minute after the odd-numbered hours and is used by TES to update its data store
I have just bought two EnviR's with optismarts for the purpose of live monitoring PV solar and domestic usage. That was all I wanted at first, but feel myself being drawn in further ....! I have not (yet) bought a Bridge as I would be (at the moment!) satisfied with the historical data that is apparently in the EnviR downloaded by cable every so often. That is the problem. I have used the rather primitive and no longer supported (but well meaning) Current Cost GUI on the website and can get the live data, but I simply cannot get the historical data dump to work. Nothing happens at 1min past the odd hour and all that happens with the "OK" and "Down" is the clock moves to its setting stage ... there is no trace on the PC screen of any data coming in.
I have not yet tried your Techtonic Energy Station suggestion (why is all this stuff not mentioned on the CC website?) and will have a go tonight when I get back from work, but I suspect the same will happen. Am I missing something?