How are people treating CT wire leads leaving a surface mounted breaker box to a surface mounted IoTaWatt a couple feet away? I’d imagine NEC probably says they should be in conduit. Unless you place your IoTaWatt in some huge code compliant plastic enclosure, I’m not sure what the point would be anyways.
You didn’t state where you are. Most likely the AHJ (Authority Having Jurisdiction) will have a say. If there is never a problem and no one notices it, it probably doesn’t matter. If there is a major event (say a fire) and the insurance company finds out there was work done “without a permit”, they might decline coverage.
I’m in the USA - Massachusetts.
Total disclosure: I’m not an electrician and don’t have an NEC reference manual (any edition). You are solely responsible for vetting what I say and verifying.
I looked intro this several years back. My recollection is that I came across several requirements:
The CTs leads must have insulation rated for use in the panel. I believe AccuCTs are rated 80C and 300V and labelled RU (Approved for use with UL compliant products which the CTs are).
Just like the regular romex cables coming out of the box, other cables must be protected from physical disturbance. Your authority may be satisfied with stapling, or may require passing through conduit or covering with surface mount channel. The idea, as I get it, is to reduce the chance of someone snagging it and yanking it out of the panel, potentially disrupting other components inside. I believe there is a context to be considered by the approving authority: Is it in an out of the way basement location and high enough to be safe from kids and dogs, or is it in the kitchen or hallway?
For what it’s worth…