Newsletter – April 2014

THIS MONTH…..
-TRENDS
-EYE CATCHING
-ANNUAL PLAN
-DISCUSSIONS
-EXISTING CODE
-SECURITY
-LASTLY

-TRENDS
The stuff going on in the big picture now…..

United States Electricity Price per KWH
Current and Past

January February Trend % Change
$0.134 $0.134 Same 0.00%
Year February Trend % Change % Since
2004 $0.091 Same 0.00% 0.00%
2005 $0.094 Increase 3.30% 3.30%
2006 $0.108 Increase 14.89% 18.68%
2007 $0.113 Increase 4.63% 24.18%
2008 $0.116 Increase 2.65% 27.47%
2009 $0.126 Increase 8.62% 38.46%
2010 $0.123 Decrease -2.38% 35.16%
2011 $0.125 Increase 1.63% 37.36%
2012 $0.128 Increase 2.40% 40.66%
2013 $0.129 Increase 0.78% 41.76%
2014 $0.134 Increase 3.88% 47.25%

United Kingdom Utility Prices
Current and Past

Historical Pricing

-EYE CATCHING
The stuff that has caught our eye…..

Demand Response

  • A report, from the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy, affirming efficiency is more valuable than a new energy source.
  • A report, citing the Demand Response Management Systems (DRMS) Market is expected to be $24.64 Billion by 2019.
  • An article, reviewing the failing Demand Response programs in California and recommendations to improve them.
  • A study, from the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, emphasizing the value of adding Demand Response to energy production cost projections.
  • An article, reporting the United States House of Representatives has overwhelmingly passed a bipartisan energy bill that will establish a new voluntary efficiency standard for tenants in commercial buildings.

Smart Grid – Consumer

  • An article, with performance considerations of different smartphone HVAC management strategies.
  • An article, reporting the usage trend of smart thermostats is progressively increasing.
  • United States Senators Markey and Udall have introduced legislation incentivizing states and utilities to adopt policies that ensure consumers have timely accessibility to electricity usage information. This legislation represents an emerging government mandate to collect energy usage data from the residential premises.
  • An article, discussing the challenges for Nest to succeed in the UK.
  • Nest has halted the sale of their smoke detector, pending resolution of a design flaw.

 

Smart Grid – Producer

  • The 2014 Energy Thought Summit (ETS) was held in March. ETS brings the world’s thought leaders together for two days to debate the state and future of energy.
  • An article, listing the four keys to energy grid resiliency; prevention, reaction, perception, and prediction.
  • An article, listing the five best practices to engage customers for residential demand response; analysis, channels, education, choice, and partnerships.

 

Smart Grid – Security

  • The SANS 2014 SCADA Survey finds the largest group of security breaches contains the BLAH of HVAC controls. Their 2013 survey shows roughly the same information and the 2014 survey. This similarity demonstrates the industry in not responding to resolve indented security threats.
  • An article, emphasizing the three components of cyber security for a Utility; preventative, detective, and corrective.
  • An article, reporting critical Stuxnet type vulnerabilities discovered in UK power plants.

-ANNUAL PLAN
Status Update of our 2014 Plan…..

Demand Response

  • Scripting for Unattended Server Side Automation is progressing nicely. We released our first script on 29 March 2014. This script is integral to any Demand Response effort.
  • No other work since the March newsletter.

Unattended Server Side Automation

  • A PHP script to automatically select all thermostats and set their Date/Time is complete. We released our first script on 29 March 2014.
  • No other work since the March newsletter.

Power Line Communication

  • Further discussions with the members of the electronics industry.
  • No other work since the January newsletter.

Talk to us with your comments and suggestions on our plan for this year.

-DISCUSSIONS
The stuff we are talking about now…..

TECHNOLOGY STANDARDS
We spend a considerable amount of time reading and studying different technology standards, to determine how to mature the GNU remotecontrol software project. We see the Smart Grid as held up from being built, due to the lack of agreement in the Smart Grid arena about determining which technology standards to use in designing the Smart Grid. What is currently happening are various attempts to try this and that, here and there, to see what happens. We spoke about this pattern of activity in the March 2014 newsletter and predicted it in the January 2014 newsletter. There is no need to impose a specific technology on anyone. Imposition often leads to oppression. A philosophy alone does not build an objective conclusion. It is not about what is believed. It is all about what is proven with well-tried, empirical, and verifiable evidence. A desire to bring order to a technology comes from enough demand for a technology, to justify spending the time and effort to achieve the standardization. A technology standard must provide proof it works safely, causing no harm from using the technology, if the technology expects to be adopted by anyone in their right mind.

GNU remotecontrol is built adhering to standards that have proven they are both safe and resilient. The use of a standard to build any technology contributes to interoperability, specifically between hardware and software. GNU remotecontrol does not and will not use any standard that has not proven itself to be safe, nor will we use a technology that is not standardized. It is our intention to comfort you with the fact that your usage of GNU remotecontrol will always be capable of interoperability with relevant technology standards that are proven to be both safe and resilient. We would be doing a disservice to you if we did anything else.

OTHER TYPES OF THERMOSTATS?
Many people have asked us about adding other types of thermostats to GNU remotecontrol. There are three questions that need to be answered before we can offer GNU remotecontrol support for any IP thermostat. These questions are:

  • How to CONNECT to it (NETWORK).
  • How to READ from it (CODE).
  • How to WRITE to it (CODE).

It is our hope to have dozens and dozens of thermostat types that work with GNU remotecontrol. Let us know if you designed or manufactured a device and you would like to test it with GNU remotecontrol.

-EXISTING CODE
The stuff you may want to consider…..

BUGS
We have 0 new bugs and 0 fixed bugs since our last Blog posting. Please review these changes and apply to your GNU remotecontrol installation, as appropriate.

TASKS
We have 0 new tasks and 0 completed tasks since our last Blog posting. Please review these changes and apply to your GNU remotecontrol installation, as appropriate.

-SECURITY
The stuff you REALLY want to consider…..

PROJECT REDPOINT
Digital Bond, founded in 1998, performs control system security assessments. They have developed a script, using both Python and Nmap, that discovers and enumerates BACnet devices on a network. This script emphasizes the insecurity in the design of the BACnet protocol.

REMEMBER
GNU remotecontrol relies on OS file access restrictions, Apache authentication, MySQL authentication, and SSL encryption to secure your data. Talk to us you want to find out how you can further strengthen the security of your system, or you have suggestions for improving the security of our current system architecture.

-LASTLY
Whatever you do…..don’t get beat up over your Energy Management strategy. GNU remotecontrol is here to help simplify your life, not make it more complicated. Talk to us if you are stuck or cannot figure out the best option for your GNU remotecontrol framework. The chances are the answer you need is something we have already worked through. We would be happy to help you by discussing your situation with you.

…..UNTIL NEXT MONTH!

Newsletter – March 2014

THIS MONTH…..
-TRENDS
-EYE CATCHING
-ANNUAL PLAN
-DISCUSSIONS
-EXISTING CODE
-SECURITY
-LASTLY

-TRENDS
The stuff going on in the big picture now…..

United States Electricity Price per KWH
Current and Past

December January Trend % Change
$0.131 $0.134 Increase 2.29%
Year January Trend % Change % Since
2004 $0.091 Same 0.00% 0.00%
2005 $0.094 Increase 3.30% 3.30%
2006 $0.108 Increase 14.89% 18.68%
2007 $0.113 Increase 4.63% 24.18%
2008 $0.116 Increase 2.65% 27.47%
2009 $0.126 Increase 8.62% 38.46%
2010 $0.124 Decrease -1.59% 36.26%
2011 $0.125 Increase 0.81% 37.36%
2012 $0.128 Increase 2.40% 40.66%
2013 $0.129 Increase 0.78% 41.76%
2014 $0.134 Increase 3.88% 47.25%

United Kingdom Utility Prices
Current and Past

Historical Pricing

-EYE CATCHING
The stuff that has caught our eye…..

Demand Response

  • A press release, announcing the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) has approved the OpenADR 2.0b Profile Specification as a Publicly Available Specification (PAS).
  • A press release, announcing the OpenADR Alliance and Wi-SUN Alliance have formed a liaison agreement.
  • An article, considering the impact of Google acquiring Nest and how the acquisition could play out in the Demand Response arena.

Smart Grid – Consumer

  • The results, of the Residential Demand Response Program using the Bring Your Own Thermostat approach.
  • An article, illustrating the complexities and shortage of interoperability when using a smartphone to accomplish home automation.

Smart Grid – Producer

  • A survey, detailing the concerns utility executives struggle with now. The leading concern is old infrastructure.
  • A discussion, considering three perspectives on the future of electric utilities.

Smart Grid – Security

  • An article, reporting Lloyd’s of London has concluded energy firm cyber defense protections are inadequate. They now refuse to issue any policy to any energy firm. SANS provides commentary on this matter. A conclusion causing insurers to turn away an energy firm is resounding proof the current comprehensive strategy is not leading to a more secure energy firm.

-ANNUAL PLAN
Status Update of our 2014 Plan…..

Demand Response

  • Scripting for Unattended Server Side Automation is progressing nicely. We have completed our first script. This script is integral to any Demand Response effort.
  • No other work since the January newsletter.

Unattended Server Side Automation

  • A PHP script to automatically select all thermostats and set their Date/Time is complete. We are finishing the usage instructions. We expect to release the script before the next Blog posting.
  • No other work since the February newsletter.

Power Line Communication

  • Further discussions with the members of the electronics industry.
  • No other work since the January newsletter.

Talk to us with your comments and suggestions on our plan for this year.

-DISCUSSIONS
The stuff we are talking about now…..

CRISIS COMMUNICATION
SANS reports an emerging story, about a cyber attack on Target through those involved with Target’s refrigeration and HVAC systems. The attacker infiltrated Target’s systems, stealing payment card data. It appears the attacker gained a foothold in Target’s systems, by using the access credentials of a refrigeration and HVAC company who worked at several Target locations. There is no evidence, to date, either the refrigeration or HVAC systems were involved in the attack. There is evidence of a phishing attack involving malware.

We bring this story to your attention as a reason to reiterate how we handle our public communication plan. We use:

  • GNU remotecontrol - Mailing Lists as our primary means of crisis and announcement communication. This is the only list, for now. An alias from bug-remotecontrol is in place.
  • GNU remotecontrol – News as our secondary means of crisis and announcement communication.
  • GNU remotecontrol – Newsletter (Blog) as our tertiary means of communication, though we do not use it for crisis or announcement communication. The Blog is a newsletter style format. This format provides the ability to get pertinent information GNU remotecontrol users, though not critically important to them.

We do hope there is never a security concern involving GNU remotecontrol. However, in the event any form of crisis involving GNU remotecontrol does occur, we want to be capable and ready to address the crisis as quickly and effectively as possible. Please note the Key Principles of Choosing Decision Makers and Security Considerations are addressed in the GNU remotecontrol manual, as part of our collective preemptive efforts to avoid a security incident.

OTHER TYPES OF THERMOSTATS?
Many people have asked us about adding other types of thermostats to GNU remotecontrol. There are three questions that need to be answered before we can offer GNU remotecontrol support for any IP thermostat. These questions are:

  • How to CONNECT to it (NETWORK).
  • How to READ from it (CODE).
  • How to WRITE to it (CODE).

It is our hope to have dozens and dozens of thermostat types that work with GNU remotecontrol. Let us know if you designed or manufactured a device and you would like to test it with GNU remotecontrol.

-EXISTING CODE
The stuff you may want to consider…..

BUGS
We have 0 new bugs and 0 fixed bugs since our last Blog posting. Please review these changes and apply to your GNU remotecontrol installation, as appropriate.

TASKS
We have 0 new tasks and 0 completed tasks since our last Blog posting. Please review these changes and apply to your GNU remotecontrol installation, as appropriate.

-SECURITY
The stuff you REALLY want to consider…..

INDUSTRIAL CONTROL SYSTEMS
A presentation from the Black Hat Briefings - 2013 USA Conference, explaining the exploration of the Teridian System on a Chip (SoC), along with scenarios and techniques to attack the Harvard Architecture Smart Grid Systems, demonstrating pathways to gain coveted binary images of firmware and resident code execution.

REMEMBER
GNU remotecontrol relies on OS file access restrictions, Apache authentication, MySQL authentication, and SSL encryption to secure your data. Talk to us you want to find out how you can further strengthen the security of your system, or you have suggestions for improving the security of our current system architecture.

-LASTLY
Whatever you do…..don’t get beat up over your Energy Management strategy. GNU remotecontrol is here to help simplify your life, not make it more complicated. Talk to us if you are stuck or cannot figure out the best option for your GNU remotecontrol framework. The chances are the answer you need is something we have already worked through. We would be happy to help you by discussing your situation with you.

…..UNTIL NEXT MONTH!

Newsletter – February 2014

THIS MONTH…..
-TRENDS
-EYE CATCHING
-ANNUAL PLAN
-DISCUSSIONS
-EXISTING CODE
-SECURITY
-LASTLY

-TRENDS
The stuff going on in the big picture now…..

United States Electricity Price per KWH
Current and Past

November December Trend % Change
$0.130 $0.131 Increase 0.77%
Year December Trend % Change % Since
2003 $0.090 Same 0.00% 0.00%
2004 $0.092 Increase 2.22% 2.22%
2005 $0.102 Increase 10.87% 13.33%
2006 $0.110 Increase 7.84% 22.22%
2007 $0.115 Increase 4.55% 27.78%
2008 $0.124 Increase 7.83% 37.78%
2009 $0.124 Same 0.00% 37.78%
2010 $0.125 Increase 0.81% 38.89%
2011 $0.127 Increase 1.60% 41.11%
2012 $0.127 Same 0.00% 41.11%
2013 $0.131 Increase 3.15% 45.56%

United Kingdom Utility Prices
Current and Past

Historical Pricing

-EYE CATCHING
The stuff that has caught our eye…..

Demand Response

  • A press release, indicating Automated Demand Response sites will reach nearly 2 million worldwide by 2023.
  • An article, describing the best practices in Demand Response.
  • An article, describing how technology choice is finally coming to residential Demand Response.

Smart Grid – Consumer

  • Google has purchased Nest. Nest maintains the position that customer data is covered in their privacy policy. It is unclear how Google interprets the Nest privacy policy.
  • A discussion, examining how close the United States is to achieving a national power grid.

Smart Grid – Producer

  • A press release, indicating the emerging Asia-Pacific (APAC) Substation Automation and Integration market has the highest growth rate among all the geographic regions. It is believed that the APAC market will grow at a CAGR of 9.1% from 2013 to 2018.
  • A press release, indicating utility spending on Smart Grid IT systems will reach nearly $20 billion by 2022.
  • An article, in two parts, explaining how Smart Grid technology can build a better utility industry future.
  • An article, explaining the biggest opportunity demonstrated at DistribuTECH is the smart home.

-ANNUAL PLAN
Status Update of our 2014 Plan…..

Demand Response

  • No other work since the January newsletter.

Unattended Server Side Automation

  • A PHP script to automatically select all thermostats and set their Date/Time is almost complete. We are both finishing the session management and discussing how to handle security for the automation.
  • No other work since the January newsletter.

Power Line Communication

  • Initial discussions with the members of the electronics industry.
  • No other work since the January newsletter.

Talk to us with your comments and suggestions on our plan for this year.

-DISCUSSIONS
The stuff we are talking about now…..

ELECTRONICS INDUSTRY
We are in initial discussions with members of the electronics industry. We are pursuing how to mature the remotely connected HVAC thermostat market, by assisting in development of a more feature rich product. The end result will be more remotely connected HVAC thermostats available for purchase, thereby increasing competition. This competition will bring more features at less cost, due to manufacturers not being bothered with knowing how to design the software necessary to run their remotely connected HVAC thermostat offering. These are some of the results that come from standardization.

OTHER TYPES OF THERMOSTATS?
Many people have asked us about adding other types of thermostats to GNU remotecontrol. There are three questions that need to be answered before we can offer GNU remotecontrol support for any IP thermostat. These questions are:

  • How to CONNECT to it (NETWORK).
  • How to READ from it (CODE).
  • How to WRITE to it (CODE).

It is our hope to have dozens and dozens of thermostat types that work with GNU remotecontrol. Let us know if you designed or manufactured a device and you would like to test it with GNU remotecontrol.

-EXISTING CODE
The stuff you may want to consider…..

BUGS
We have 0 new bugs and 0 fixed bugs since our last Blog posting. Please review these changes and apply to your GNU remotecontrol installation, as appropriate.

TASKS
We have 0 new tasks and 0 completed tasks since our last Blog posting. Please review these changes and apply to your GNU remotecontrol installation, as appropriate.

-SECURITY
The stuff you REALLY want to consider…..

INDUSTRIAL CONTROL SYSTEMS
A presentation from the Black Hat Briefings - 2013 USA Conference, demonstrating cyber attacks on Industrial Control Systems (ICS).

REMEMBER
GNU remotecontrol relies on OS file access restrictions, Apache authentication, MySQL authentication, and SSL encryption to secure your data. Talk to us you want to find out how you can further strengthen the security of your system, or you have suggestions for improving the security of our current system architecture.

-LASTLY
Whatever you do…..don’t get beat up over your Energy Management strategy. GNU remotecontrol is here to help simplify your life, not make it more complicated. Talk to us if you are stuck or cannot figure out the best option for your GNU remotecontrol framework. The chances are the answer you need is something we have already worked through. We would be happy to help you by discussing your situation with you.

…..UNTIL NEXT MONTH!

Newsletter – January 2014

THIS MONTH…..
-TRENDS
-EYE CATCHING
-ANNUAL PLAN
-DISCUSSIONS
-EXISTING CODE
-SECURITY
-LASTLY

-TRENDS
The stuff going on in the big picture now…..

United States Electricity Price per KWH
Current and Past

Year October November Trend % Change
2013 $0.132 $0.130 Decrease -1.52%
Year November Trend % Change % Since
2003 $0.090 Same 0.00% 0.00%
2004 $0.092 Increase 2.22% 2.22%
2005 $0.102 Increase 10.87% 13.33%
2006 $0.110 Increase 7.84% 22.22%
2007 $0.115 Increase 4.55% 27.78%
2008 $0.123 Increase 6.96% 36.67%
2009 $0.124 Increase 0.81% 37.78%
2010 $0.125 Increase 0.81% 38.89%
2011 $0.128 Increase 2.40% 42.22%
2012 $0.127 Decrease -0.78% 41.11%
2013 $0.130 Increase 2.36% 44.44%

United Kingdom Utility Prices
Current and Past

Historical Pricing

-EYE CATCHING
The stuff that has caught our eye…..

Demand Response

  • An article, listing 5 Demand Response Trends to Watch in 2014.
  • An article, discussing residential Demand Response.
  • Additional evidence describing the lack of utility funding hinders Demand Response and energy efficiency consumer engagement programs.

Powerline Communication

  • A comprehensive report of the Power Line Communication (PLC) Systems Market – Global Assessment & Forecast for 2013-2018.

Smart Grid – Consumer

  • British Gas has released Hive Heating. This is a public utility energy efficiency program, comprised of HVAC thermostat and hot water heater management. It is important to note that many homes in the United Kingdom do not have central air conditioning.

Smart Grid – Producer

  • An editorial, describing 10 energy numbers to remember from 2013.
  • An editorial, describing the state of the 2013 utility industry.
  • An editorial, describing distribution automation and Automated Metering Infrastructure (AMI) are keys to maximizing Smart Grid Benefits.
  • An article, sharing lessons learned for successfully engaging customers via the Smart Grid.
  • An article, considering what the Smart grid markets are doing now and where they appear to be heading.
  • An article, predicting the 4 greatest challenges utilities face in 2014.

Smart Grid – Security

  • An 8-count indictment on charges relating to sabotage of high-voltage power lines and power stations earlier this year in several cities. Among them: a terrorist attack against a railroad carrier and destruction of energy facilities, including a 115,000-volt transmission line.
  • The National Research Council has determined the United States electric power delivery system is vulnerable to terrorist attacks.
  • An article, considering the security relationship between Information Technology and the Smart Grid.

-ANNUAL PLAN
Status Update of our 2014 Plan…..

Demand Response

  • GNU remotecontrol and dynamic Demand Response would optimally occur by automatically receiving messages from an Energy Management System that has achieved a Demand Response decision.
  • GNU remotecontrol will be developed to receive OpenADR messages.
  • GNU remotecontrol needs the LIST of THERMOSTATS to change, the CHOICE of EITHER heating or cooling, the TEMPERATURE setting, and the FAN mode to achieve automation in the absence of human interaction with index.php. See Unattended Server Side Automation for more information.

Unattended Server Side Automation

  • A PHP script is being written now to automatically selecting all thermostats and setting their Date/Time.
  • This scripting effort will mature to include changing the HVAC Settings by using both PHP and SQL stored procedures, as appropriate.
  • These scripts are intended to be used in combination with an Energy Management System, as Energy Management Software, to assist with Load Management, and promote improved Energy Accounting.
  • GNU remotecontrol needs the LIST of THERMOSTATS to change, the CHOICE of EITHER heating or cooling, the TEMPERATURE setting, and the FAN mode to achieve automation in the absence of human interaction with index.php.

Power Line Communication

  • GNU remotecontrol will use IEEE 1901-2010, IEEE Standard for Broadband over Power Line Networks: Medium Access Control and Physical Layer Specifications for all Power Line Communication (PLC) efforts.
  • GNU remotecontrol is searching for field testing partners, to evaluate transmission and distribution line performance during large scale thermostat management efforts.
  • This field testing is an ongoing effort.

Talk to us with your comments and suggestions on our plan for this year.

-DISCUSSIONS
The stuff we are talking about now…..

2014 PROJECTIONS
The GNU remotecontrol Team is confident there is ample public knowledge available to conclude the following projections will prove true this year:

  • Both public and private companies will spend their first big cash outlay on Smart Grid technology efforts.
  • The majority of this money will be spent on IEEE 802.11 Wi-Fi enabled technologies for Automated Meter Reading (AMI) and Demand Response (DR) for the residential customer.
  • The tangible and intangible return of these technology efforts will be less than spectacular.
  • The realization that proprietary software is holding back cost effective Smart Grid technology efforts will become more clear.
  • The realization that Powerline Communication (PLC) is the optimal long-term connectivity investment option will become more clear.

It is clear the pervasive desire in the general public is to reduce HVAC costs by using remote connectivity to better manage system operation.

The thrust of what is happening now is public utilities are jumping in to also operate HVAC systems via Demand Response versus only premise owners being involved in residential HVAC system operation. Many public utilities struggle with how they implement Customer Information Management (CIM). Additionally, they often use a billing system that is not robust enough to accomplish dynamic pricing for DR. We presently have insufficient data to speak to either of these topics.

It is safe to say that until the public utility provider has the ability to handle robust CIM and dynamic pricing for DR, no Smart Grid project involving the residential customer will be satisfactory to either the public utility or the energy subscriber, their paying customer.

OTHER TYPES OF THERMOSTATS?
Many people have asked us about adding other types of thermostats to GNU remotecontrol. There are three questions that need to be answered before we can offer GNU remotecontrol support for any IP thermostat. These questions are:

  • How to CONNECT to it (NETWORK).
  • How to READ from it (CODE).
  • How to WRITE to it (CODE).

It is our hope to have dozens and dozens of thermostat types that work with GNU remotecontrol. Let us know if you designed or manufactured a device and you would like to test it with GNU remotecontrol.

-EXISTING CODE
The stuff you may want to consider…..

BUGS
We have 0 new bugs and 0 fixed bugs since our last Blog posting. Please review these changes and apply to your GNU remotecontrol installation, as appropriate.

TASKS
We have 0 new tasks and 0 completed tasks since our last Blog posting. Please review these changes and apply to your GNU remotecontrol installation, as appropriate.

-SECURITY
The stuff you REALLY want to consider…..

SCADA DEVICE EXPLOITATION
A presentation from the Black Hat Briefings - 2013 USA Conference, demonstrating SCADA device exploitation.

REMEMBER
GNU remotecontrol relies on OS file access restrictions, Apache authentication, MySQL authentication, and SSL encryption to secure your data. Talk to us you want to find out how you can further strengthen the security of your system, or you have suggestions for improving the security of our current system architecture.

-LASTLY
Whatever you do…..don’t get beat up over your Energy Management strategy. GNU remotecontrol is here to help simplify your life, not make it more complicated. Talk to us if you are stuck or cannot figure out the best option for your GNU remotecontrol framework. The chances are the answer you need is something we have already worked through. We would be happy to help you by discussing your situation with you.

…..UNTIL NEXT MONTH!

Newsletter – December 2013

THIS MONTH…..
-TRENDS
-EYE CATCHING
-DISCUSSIONS
-EXISTING CODE
-SECURITY
-LASTLY

-TRENDS
The stuff going on in the big picture now…..

US Bureau of Labor and Statistics, current and past average…..

Electricity Price per KWH

Year September October Trend % Change
2013 $0.137 $0.132 Decrease -3.65%
Year October Trend % Change % Since
2003 $0.093 Same 0.00% 0.00%
2004 $0.094 Increase 1.08% 1.08%
2005 $0.102 Increase 8.51% 9.68%
2006 $0.112 Increase 9.80% 20.43%
2007 $0.117 Increase 4.46% 25.81%
2008 $0.126 Increase 7.69% 35.48%
2009 $0.126 Same 0.00% 35.48%
2010 $0.127 Increase 0.79% 36.56%
2011 $0.130 Increase 2.36% 39.78%
2012 $0.128 Decrease -1.54% 37.63%
2013 $0.132 Increase 3.13% 41.94%

-EYE CATCHING
The stuff that has caught our eye…..

Demand Response

  • IEEE approves a new standard designed to support low-frequency, narrow-band Power Line Communications and Smart Grid applications.
  • A report describing new Demand Response opportunities in Texas.
  • Growth from a past article announcing a Demand Response mapping partnership, identifying localities that have Demand Response offerings.
  • A map from Google, identifying localities that have Automated Meter Reading offerings.

Smart Grid – Consumer

  • A discussion of how the consumer impacts the Smart Grid.
  • An info-graphic illustrating the importance of residential Demand Response.

Smart Grid – Producer

  • A report finding Oklahoma Gas and Electric is the world’s highest ranked Smart Grid project.
  • A report calculating the global Smart Grid Technology market is expected to grow at a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 29.47 percent over the period 2012-2016.
  • A report of Smart Grid technology investment forecasts over the period 2012-2030.
  • An article describing Smart Grid infrastructure investment to reach $274.9 billion in emerging nations.
  • An article indicating the Smart Grid is driving current housing design and construction.
  • A report sharing why Asia represents the next frontier for Demand Response programs.
  • A commentary stating the Smart Grid is the future of energy conservation in India.
  • An article that Pakistan is struggling to develop cost-effective, energy-efficient alternatives to their current infrastructure.
  • An article sharing Smart Grids are key for meeting rising energy demand in Saudi Arabia.

Smart Grid – Security

  • A report describing security is still a very big problem for the Smart Grid to overcome.
  • An article recommending the Smart Grid use the learning of IT for reducing the potential of suffering a security compromise.

-DISCUSSIONS
The stuff we are talking about now…..

2013
The launch of the GNU remotecontrol software project this year resulted in all things moving much faster than we originally expected. Comments and recommendations came in faster, as did new people wanting to participate in the project. We have met people from many parts of the world. We have worked with some very, very sharp folks doing what they do very well. This year has clearly shown us the need and the want for GNU remotecontrol to be a part of the Smart Grid. There is always something to be thankful for, through an attitude of gratitude. We are grateful for being part of a software project that has people wanting to accomplish the goals of the project, along with end-users that contribute back to the project.

2014
We plan to continue our research focused on the empathic design approach and further develop GNU remotecontrol. Working directly with end-users is a sound plan for understanding how to meet their needs, through their interaction with what is being offered to them. Our plan for 2014 is structured into three separate, but interconnected, efforts. These efforts are arrived at from the feedback we have received and the direction of where we believe GNU remotecontrol should go.

  • Demand ResponseOpenADR is the way we are going to implement this functionality in GNU remotecontrol.
  • Unattended Sever Side Automation – There are many different options available to increase automation of GNU remotecontrol to support Demand Response. We have a list of about two dozen recommendations from both ourselves and end-users. We plan to test PHP and SQL stored procedures to accomplish this effort.
  • Power Line Communication – There are millions of miles of electrical wiring in this world waiting to be used for gaining access to a networked HVAC thermostat. It makes sense to try to use those wires for implementing GNU remotecontrol on a large scale basis. IEEE has provided GNU remotecontrol a complimentary copy of IEEE 1901-2010, IEEE Standard for Broadband over Power Line Networks: Medium Access Control and Physical Layer Specifications. The reason they provided this copy to us is so we can gain sufficient knowledge to discuss field testing requirements of Power Line Communication (PLC) devices and speak to the standard in collaborative efforts within the Energy Management industry. GNU remotecontrol is grateful to IEEE for their support to further develop this software project.

Talk to us with your comments and suggestions on our plan for the next year.

OTHER TYPES OF THERMOSTATS?
Many people have asked us about adding other types of thermostats to GNU remotecontrol. There are three questions that need to be answered before we can offer GNU remotecontrol support for any IP thermostat. These questions are:

  • How to CONNECT to it (NETWORK).
  • How to READ from it (CODE).
  • How to WRITE to it (CODE).

It is our hope to have dozens and dozens of thermostat types that work with GNU remotecontrol. Let us know if you designed or manufactured a device and you would like to test it with GNU remotecontrol.

-EXISTING CODE
The stuff you may want to consider…..

BUGS
We have 0 new bugs and 0 fixed bugs since our last Blog posting. Please review these changes and apply to your GNU remotecontrol installation, as appropriate.

TASKS
We have 0 new tasks and 0 completed tasks since our last Blog posting. Please review these changes and apply to your GNU remotecontrol installation, as appropriate.

-SECURITY
The stuff you REALLY want to consider…..

BREAKING AND BYPASSING
A presentation from the Black Hat Briefings – 2013 USA Conference describing breaking home security systems and bypassing buildings controls.

REMEMBER
GNU remotecontrol relies on OS file access restrictions, Apache authentication, MySQL authentication, and SSL encryption to secure your data. Talk to us you want to find out how you can further strengthen the security of your system, or you have suggestions for improving the security of our current system architecture.

-LASTLY
Whatever you do…..don’t get beat up over your Energy Management strategy. GNU remotecontrol is here to help simplify your life, not make it more complicated. Talk to us if you are stuck or cannot figure out the best option for your GNU remotecontrol framework. The chances are the answer you need is something we have already worked through. We would be happy to help you by discussing your situation with you.

…..UNTIL NEXT MONTH!

Newsletter – November 2013

THIS MONTH…..
-TRENDS
-EYE CATCHING
-DISCUSSIONS
-EXISTING CODE
-SECURITY
-LASTLY

-TRENDS
The stuff going on in the big picture now…..

US Bureau of Labor and Statistics, current and past average…..

Electricity Price per KWH

Year August September Trend % Change
2013 $0.137 $0.137 Same 0.00%
Year September Trend % Change % Since
2003 $0.098 Same 0.00% 0.00%
2004 $0.099 Increase 1.02% 1.02%
2005 $0.106 Increase 7.07% 8.16%
2006 $0.118 Increase 11.32% 20.41%
2007 $0.121 Increase 2.54% 23.47%
2008 $0.130 Increase 7.44% 32.65%
2009 $0.130 Same 0.00% 32.65%
2010 $0.132 Increase 1.54% 34.69%
2011 $0.135 Increase 2.27% 37.76%
2012 $0.133 Decrease -1.48% 35.71%
2013 $0.137 Increase 3.01% 39.80%

-EYE CATCHING
The stuff that has caught our eye…..

  • A report that the home energy management market is set to explode.
  • An article describing who will compete in the energy industry of the future.
  • An article illustrating the best way to prevent outages during a heat wave is to have a grid that can handle load reduction to the energy subscriber through demand response.
  • An article with viable recommendations of how to get consumers to adopt demand response.
  • An article explaining how the global economy sinks under its debts as the real cost of energy rises.
  • A report demonstrating that demand response is lacking customer participation.
  • A report that the smart thermostat market will grow tenfold by 2020.
  • A report finding energy efficient companies are growing in commercial influence.
  • An editorial on Hurricane Sandy in hindsight, considering how the grid could be protected from such extreme damage in the future.

-DISCUSSIONS
The stuff we are talking about now…..

OUR FIRST WEBINAR
GNU remotecontrol presented at the Smart Grid Educational Series on 31 October 2013. The series are hosted by Erfan Ibrahim, PhD. Dr. Ibrahim is the CEO of The Bit Bazaar, also serving as:
-Strategic Innovation Director of GridSTAR.
-Principal Consultant of the Energy Sector Practice for Scitor.

Over 70 people registered and over 40 people attended the event. The webinar is 1 hour 28 minutes in duration.

OTHER TYPES OF THERMOSTATS?
Many people have asked us about adding other types of thermostats to GNU remotecontrol. There are three questions that need to be answered before we can offer GNU remotecontrol support for any IP thermostat. These questions are:

  • How to CONNECT to it (NETWORK).
  • How to READ from it (CODE).
  • How to WRITE to it (CODE).

It is our hope to have dozens and dozens of thermostat types that work with GNU remotecontrol. Let us know if you designed or manufactured a device and you would like to test it with GNU remotecontrol.

-EXISTING CODE
The stuff you may want to consider…..

BUGS
We have 1 new bugs and 0 fixed bugs since our last Blog posting. Please review these changes and apply to your GNU remotecontrol installation, as appropriate.

TASKS
We have 0 new tasks and 0 completed tasks since our last Blog posting. Please review these changes and apply to your GNU remotecontrol installation, as appropriate.

-SECURITY
The stuff you REALLY want to consider…..

Z-WAVE
A presentation from the Black Hat Briefings – 2013 USA Conference describing hacking of Z-Wave Home Automation Systems.

TERRORISM: HOW VULNERABLE IS THE GRID?
An article describing an incident that brought the biggest damage to the energy industry yet and the object lesson that shutting down the grid is pretty easy.

REMEMBER
GNU remotecontrol relies on OS file access restrictions, Apache authentication, MySQL authentication, and SSL encryption to secure your data. Talk to us you want to find out how you can further strengthen the security of your system, or you have suggestions for improving the security of our current system architecture.

-LASTLY
Whatever you do…..don’t get beat up over your Energy Management strategy. GNU remotecontrol is here to help simplify your life, not make it more complicated. Talk to us if you are stuck or cannot figure out the best option for your GNU remotecontrol framework. The chances are the answer you need is something we have already worked through. We would be happy to help you by discussing your situation with you.

…..UNTIL NEXT MONTH!

Newsletter – October 2013

THIS MONTH…..
-TRENDS
-EYE CATCHING
-DISCUSSIONS
-EXISTING CODE
-SECURITY
-LASTLY

-TRENDS
The stuff going on in the big picture now…..

US Bureau of Labor and Statistics, current and past average…..

Electricity Price per KWH

Year July August Trend % Change
2013 $0.137 $0.137 Same 0.00%
Year August Trend % Change % Since
2003 $0.098 Same 0.00% 0.00%
2004 $0.100 Increase 2.04% 2.04%
2005 $0.105 Increase 5.00% 7.14%
2006 $0.118 Increase 12.38% 20.41%
2007 $0.121 Increase 2.54% 23.47%
2008 $0.132 Increase 9.09% 34.69%
2009 $0.130 Decrease -1.52% 32.65%
2010 $0.133 Increase 2.31% 35.71%
2011 $0.135 Increase 1.50% 37.76%
2012 $0.133 Decrease -1.48% 35.71%
2013 $0.137 Increase 3.01% 39.80%

-EYE CATCHING
The stuff that has caught our eye…..

  • An article from the Edison Electric Institute, regarding the financial implications and recommended strategic responses to the changing retail electric business.
  • An article from the BBC, about increasing energy bills for the elderly.
  • An article from the Wall Street Journal, illustrating the free market is the best generator of energy efficiency.
  • An article from the Wall Street Journal, explaining why energy efficiency is about to take major leap forward.
  • An article from the Wall Street Journal, describing how energy dashboards are entering the office cubicle.
  • An article from the Wall Street Journal, informing what and how utilities try to learn from smart meters.

-DISCUSSIONS
The stuff we are talking about now…..

RELEASE NEW VERSION
We released our first upgrade at the end of September. We are very happy with the SORTING and GROUPING functionality that is now added to the Thermostat Profile table. This new functionality makes it easier and faster to manage large numbers of thermostats. Talk to us if you have any further questions on this version release.

OTHER TYPES OF THERMOSTATS?
Many people have asked us about adding other types of thermostats to GNU remotecontrol. There are three questions that need to be answered before we can offer GNU remotecontrol support for any IP thermostat. These questions are:

  • How to CONNECT to it (NETWORK).
  • How to READ from it (CODE).
  • How to WRITE to it (CODE).

It is our hope to have dozens and dozens of thermostat types that work with GNU remotecontrol. Let us know if you designed or manufactured a device and you would like to test it with GNU remotecontrol.

-EXISTING CODE
The stuff you may want to consider…..

BUGS
We have 0 new bugs and 0 fixed bugs since our last Blog posting. Please review these changes and apply to your GNU remotecontrol installation, as appropriate.

TASKS
We have 0 new tasks and 7 completed tasks since our last Blog posting. Please review these changes and apply to your GNU remotecontrol installation, as appropriate.

-SECURITY
The stuff you REALLY want to consider…..

COMPROMISING INDUSTRIAL FACILITIES FROM FAR AWAY
A presentation from the Black Hat Briefings – 2013 USA Conference describing how to compromise industrial facilities from 40 miles away.

GNU remotecontrol relies on OS file access restrictions, Apache authentication, MySQL authentication, and SSL encryption to secure your data. Talk to us you want to find out how you can further strengthen the security of your system, or you have suggestions for improving the security of our current system architecture.

SMART GRID SPEAR PHISHING
An article illustrating higher security risks for companies with Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) systems, due to weaknesses in anti-phishing programs.

-LASTLY
Whatever you do…..don’t get beat up over your Energy Management strategy. GNU remotecontrol is here to help simplify your life, not make it more complicated. Talk to us if you are stuck or cannot figure out the best option for your GNU remotecontrol framework. The chances are the answer you need is something we have already worked through. We would be happy to help you by discussing your situation with you.

…..UNTIL NEXT MONTH!

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