Newsletter – December 2015

THIS MONTH…..

  • TRENDS
  • EYE CATCHING
  • ANNUAL PLAN
  • DISCUSSIONS
  • EXISTING CODE
  • SECURITY
  • LASTLY
TRENDSThe stuff going on in the big picture now

United States Electricity Price per KWH
Present and Past

 

September October Trend % Change
$0.141 $0.136 Decrease -3.55%

 

Year October Trend % Change % Since Difference
2005 $0.102 Same 0.00% 0.00% 0.00%
2006 $0.112 Increase 9.80% 9.80% 9.80%
2007 $0.117 Increase 4.46% 14.71% 4.90%
2008 $0.126 Increase 7.69% 23.53% 8.82%
2009 $0.126 Same 0.00% 23.53% 0.00%
2010 $0.127 Increase 0.79% 24.51% 0.98%
2011 $0.130 Increase 2.36% 27.45% 2.94%
2012 $0.128 Decrease -1.54% 25.49% -1.96%
2013 $0.132 Increase 3.13% 29.41% 3.92%
2014 $0.136 Increase 3.03% 33.33% 3.92%
2015 $0.136 Same 0.00% 33.33% 0.00%

 

 

United Kingdom Utility Prices
Present and Past

London_Night

London by night

EYE CATCHINGThe stuff that has caught our eye

Smart Grid – Consumer
An article explaining the average Smart Home in Europe is much more advanced compared to the average Smart Home in the United States. Another article identifying the Electric Power Research Institute preferences for the residential Smart Grid. Another article describing how the electrical industry is restricting fees associated with energy usage.

The trend is clear. Brining automation to all levels of miscellaneous electric loads is occurring now in both the United States and Europe. This automation is far more than only the residential network connected HVAC thermostat device. There is no doubt the interconnection of automation for both miscellaneous electrical loads and the residential network connected HVAC thermostat device will occur sooner than later.

ANNUAL PLAN

Status of our 2015 Plan

ModelViewController

  • We are in TESTING stage.
  • We are approximately 95% finished with TESTING.
  • We are testing with both Apache and Nginx.
  • We have decided to develop two more application features, to meet user defined automation preferences.
  • We expect to release the latest version before the end of 2015.
  • More work on the items addressed in the September 2015 newsletter.

Translation Subsystem

  • More work on the items addressed in the April 2015 newsletter.

ANSI C

  • More work on the items addressed in the April 2015 newsletter.

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

DISCUSSIONS

NEWSLETTER SCHEDULE CHANGE
The GNU remotecontrol Monthly Newsletter is going to a quarterly release schedule beginning in 2016. We will publish in March, June, September, and December. There are three reasons for this schedule change.

First, our research has determined the demand for the residential network connected HVAC thermostat device is at a standstill until the United States Supreme Court rules on the FEDERAL ENERGY REGULATORY COMMISSION v. ELECTRIC POWER SUPPLY ASSOCIATION, ET AL. case. This is a milestone legal decision. No one is certain how this case will be decided. The user does not know what they need to do and suppliers do not know what to build and sell until this case is decided. The industry is at a pause until the ruling is issued June 2016.

Second, it will take time for those interested in GNU remotecontrol to evaluate our latest release and decide how they want to implement the latest release. We expect laboratory and field testing will need both cool and warm months to get a concise review of the newest features in the latest release. It is likely those testing will want their own firsthand test results, requiring the seasons to change wherever they conduct their testing.

Third, the GNU remotecontrol team is extremely tired. We have spent many hours in meetings to understand how to mature the software project, capturing user desires, and deciding what to build for the latest release. The research and discussions paid off, as both the build and testing have each gone extremely well. The final result is much more than any of us originally envisioned. However, we need to physically and mentally rest to recover from the many hours we put in this year to accomplish this latest release. We plan to leverage the time waiting for the Supreme Court ruling and test results to come back by resting.

We will announce our 2016 Annual Plan in our next issue. Please contact us you if you need information shy of our new quarterly release schedule. Additionally, bug reports are always welcome.

TENFOLD
The majority of discussions we have with those interested in GNU remotecontrol are with those who use electrical heat to warm their premises. This is no surprise, as the average domestic energy consumption is higher for heating compared to cooling. The United States has an average of ten times more electrical demand for heating compared to cooling of the same premises. Add in the variable cost of electricity and the annual electric bill starts to make much more sense.

FEDERAL ENERGY REGULATORY COMMISSION v. ELECTRIC POWER SUPPLY ASSOCIATION, ET AL.
The hearing lasted one hour. The transcript of Case 14-840 shows there is much contention between the rights of the buyer and the authority of the commission. The hearing arguments did not clearly state which appendices were referenced in the case history. The following is an outline identifying eight key points of the hearing.

  • Page 12, lines 12 through 19 address the concern of forcing retail customers into the wholesale market.
  • Page 30, lines 20 through 25 and the first two lines of the next page clearly define how wholesale regulation is forcing the retail energy market to fail by forcing wholesale regulation upon the retail customer.
  • Page 35, lines 1 through 11 explain the judicial position of how this overlapping regulation will suffer the retail energy customer to have any rights provided by their domicile state.
  • Page 45, lines 19 through 24 address how the law of today is written from the states position.
  • Page 51, lines 10 through 13 illustrate the attempt to make the entire energy market circular and to regulate the circle. This construct is not a division between supply and demand by wholesale and retail customers.
  • Page 53, line 25 and the first seven lines of the next page clearly state the inability to find the answer to this FERC challenge because there are too many scenarios involved in any wholesale and retail market combination to ever justify complete regulation without suffering another preexisting right.
  • Page 55, lines 17 through 18 explain states may offer wholesale purchase options. However, this does not mean all states must offer this option. The challenge by the FERC is to force removal of state rights to regulate wholesale and retail energy markets.
  • Page 58, lines 8 through 14 address the present states rights.
  • Page 58, line 25 through the first three lines of the next page are extremely odd. A statement is made of what other states want, but no facts are presented to support this statement.

The court will rule in June 2016. The decision is expected to be either for FERC or ESPA. It does not seem likely the court will rule by way of a third option. This statement is supported by the premise there are other cases of similar nature pending before the court. This ruling would alleviate the need for any other similarly natured cases to be heard.

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 CODEThe 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.

SECURITYThe stuff you REALLY want to consider

SMART GRID CYBER ATTACKS
An article recommending separation between the pieces of a Controller Area Network (CAN) by illustrating the recent security compromise of an Internet connected automobile. CAN is the model for home automation connected to the Internet. The recommendation is to separate the various levels of the Smart Grid versus having a single system. The article then centers around how to define effectual security between levels by the statement, “formal security models for smart grids could be defined…” This statement affirms there is insufficient industry agreement today to implement security decisions involving the Smart Grid.

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!

Why the Affero GPL?

GNU Affero General Public License LOGO

GNU remotecontrol LOGO

Newsletter – November 2015

 

We are unable to accomplish timely completion of the November 2015 edition. We have decided to wait and publish the next edition in December 2015, instead of rushing to produce a lesser quality work. We apologize for any inconvenience caused by this decision. Please contact us if you have any questions or comments regarding our decision.

…..UNTIL NEXT MONTH!

Why the Affero GPL?

GNU Affero General Public License LOGO

GNU remotecontrol LOGO

Newsletter – October 2015

THIS MONTH…..

  • TRENDS
  • EYE CATCHING
  • ANNUAL PLAN
  • DISCUSSIONS
  • EXISTING CODE
  • SECURITY
  • LASTLY
TRENDSThe stuff going on in the big picture now

United States Electricity Price per KWH
Present and Past

 

July August Trend % Change
$0.142 $0.142 Same 0.00%

 

Year August Trend % Change % Since Difference
2005 $0.105 Same 0.00% 0.00% 0.00%
2006 $0.118 Increase 12.38% 12.38% 12.38%
2007 $0.121 Increase 2.54% 15.24% 2.86%
2008 $0.132 Increase 9.09% 25.71% 10.48%
2009 $0.130 Decrease -1.52% 23.81% -1.90%
2010 $0.133 Increase 2.31% 26.67% 2.86%
2011 $0.135 Increase 1.50% 28.57% 1.90%
2012 $0.133 Decrease -1.48% 26.67% -1.90%
2013 $0.137 Increase 3.01% 30.48% 3.81%
2014 $0.143 Increase 4.38% 36.19% 5.71%
2015 $0.142 Decrease -0.70% 35.24% -0.95%

 

United Kingdom Utility Prices
Present and Past

London_Night

London by night

EYE CATCHINGThe stuff that has caught our eye

Demand Response
Accenture and Siemens announced a large effort, a joint venture called OMNETRIC Group, focused on the Smart Grid. They are starting in Brazil and expect to grow throughout Latin America. Schneider Electric and IPKeys Technologies announced a smaller effort, a partnership to monitor energy performance in near real-time, track energy savings, and actively participate in automated Demand Response events. A recent report provides insight to the $3.45B USD in spending on Smart Grid efforts since 2009. Another report shows Asia is growing in Demand Response at a much faster rate than the United States. The 2nd Demand Response World Forum has considerably grown in scope since last year. The United States Supreme Court will hear arguments 14 October 2015 to decide who has the authority to regulate Demand Response in the United States.

The market growth and pending court decision for Demand Response indicate the quickly growth trend to achieve Demand Response, at least in the United States. It is unlikely the court will defer a ruling in need of more information. The court ruling will either give the authority to the Federal or State level. Industries and market sectors will quickly move to align with this pending ruling.

Smart Grid – Consumer
An article provides an example of how to deploy residential energy efficiency in the market of today. The example found the ability to achieve a 28% reduction in annual energy consumption. Comcast has partnered with Crius Energy to provide energy efficiency strategies for the residential HVAC thermostat. Emerson has released their Sensi Wi-Fi enabled residential HVAC thermostat.

The majority of the network connected residential HVAC thermostats do not provide the device owner any ability to directly access their own device, their own property. The thermostat device connects through the Internet to the device manufacturer and the device owner connects to the manufacturer through the Internet. This is fine, until the day comes when the manufacturer is out of business. Additionally, there is no standardization in connecting to the device. Each manufacturer has their own proprietary technology combination. The market trend is to sell the lowest priced thermostat device by means of an energy efficiency strategy, then try to connect the device to the growing Demand Response trend. This combination means the device owner has their information provided to the utility partnering with the device manufacturer to achieve any Demand Response effort. No data privacy rights are provided to the device owner.

Smart Grid – Producer
The United States Department of Energy released more Quadrennial Technology Review information. The report shows rapid change in the structuring of energy production and consumption. IEEE Smart Grid introduced a Smart Grid Framework. They have an idea to establish Smart Grid Domains and Sub-Domains. This framework will assist in accomplishing their Transactive Control idea.

The United States and IEEE are rapidly seeking to update the national electrical grid with automation. The standards and frameworks abound, to enable public utilities to mature and join the Smart Grid. There is little discussion of data privacy for the residential customer. The pending Supreme Court decision for Demand Response will most likely contain the only data privacy rights the residential customer will receive for a long, long time.

Smart Grid – Security
Nest has released their Weave communication protocol to the general public. The Nest effort is a direct challenge to the Apple HomeKit. Nest Weave works with Wi-Fi and the ZigBee interpretation from the Thread Group. Apple HomeKit works with both Wi-Fi and ZigBee. It is unclear who will have the final responsibility for security. GNU remotecontrol has voiced much concern about ZigBee.

It does seem strange no network connected residential HVAC thermostat device manufacturer can develop an end-to-end security strategy. If they can, then they are unwilling to present such a strategy. Determining liability in the event of a security compromise will be difficult, if not impossible, for those suffering from the security compromise.

ANNUAL PLAN

Status of our 2015 Plan

ModelViewController

  • We are in TESTING stage.
  • We are approximately 40% finished with TESTING.
  • We are testing with both Apache and Nginx.
  • More work on the items addressed in the September 2015 newsletter.

Translation Subsystem

  • More work on the items addressed in the April 2015 newsletter.

ANSI C

  • More work on the items addressed in the April 2015 newsletter.

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

DISCUSSIONS

THE GLOBAL NOBLE
We speak with people all over the world about energy efficiency. We are constantly amazed at how cold climate cultures have little to no idea about air conditioning, while warm climate cultures have little to no idea about heating. They both care about ventilation and relative humidity. The help received by the GNU remotecontrol project is also amazing. We calculated the total contribution of labor in the millions of USD. This is not unique to a software project. All the same, we take this opportunity to acknowledge the many contributions from well over a hundred people who have helped GNU remotecontrol arrive at this point. We expect to release our latest work by the end of 2015. It is taking longer than we expected, but it will be well worth the wait. All of the reviewers who have seen the work are quite pleased with the changes since version 1.1. We have every reason to expect the general public will be similarly pleased.

Please contact us, if you would like to participate in the completion of version 2.0.

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 CODEThe 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.

SECURITYThe stuff you REALLY want to consider

SMART HOME RISKS
A recent article explained how the Internet of Things is bringing substantial risk to the homeowner of today. The article does not excite fear mongering, but it does clearly explain how easy it is to access a home using poorly secured Smart Home technologies.

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!

Why the Affero GPL?

GNU Affero General Public License LOGO

GNU remotecontrol LOGO

Newsletter – September 2015

THIS MONTH…..

  • TRENDS
  • EYE CATCHING
  • ANNUAL PLAN
  • DISCUSSIONS
  • EXISTING CODE
  • SECURITY
  • LASTLY
TRENDSThe stuff going on in the big picture now

United States Electricity Price per KWH
Present and Past

 

June July Trend % Change
$0.143 $0.142 Decrease -0.70%

 

Year July Trend % Change % Since Difference
2005 $0.105 Same 0.00% 0.00% 0.00%
2006 $0.118 Increase 12.38% 12.38% 12.38%
2007 $0.122 Increase 3.39% 16.19% 3.81%
2008 $0.131 Increase 7.38% 24.76% 8.57%
2009 $0.131 Same 0.00% 24.76% 0.00%
2010 $0.133 Increase 1.53% 26.67% 1.90%
2011 $0.135 Increase 1.50% 28.57% 1.90%
2012 $0.133 Decrease -1.48% 26.67% -1.90%
2013 $0.137 Increase 3.01% 30.48% 3.81%
2014 $0.143 Increase 4.38% 36.19% 5.71%
2015 $0.142 Decrease -0.70% 35.24% -0.95%

 

United Kingdom Utility Prices
Present and Past

London_Night

London by night

EYE CATCHINGThe stuff that has caught our eye

Demand Response
A new technology standard has been produced by ASHRAE and NEMA. An article explains the term facility has been redefined by ASHRAE within this standard to broadly encompass residential, multi-residential, industrial, commercial and institutional buildings. This is paramount, as ASHRAE historically defines standards based upon the facility type. Another article emphasizes the ASHRAE logic to design the standard. Oddly, no interest is present to have information technology contribute to their standard. This is seen by an absence of any information technology references for adherence to other standards contained in their new standard. The standard is available for public review, at a behemoth 1,077 pages.

The absence of directly matching to existing technology standards for a comprehensive security model, in combination with the lengthy page count, means there is little potential this new standard will gain widespread traction. The standard will most likely be accepted by BACnet, the endorsed ASHRAE technology option. However, BACnet has no security model. A Financial Officer attempting to achieve a Cost Benefit Analysis for implementing this new technology standard will have their work cut out for them, as they must account for the cost of security when neither ASHRAE, BACnet, nor NEMA can provide them formulated guidance.

Smart Grid – Consumer
Nest has released the 3rd version of their thermostat device. An article reviews the new device. Another article finds shortcomings with the device. Nest states, “the Nest Learning Thermostat is on millions of walls in millions of homes around the world.” This statement is inexact, as their publicly stated position has their offering is only available in 7 countries. “If you choose to use Nest products outside the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Belgium, France, Ireland, or the Netherlands, you do so on your own initiative, and you are solely responsible for complying with applicable local laws in your country. To the extent permissible by law, Nest accepts no responsibility or liability for any damage or loss caused by use of Nest products in countries other than those listed above.”

The first cited article speaks of increasing competition in this market space. A recent study does find considerable competition in this space, with Honeywell and Nest scoring highest in ranking of Smart Thermostat vendors. A separate study finds Opower and Nest lead the Home Energy Management vendors market segment.

The evidence is clear. The consumer market increasingly wants a network enabled HVAC thermostat device in their residential premises. Nest is the leading thermostat device and energy management option, by far. It does seem odd the leader in this space does not have more to offer for energy management analysis and only has limited adoption by public utilities for testing viability. It seems the public utilities are not ready to use a third party to achieve consumer (residential) level Demand Response.

If this is the case, then the unwillingness of the public utility means Nest will never have widespread adoption, particularly for utility endorsed Demand Response. This means there is no offering for time-of-use pricing. The clearest message is the public utility must have more trust in any technology option compared to what they presently have in someone like either Nest or Honeywell. It is doubtful a public utility will ever find such trust. An entity such as Honeywell or Nest would have to become responsible for public infrastructure and the definition of a public utility would have to also change. This is highly unlikely. The public utility would do best to bring this responsibility in their house and under their control by using a freely available software offering to achieve large-scale network connected HVAC thermostat management.

Smart Grid – Producer
Japan has returned to using nuclear as a source of electricity. This return has not come without contention. The Japanese position is stated as one of recovery, meaning they cannot continue without nuclear as a source of electricity for their country either today or the foreseeable future. The years since the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster mean nothing in view of inadequate supply and rising demand for consumption. The message is clear; demand will win in any competition to determine acceptable supply options. The simpler option to increasing supply is to use efficiency to lower total demand.

ANNUAL PLAN

Status of our 2015 Plan

ModelViewController

  • We are in TESTING stage.
  • We are approximately 35% finished with TESTING.
  • The code is operating much faster now compared to version 1.1.
  • The user experience is enriched by an expanded set of capabilities in the user interface.

 

  • We have simplified index.php to have lesser fields for displaying thermostat profiles, through the usage of supporting web forms.
  • These additional web forms accommodate handling more information and separating information changing on a less frequent basis from the view of index.php page.
  • We have separated sensor calibration from the index.php page, to avoid any risk of inadvertently altering calibration settings.
  • We have achieved selecting thermostats by group functionality.
  • The outcome is only viewing what is necessary for changing HVAC control settings.

 

  • We maintain our position to release a subsequent version, 2.1, within six months of releasing v2.0, as we do not want to delay MVC from being available to the general public.

Translation Subsystem

  • More work on the items addressed in the April 2015 newsletter.

ANSI C

  • More work on the items addressed in the April 2015 newsletter.

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

DISCUSSIONS

DEVELOPMENT IS DONE!
We are pleased to announce development of GNU remotecontrol version 2.0 is complete. This milestone is no small task. We spent months considering what we have with the goal of coding to Model-View-Controller. We discussed, at length, what needs changing and how those changes need to occur. The code operates much faster compared to version 1.1 and has more features. The user experience is enriched by an expanded set of capabilities in the user interface.

We have arrived at a point of both satisfaction and surprise. Satisfaction with the work accomplished, while surprised at the results. We see small changes to the user interface with large changes to the code running the user interface. The overall look and feel is similar, but there are significant changes to the flow of using the user interface. We are now much better positioned to accomplish far-reaching unattended sever side automation. The effort to code for Model-View-Controller has paid off. We now have more capabilities with less effort to deliver those capabilities. More to come, stay tuned!

Please contact us, if you would like to participate in the completion of version 2.0.

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 CODEThe 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.

SECURITYThe stuff you REALLY want to consider

THE MISSING SECTION
A report detailing the structure and size of the home area network (HAN) market does not address the key question of comprehensive security. The report is valuable to understand the market players, but does not identify how to safely implement HAN technologies through a trusted or untrusted network. The assumption is this is covered by a vendor, but this assumption is not clearly stated.

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!

Why the Affero GPL?

GNU Affero General Public License LOGO

GNU remotecontrol LOGO

Newsletter – August 2015

THIS MONTH…..

  • TRENDS
  • EYE CATCHING
  • ANNUAL PLAN
  • DISCUSSIONS
  • EXISTING CODE
  • SECURITY
  • LASTLY
TRENDSThe stuff going on in the big picture now

United States Electricity Price per KWH
Present and Past

 

May June Trend % Change
$0.137 $0.143 Increase 4.38%

 

Year June Trend % Change % Since Difference
2005 $0.104 Same 0.00% 0.00% 0.00%
2006 $0.118 Increase 13.46% 13.46% 13.46%
2007 $0.122 Increase 3.39% 17.31% 3.85%
2008 $0.128 Increase 4.92% 23.08% 5.77%
2009 $0.132 Increase 3.13% 26.92% 3.85%
2010 $0.132 Same 0.00% 26.92% 0.00%
2011 $0.134 Increase 1.52% 28.85% 1.92%
2012 $0.135 Increase 0.75% 29.81% 0.96%
2013 $0.137 Increase 1.48% 31.73% 1.92%
2014 $0.143 Increase 4.38% 37.50% 5.77%
2015 $0.143 Same 0.00% 37.50% 0.00%

 

United Kingdom Utility Prices
Present and Past

London_Night

London by night

EYE CATCHINGThe stuff that has caught our eye

Demand Response
The push to determine authority for the topic of Demand Response seldom has a boring moment. An article describing the legal briefs to establish Demand Response authority demonstrate the intense desire to capture this segment of the up and coming Smart Grid. A commentary on the Demand Response topic found there is little chance of Demand Response not occurring with an established Smart Grid. California has recently approved a significant rate structure reform plan for residential electricity cost, centering around the time of use policy for achieving Demand Response. An analysis of commercial property using Demand Response found the necessity to earn a tax credit is in the automation aspect of Demand Response. AVEVA entered a sale of assets to Schneider Electric, for automating industrial efforts to help design and operate engineering projects. This move is clearly positioning Schneider to accomplish Demand Response for managing energy production in relationship to time of use pricing for any energy customer.

There is no doubt the insistence to have FERC Order 745 approved by the Supreme Court as valid authority has the attention of all involved in the Smart Grid. The suitable pursuit of an organization positioning their connection to the Smart Grid is led by both participation cost and data privacy. The latter is more likely the determining factor in participation cost, as data privacy involves both security against and liability for suffering a data breech. The struggle to define valid authority is a clear indication the future of the Smart Grid will have Demand Response not only as a part of the Smart Grid but most likely a mandate of the next generation national electrical grid.

Smart Grid – Consumer
A recent article found nearly half of the network enabled HVAC thermostats sold are connected two-way thermostats, opening up many options for utilities. Even some telecommunication companies are selling network connected HVAC thermostats as a package to help sell other offerings. The dominant player in this space is undoubtedly Nest. Nest is not sold on a global basis, but in about a half-dozen countries. This small footprint means the network enabled HVAC thermostat is not a globally needed technology in the global market of today. A segment of the global market clearly wants network connected technologies, but assembling them in a wise manner is a bit of a challenge. A recent article found technologies can assist to operate a home but do not necessarily make life easier. The recent Electric Utility Residential Customer Satisfaction Study found ongoing communication efforts and increased price satisfaction are key drivers behind the third consecutive year of improved overall customer satisfaction with residential electric utility companies.

The electricity of today does not contain any more or less efficiency characteristics compared to the electricity of yesterday. The progressively increasing cost of electricity is more than a rise in a regional cost of living. It is a rise in the cost to produce electricity and prepare to join the Smart Grid. It is highly unlikely any electricity customer will continue to pay more for the same offering and not receive some type of additional benefit. The offering of additional information to the customer, relevant to their purchasing of electricity, is a cost effective choice for the electricity producer. Defining and delivering this information seems to be the public debate now, but without the interest to actually supply the information due to lack of technologies to know and explain electricity consumption. It is a circular debate.

Smart Grid – Producer
A cellular service company has adopted the mindset of smart-grid-as-a-service as a cloud-hosted platform meant to connect Smart Metering, Demand Response, Meter Data Management, and Distribution Monitoring and Control under as single provider. The privacy of customer data is a concern with this offering. The Wi-SUN Alliance announced collaboration with India and their effort to upgrade their national electrical grid within a decade. The Wi-SUN Alliance seeks to advance seamless connectivity by promoting IEEE 802.15.4g, otherwise known as ZigBee. GNU remotecontrol has voiced concern about ZigBee and maintains this position. Nest also uses ZigBee, as do most Smart Meters. However, having ZigBee on the device does not necessarily mean ZigBee is enabled. The problem is knowing if and when ZigBee was enabled on a device. This is the crux of the concern with ZigBee, followed by their poor security model. An article by Harvard Business Review brings the matter into focus. The world has much more heat being contributed by computing technologies. This invariably means heat will cause the need for cooling of the computers. The article offers what is called a framework for revenue resilience, providing protection against volatility in energy demand.

Regardless the ability to dissipate the heat, the cost to dissipate the increased amount of heat means an impact to organizational revenue streams. Cost of either a wired or wireless connection must be measured by the total cost of ownership, to determine the lifecycle costs. Participation in the Smart Grid can occur in many forms, both small and large. It is a wiser choice to not join the Smart Grid until the total cost of ownership is calculated, including a suitable end-to-end security plan.

ANNUAL PLAN

Status of our 2015 Plan

ModelViewController

  • We are in development stage.
  • We are approximately 85% finished with development.
  • We have simplified index.php to have lesser fields for displaying thermostat profiles, through the usage of supporting web forms.
  • These additional web forms accommodate handling more information and separating information changing on a less frequent basis from the view of index.php page.
  • We have separated sensor calibration from the index.php page, to avoid any risk of inadvertently altering calibration settings.
  • We have achieved selecting thermostats by group functionality.
  • The outcome is only viewing what is necessary for changing HVAC control settings.
  • We are prepared to immediately enter structured system testing, upon completion of development.
  • We maintain our position to release a subsequent version, 2.1, within six months of releasing v2.0, as we do not want to delay MVC from being available to the general public.

Translation Subsystem

  • More work on the items addressed in the April 2015 newsletter.

ANSI C

  • More work on the items addressed in the April 2015 newsletter.

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

DISCUSSIONS

DEEP IN DEVELOPMENT
Our primary goal now is to deliver version 2.0 of GNU remotecontrol. All effort as of late is centered around this goal.

Please contact us, if you would like to participate in the completion of version 2.0.

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 CODEThe 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.

SECURITYThe stuff you REALLY want to consider

BUSINESS BLACKOUT
A report into the insurance implications of a wide-scale cyber-attack on the US energy sector reveals just how costly the breach would be for government and insurers. A Stuxnet-style attack on US Smart Grid could cost $1 trillion USD to repair. The need to upgrade the national electrical grid is clear. The speed to accomplish this upgrade seems to be happening too slow, as an upgraded national electrical grid would not only be more resilient against attack but it would also most likely suffer a lesser impact of the attack. The FERC is considering how to address new cyber threats in updated reliability standards. However, they seem to be quite behind in providing any form of viable assistance either today or in the near future.

Selecting appropriate technology standards is a paramount decision for successfully joining the Smart Grid. Perhaps the most important characteristic of an appropriate technology standard is the security model for each standard implemented for any interface with the Smart Grid. It is a wiser choice to not join the Smart Grid until end-to-end security is established for any organization participating with the Smart Grid.

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!

Why the Affero GPL?

GNU Affero General Public License LOGO

GNU remotecontrol LOGO

Newsletter – July 2015

THIS MONTH…..

  • TRENDS
  • EYE CATCHING
  • ANNUAL PLAN
  • DISCUSSIONS
  • EXISTING CODE
  • SECURITY
  • LASTLY
TRENDSThe stuff going on in the big picture now

United States Electricity Price per KWH
Present and Past

April May Trend % Change
$0.137 $0.137 Same 0.00%
Year May Trend % Change % Since Difference
2005 $0.097 Same 0.00% 0.00% 0.00%
2006 $0.110 Increase 13.40% 13.40% 13.40%
2007 $0.115 Increase 4.55% 18.56% 5.15%
2008 $0.120 Increase 4.35% 23.71% 5.15%
2009 $0.126 Increase 5.00% 29.90% 6.19%
2010 $0.127 Increase 0.79% 30.93% 1.03%
2011 $0.129 Increase 1.57% 32.99% 2.06%
2012 $0.129 Same 0.00% 32.99% 0.00%
2013 $0.131 Increase 1.55% 35.05% 2.06%
2014 $0.136 Increase 3.82% 40.21% 5.15%
2015 $0.137 Increase 0.74% 41.24% 1.03%

 

United Kingdom Utility Prices
Present and Past

London_Night

London by night

EYE CATCHINGThe stuff that has caught our eye

Demand Response
The clear message in play now, from many sources, is Demand Response has a money problem. The problem seems to be driven by not having a sound financial plan to replace thousands of miles of supply and distribution lines with new technologies called the Smart Grid. This problem is no surprise, as any sound strategy involves both supply and execution planning. A recent decision has approved substantial modifications to a capacity market framework, known as the Reliability Pricing Model (RPM). Many industry observers believe this decision will lead to substantial increases in capacity prices, spurring the development of Demand Response resources. Another article affirms Demand Response spending has officially stalled. “Leadership of the utility sector has really embraced energy efficiency as a core part of their business…” They now have to find the willingness to spend money. A consistent article holds the position Demand Response is key to utilities’ survival. This is a strong statement, but a well-supported argument justifies this position. GNU remotecontrol maintains our long held position, as stated in our 2014 FSF interview, the success of the Smart Grid, in the context of the network connected HVAC thermostat, requires a team of the financial officer, mechanical engineer, and information technology to find how to make the Smart Grid a sustainable reality.

Smart Grid – Consumer
An article reports the national electrical grid is getting smarter, but the average consumer customer is not realizing the benefits. This condition is due to the presence of electric meters speaking with the Smart Grid, though not too many appliances and devices in the customer residence. This condition is caused by a lack of clear interoperable standards enabling mass production and commoditization of appliances and devices. A short-term gain can be realized by helping customers see in their electric bill how lesser spending impacts their purchasing value. This gain is realized by improved customer relation management on the part of the electricity provider. This gain also positions the electricity provider to better respond when appliances and devices begin to become part of the Smart Grid. A related article finds Google Nest is providing more devices for sale, but not providing energy management applications, let alone application capabilities including security, convenience and connectivity. A relevant article finds the Apple Siri Smart Home has stumbled from their launch, from design failures causing tenuous reliability. This is a clear pattern money and size, alone or combined, do not necessarily deliver a viable network connected HVAC thermostat management strategy, let alone a software application.

Smart Grid – Producer
A recent study found consumers are not unjustified to waive weatherization subsidies, to achieve energy efficiency. This finding is determined as the return on the investment is not enough to justify the investment expense. Again, strong evidence the consumer is mindful of the cost to achieve efficiency and is pursuing more viable options. A related article found little to no economic value gained by in-home displays for implementing time-of-use electricity pricing plans. People are not willing to stand and wait for a message to purchase electricity at a lower rate. Another delivery mechanism must be found to offer the lower purchase rate. A recent report provides recommendations of how to effectively achieve time-of-use electricity pricing plans. Again, the source of the problem to find energy efficiency is a financial problem, due to not offering what people want to purchase in the manner they want to purchase. This is more than a marketing or technology problem.

ANNUAL PLAN

Status of our 2015 Plan

ModelViewController

  • We are in development stage.
  • We are approximately 80% finished with development.
  • We have simplified index.php to have lesser fields for displaying thermostat profiles, through the usage of supporting web forms.
  • These additional web forms accommodate handling more information and separating information changing on a less frequent basis from the view of index.php page.
  • We have separated sensor calibration from the index.php page, to avoid any risk of inadvertently altering calibration settings.
  • We have achieved selecting thermostats by group functionality.
  • The outcome is only viewing what is necessary for changing HVAC control settings.
  • We are prepared to immediately enter structured system testing, upon completion of development.
  • We maintain our position to release a subsequent version, 2.1, within six months of releasing v2.0, as we do not want to delay MVC from being available to the general public.

Translation Subsystem

  • More work on the items addressed in the April 2015 newsletter.

ANSI C

  • More work on the items addressed in the April 2015 newsletter.

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

DISCUSSIONS

VISUALIZATION
Our efforts to read from and write to the network connected HVAC thermostat, in combination with gathering data from weather stations, has resulted in identifying usage patterns we did not expect. Visualization has helped us identity these patterns. Specifically, the ability to know with a considerable amount of accuracy how much energy it will take to either heat or cool a facility, based upon historical run time of the equipment. A pertinent article addressed the benefits of visualization. We have rendered the data we have collected in various graphs and charts. An excellent example of successfully combining data and visualization is the Chesapeake Bay Interpretive Buoy System. We see no reason not to include visualization in GNU remotecontrol. We have decided to include this visualization functionality in a future release. We estimate this functionality will be developed and released in either version 2.2 or 3.0, depending upon user feedback.

Please contact us, if you would like to participate in the completion of version 2.0.

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 CODEThe 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.

SECURITYThe stuff you REALLY want to consider

ASSET MANAGEMENT
A common security threat is one computer posing as another computer. This is also true at the device level. We identify the need to mature the firmware running on all known network connected HVAC thermostats, to have improved security capabilities. We are discussing this need now, both internally and externally, to determine how we can better assist with providing security measures to prevent against any form of thermostat hijacking. We first discussed this concept in our February 2013 edition. The risk of convenience through remote access is too great of risk to bear, given the impact of nefarious activity with your HVAC system.

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!

Why the Affero GPL?

GNU Affero General Public License LOGO

GNU remotecontrol LOGO

Newsletter – June 2015

THIS MONTH…..

  • TRENDS
  • EYE CATCHING
  • ANNUAL PLAN
  • DISCUSSIONS
  • EXISTING CODE
  • SECURITY
  • LASTLY
 TRENDSThe stuff going on in the big picture now

United States Electricity Price per KWH
Present and Past

 

March April Trend % Change
$0.136 $0.137 Increase 0.74%

 

Year April Trend % Change % Since Difference
2005 $0.095 Same 0.00% 0.00% 0.00%
2006 $0.109 Increase 14.74% 14.74% 14.74%
2007 $0.113 Increase 3.67% 18.95% 4.21%
2008 $0.118 Increase 4.42% 24.21% 5.26%
2009 $0.125 Increase 5.93% 31.58% 7.37%
2010 $0.126 Increase 0.80% 32.63% 1.05%
2011 $0.127 Increase 0.79% 33.68% 1.05%
2012 $0.127 Same 0.00% 33.68% 0.00%
2013 $0.128 Increase 0.79% 34.74% 1.05%
2014 $0.131 Increase 2.34% 37.89% 3.16%
2015 $0.137 Increase 4.58% 44.21% 6.32%

United Kingdom Utility Prices
Present and Past

London by night, seen from the International Space Station

EYE CATCHINGThe stuff that has caught our eye

Demand Response
An article, considering the possible outcomes of the case to decide Demand Response authority in the United States, seems to hold credible reasoning. The CME Group now defines its weather derivatives offering as energy products. A weather derivate is a strategy to reduce adverse or unexpected weather conditions harming organizations or individuals. The trend is the awareness of cost for either heating or cooling a premises is becoming more valuable to more people. The Nagios plugin developed by GNU remotecontrol, for weather monitoring, has the ability to monitor and record weather related information since the beginning of the software project. Access to real time and recorded weather related information is necessary for effectively accomplishing any heating or cooling strategy. A recent illustration of how these topics intersect is considering the challenges faced by the Indian Smart City project.

Power Line Communication
An article, explaining the operation of Power Line Communication and the challenges faced to implement the technology in the residential premise helps to understand why the technology is not yet widely adopted. It is likely this technology will be the dominant player in the Smart Grid home networking segment. Cost and form factor seem to be the biggest barriers holding back wide spread adoption, in combination with the desire to have improved security for remote management capabilities. This is a matter of either maturing the standard or maturing partner standards to accomplish the desired capability.

Smart Grid – Consumer
An article, describing a recent study for a revised rate plan. The findings show a lower cost, based upon time-based pricing, does cause a buyer to purchase at a lower rate, therefore the alternate time for the purchase. This is surprising, because of the long held argument a larger discount must be offered to sway purchasing patterns. A supporting article affirms timing is the best pattern for planning a rate revision. Another supporting article details the growing implementation of meters connected to the Smart Grid. This is more collective evidence the cost of energy is in the forefront of buyer thinking.

Smart Grid – Producer
An article, finding customer satisfaction in their utility provider is decreasing. Customer preferences for increased satisfaction include investing in customer service, improved web portals, mobile applications, efficiency offerings, high-bill alerts, and outage updates. Energy reliability is clearly the second most important category, though surprising it is not the first. Another article reports retail energy executives see opportunity in this age of customers driving the strategic planning of the energy business. This trend matches a new FERC commissioner taking over leadership, as it is a change in political party.

Smart Grid – Security
An article, describing the failure of the Open Smart Grid Protocol. Another article, emphasizing the security necessary for the protected Smart Grid is more about overall design than any particular feature. This position matches recent market research, finding a widespread lack of trust in energy gadget security measures. If the Smart Grid is going to be realized, security must become a greater concern to product manufactures.

ANNUAL PLAN

Status of our 2015 Plan

ModelViewController

  • We are in development stage.
  • We are approximately 80% finished with development.
  • We have simplified index.php to have lesser fields for displaying thermostat profiles, through the usage of supporting web forms.
  • These additional web forms accommodate handling more information and separating information changing on a less frequent basis from the view of index.php page.
  • We have separated sensor calibration from the index.php page, to avoid any risk of inadvertently altering calibration settings.
  • We have achieved selecting thermostats by group functionality.
  • The outcome is only viewing what is necessary for changing HVAC control settings.
  • We are prepared to immediately enter structured system testing, upon completion of development.
  • We maintain our position to release a subsequent version, 2.1, within six months of releasing v2.0, as we do not want to delay MVC from being available to the general public.

Translation Subsystem

  • More work on the items addressed in the April 2015 newsletter.

ANSI C

  • More work on the items addressed in the April 2015 newsletter.

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

DISCUSSIONS

ALWAYS ON TECHNOLOGIES
A recent article with estimations of energy consumption show the technologies in constant operation are collectively consuming a larger and larger share of the national energy consumption. The inability to measure at the device level prevents accurate consumption readings. However, given the trend to have more electronic devices in constant operation, it is clear the rise in consumption will need either more production or experience higher prices.

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 CODEThe 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 3 new tasks and 0 completed tasks since our last Blog posting. Please review these changes and apply to your GNU remotecontrol installation, as appropriate.

SECURITYThe stuff you REALLY want to consider

LOGJAM ATTACK
An article, identifying several weaknesses in how Diffie-Hellman key exchange has been deployed. The Diffie-Hellman key exchange is a popular cryptographic algorithm allowing Internet protocols to agree on a shared key and negotiate a secure connection. It is fundamental to many protocols including HTTPS and protocols relying on TLS. It is doubtful a system on a chip could individually defend against an Internet facing threat. The need for accomplishing the protected Smart Grid is more about overall design than any particular feature.

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!

Why the Affero GPL?

GNU Affero General Public License LOGO

GNU remotecontrol LOGO

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