Newsletter – June 2016

THIS MONTH…..

  • TRENDS
  • EYE CATCHING
  • DISCUSSIONS
  • WORK PACKAGE PHASES
  • PROJECT NEEDS
  • EXISTING CODE
  • LASTLY
TRENDS

United States Electricity Price per KWH
Present and Past

EYE CATCHING

Demand Response
An article reporting Opower is financially declining, the press release Oracle purchased Opower, and the statement Opower reads sixty million utility end customers. A press release announcing Johnson Controls has sold their integrated demand response business unit. A white paper offering utilities a five-step blueprint to successfully managing distributed resources. An article to identity who remains in the next generation energy distribution industry. An article considering the financial merit of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. An announcement Weather Bug has launched a residential energy efficiency program along with an optional offering to normalize data.

GNU remotecontrol has stopped tracking the number of Smart Grid projects launched in the past six months. The numbers are staggering to consider. The industry experiencing a large number of mergers and acquisitions, along with considerable financial expenditure in the past decade, provide abundant evidence many financial currencies are moving at a rapid velocity in the energy distribution and efficiency segments. Substantial electronics supplier shifts and security compromises are also occurring.

Nest
We devote a section of focused communication in this newsletter edition regarding Nest Labs by considering their organizational structure. Nest announced they have over fifty business partners provided valued-added offerings to residential customers. Greg Duffy accused Tony Fadell of “insulting” Dropcam employees who had joined Nest as part of the takeover. An article considered if Nest is going to survive in light of their organizational strategy. The announcement Fadell has resigned came with both scrutiny and concern.

The electronics industry designs and manufactures HVAC thermostats. The absence of an internationally accepted technology standard for the residential network connected HVAC thermostat prohibits interoperability across technology implementations. Our June 2014 edition addressed Dynamic Demand Response. We have repeatedly addressed the need to develop an internationally accepted technology standard for the residential network connected HVAC thermostat. If the dominant player in the residential network connected HVAC thermostat arena cannot successfully operate their organization, then the market will experience a new dominant player. The resulting market shifts will ripple into waves.

Smart Grid – Consumer
An article reporting 2007 and 2015 residential power sales accounted for 37.7% of all retail electricity sales with a 1.1% sales decrease in 2015. An article identifying massive strides accomplished by Singapore for establishing a Smart City. Both the UK and Australia have launched new Smart Grid efforts.

Smart Grid – Producer
The International Trade Associations 2016 Smart Grid Top Markets report ranks thirty-four international markets in terms of growth potential for the United States Smart Grid industry. The United States Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in a consolidated case examining state incentives to construct new power plants and whether those incentives would distort federal power markets under the jurisdiction of the Federal Energy Regulatory Committee. This case does not seem to redefine the Federal Energy Regulatory Committee but could based upon the case ruling.

Smart Grid – Security
The documented events of a team compromising electrical grid security with a video overview. The Energy Systems Integration group presented insecure field devices on the Smart Grid involving risks, damage potential, and practical solutions by using the Ukraine and Crimea security compromises as an example. The United States Congress held hearings on Smart Grid security to understand the US position in light of the Ukraine and Crimea events. The hearings have determined the utility industry members saying it is a matter of several hours to a few days to resolve the type of attack experienced by Ukraine and Crimea. The same hearings found the information technology industry members saying it is a matter of several days to a few weeks to resolve the type of attack experienced by Ukraine and Crimea. The differences between hours, days, and weeks show the utility and information technology industries are not in agreement.

DISCUSSIONS

RELEASED
GNU remotecontrol version 2.0 is released. Announcements were made by both email and news postings. The user manual explains the many improvements and new features. We identified in the March 2016 newsletter edition the next steps for the software project. The combined legislative, court, and market events leave no doubt the desire for interconnection of residential HVAC thermostats will become commonplace.

WORK PACKAGE PHASES

GNU remotecontrol accomplishes productive work output through structured work packages. This approach helps to organize our efforts and keep things on track to achieve publishing our work. We have ten different phases for our work packages.

GNU remotecontrol Work Package Phases

Order Label Name
1 REQ Requirements
2 DSG Design
3 DEV Development
4 UNT Unit Testing
5 SYS System Testing
6 UAT User Acceptance Testing
7 DOC Documentation
8 RLS Release
9 TRN Training
10 SPT Support

The GNU remotecontrol team does not perform any work output outside of structured work packages.

PROJECT NEEDS

Staffing
GNU remotecontrol Project Help Wanted

https://savannah.gnu.org/people/?group=remotecontrol

New 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.

EXISTING CODE

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.

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 – March 2016

THIS MONTH…..

  • TRENDS
  • EYE CATCHING
  • DISCUSSIONS
  • WORK PACKAGE PHASES
  • PROJECT NEEDS
  • EXISTING CODE
  • LASTLY
TRENDS

United States Electricity Price per KWH
Present and Past

December January Trend % Change
$0.133 $0.134 Increase 0.75%

 

Year January Trend % Change % Since Difference
2006 $0.108 Same 0.00% 0.00% 0.00%
2007 $0.113 Increase 4.63% 4.63% 4.63%
2008 $0.116 Increase 2.65% 7.41% 2.78%
2009 $0.126 Increase 8.62% 16.67% 9.26%
2010 $0.124 Decrease -1.59% 14.81% -1.85%
2011 $0.125 Increase 0.81% 15.74% 0.93%
2012 $0.128 Increase 2.40% 18.52% 2.78%
2013 $0.129 Increase 0.78% 19.44% 0.93%
2014 $0.134 Increase 3.88% 24.07% 4.63%
2015 $0.138 Increase 2.99% 27.78% 3.70%
2016 $0.134 Decrease -2.90% 24.07% -3.70%

 

EYE CATCHING

Demand Response
An announcement from OpenADR of their program guide, providing templates for the most common DR programs. A survey finding energy efficiency is the most preferred new revenue stream for energy distribution providers. The United States Supreme court ruled in favor of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission on 25 January 2016. This ruling came at the surprise of many, who expected the ruling to be issued June 2016. A commentary identified the ruling does not mean the end of all tensions between state and federal regulations. States may still be able to prohibit or limit participation in demand response markets. The FERC quickly issued a Notice of Inquiry (NOI) on possible rule changes addressing the provision of primary frequency response service and compensation for those providing the service.

The United States has entered unknown waters to balance supply and demand of energy markets by mixing wholesale and retail markets under a single price regulation structure. It is unclear if the FERC ruling will provide faster adoption of DR, as the Supreme Court has ruled FERC has statute authority to implement nationalized DR efforts, or if the markets will stall to limit financial risk exposure from the unclear impact of this ruling. What is clear is the federal government has authoritatively moved to implement nationalized DR and the United States will have a Smart Grid, whether the people or the markets want the Smart Grid.

Smart Grid – Consumer
An article sharing the Nest thermostat suffered a firmware deficiency which emptied the charge in the thermostat device batteries, deactivating the device. The problem was suffered in the UK where pipes were likely to freeze and burst. Another article shared users abandoned their Nest thermostat device due to a loss of confidence. An article describing the Schneider Electric release of their first wireless networked enabled thermostat device. An article Nest is ending their MyEnergy service, acquired in May 2013, informing users they must now get the same data from their energy provider.

The United States moving to implement nationalized DR will help sell more smart thermostats and help DR service providers sell more of their services. The lack of standardization for the network connected HVAC thermostat device means more products will most likely have performance problems, simply by having less eyes evaluate the hardware and software running these devices, as the manufacturers have proprietary technology. A manufacturer ending a service to further usage of a network connected device is not necessarily bad, as the manufacturer is not bound to offer the service forever. The message the device owner will now need to get this information from their energy provider is more evidence nationalized DR is coming sooner than later, as the Supreme Court just rapidly accelerated the implementation effort.

DISCUSSIONS

FINISHED
GNU remotecontrol version 2.0 is finished. We spent time after the holidays up to now developing a few last features and polishing the user interface. We have completed the documentation. Our team is doing the last read on the documentation, to see if we missed anything. We will package and announce release of the new version only by project news and email.

NEXT
We have received contact from people in fifty-six different countries about GNU remotecontrol. We are excited to have such an interest in the project. We focus our excitement to further develop our skills and increase our work output. The accomplishment of getting version 2.0 structured as Model-View-Controller enables us to now work on requests we have not yet accomplished. Scanning the horizon of what we can do in comparison to what we have been asked to do is always entertaining. The list of work we could do next is:

We know satisfactorily meeting the bulk of requests put to us requires addressing the obvious need to improve the firmware on the thermostat device. The market does not have a solid firmware offering, but a collection of ideas here and there across multiple electronics manufacturers. Standardization of the thermostat device would promote adoption of the network connected thermostat device. Therefore, GNU remotecontrol has begun to build firmware for the network connected HVAC thermostat device.

FIRMWARE
The GNU remotecontrol team has discussed since early 2014 the need to improve the firmware operating the thermostat device. It is doubtful any market will grow until standardization occurs and enables manufacturers to produce their product offerings with increased cost effectiveness by leveraging product interoperability. This scenario occurred when Ethernet was adopted in the early 1990s, rapidly accelerating user ability to use the Internet. We expect the network connected HVAC thermostat device will one day be standardized in the electronics industry through an internationally accepted technology standard. GNU remotecontrol is contributing to the arrival of this day by developing firmware for the thermostat device. Stay tuned for more information.

WORK PACKAGE PHASES

GNU remotecontrol accomplishes productive work output through structured work packages. This approach helps to organize our efforts and keep things on track to achieve publishing our work. We have ten different phases for our work packages.

GNU remotecontrol Work Package Phases

Order Label Name
1 REQ Requirements
2 DSG Design
3 DEV Development
4 UNT Unit Testing
5 SYS System Testing
6 UAT User Acceptance Testing
7 DOC Documentation
8 RLS Release
9 TRN Training
10 SPT Support

The GNU remotecontrol team does not perform any work output outside of structured work packages.

PROJECT NEEDS

Staffing
GNU remotecontrol Project Help Wanted

https://savannah.gnu.org/people/?group=remotecontrol

New 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.

EXISTING CODE

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.

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 – 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. Bringing 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

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