Newsletter – February 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

Current and Past

November December Trend % Change
$0.134 $0.135 Increase 0.75%
Year December Trend % Change % Since Difference
2004 $0.092 Same 0.00% 0.00% 0.00%
2005 $0.102 Increase 10.87% 10.87% 10.87%
2006 $0.110 Increase 7.84% 19.57% 8.70%
2007 $0.115 Increase 4.55% 25.00% 5.43%
2008 $0.124 Increase 7.83% 34.78% 9.78%
2009 $0.124 Same 0.00% 34.78% 0.00%
2010 $0.125 Increase 0.81% 35.87% 1.09%
2011 $0.127 Increase 1.60% 38.04% 2.17%
2012 $0.127 Same 0.00% 38.04% 0.00%
2013 $0.131 Increase 3.15% 42.39% 4.35%
2014 $0.135 Increase 3.05% 46.74% 4.35%

United Kingdom Utility Prices

Current and Past

London by night, seen from the International Space Station

EYE CATCHINGThe stuff that has caught our eye

Demand Response

  • An article, explaining the jurisdiction aspect of FERC Order 745.
  • An announcement, Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) has released an open source Demand Response software project in conjunction with OpenADR.
  • An article, describing a United State Department of Energy report finding FERC is severely lacking in controlling and protecting sensitive, non-public information.
  • A perspective, of how Demand Response will shape the future of energy.
  • An article, describing the structural change occurring within the power industry going from supply management to demand management.
  • An announcement, OpenADR now has a deployment map and product database.

Smart Grid – Consumer

  • An announcement, Ecobee and Carrier have expanded their strategic relationship.
  • An article, explaining specific energy gadgets yesterday and integrated home energy management services are today.
  • A report, finding a remotely administrated HVAC thermostat can reduce energy usage by seventeen percent.

Smart Grid – Producer

  • A report, explaining the degree of Outage Management System success is directly dependent on the degree of intergeneration with Smart Grid information technologies.
  • A survey, of electric industry executives, capturing their perspective of the future electric industry.
ANNUAL PLAN

Status of our 2015 Plan

Model-View-Controller

  • Developing a data abstraction layer.
  • Refactoring remaining code.
  • Effort is over seventy-five percent complete.

Translation Subsystem

  • This effort is dependent upon successful completion of the MVC effort.
  • This effort is over fifty percent complete.

ANSI C

  • Further discussions with the members of the electronics industry.
  • Developing a specification for an internationally accepted technology standard for the residential network connected HVAC thermostat.
  • Developing a specification for the firmware to operate the internationally accepted residential network connected HVAC thermostat.

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

DISCUSSIONS

FIRMWARE

We have started a journey to design and build firmware for an internationally accepted residential network connected HVAC thermostat. The hardware to be operated by this firmware is still unclear. We see this firmware can operate in a virtual machine, a System on a Chip, and few other abstract concepts we are still working to define. The success of this effort will put more traction to HVAC hardware manufacturing , enabling HVAC hardware to support the software comprising GNU remotecontrol and many, many other HVAC technologies. Stay tuned for more information.

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 VOLUNTARY CODE OF CONDUCT

The United States Department of Energy and the Federal Smart Grid Task Force released their final version of a Voluntary Code of Conduct (VCC) for Smart Grid data privacy. The VCC is only a set of recommendations, not a mandate. The VCC defines what is called Account Data fields. Notably, the device identifier is a field, along with pertinent user information. The concern here is the type of information being exchanged with Smart Grid members, though no clear privacy requirements nor strong recommendations regarding the Account Data fields are defined.

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 – January 2015

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

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

United States Electricity Price per KWH
Current and Past

October November Trend % Change
$0.136 $0.134 Decrease -1.47%
Year November Trend % Change % Since Difference
2004 $0.092 Same 0.00% 0.00% 0.00%
2005 $0.102 Increase 10.87% 10.87% 10.87%
2006 $0.110 Increase 7.84% 19.57% 8.70%
2007 $0.115 Increase 4.55% 25.00% 5.43%
2008 $0.123 Increase 6.96% 33.70% 8.70%
2009 $0.124 Increase 0.81% 34.78% 1.09%
2010 $0.125 Increase 0.81% 35.87% 1.09%
2011 $0.128 Increase 2.40% 39.13% 3.26%
2012 $0.127 Decrease -0.78% 38.04% -1.09%
2013 $0.130 Increase 2.36% 41.30% 3.26%
2014 $0.134 Increase 3.08% 45.65% 4.35%

United Kingdom Utility Prices
Current and Past

London by night, seen from the International Space Station

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

Demand Response

  • An article, reporting the United States wholesale power markets can rely on almost 29 gigawatt of Demand Response, or the equivalent of 6.1% of peak hourly demand in those markets.
  • An article, citing a report stating a Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) study shows spotty growth for Demand Response and Advanced Meters.
  • An article, discussing a United States Solicitor General filing, requesting an extension to litigate Demand Response in the United States Supreme Court.
  • An article, reporting The President of the United States is appealing a federal court decision vacating FERC Order 745 to the United States Supreme Court.

Smart Grid – Consumer

  • An article, discussing the likely 2015 investments in the Smart Grid industry.
  • An article, describing Google’s Nest announcing new integrations with more Smart Home devices and services.
  • An article, exploring United States seniors’ perspective toward the Smart Grid.
  • An article, explaining the privacy conflict brought on by the Smart Grid.
  • An article, describing privacy challenges both present and pending due to the Smart Grid.
  • An article, reporting Data-Flyte has gained venture funding, demonstrating the stability of their meter reading technology. It also validates the meter transmission signal strength is considerably strong.
  • An article, considering how a computer is or is not loyal to the computer user.

Smart Grid – Producer

  • An article, reporting more than half of the United States poorest households do not have Internet service at their home.
  • An article, reporting the Smart Grid helped speed service outage recovery during a recent storm.
  • An article, reporting Smart Thermostat enrollment continues to grow in Texas, Arizona, and Maryland.
  • An article, reporting Pepco Holdings has enrolled 360,000 of their customers in their Demand Response program.

Smart Grid – Security

  • An article, predicting critical infrastructure is a leading target for 2015 security threats.
  • An article, discussing Smart Grid security certification in Europe.

-DISCUSSIONS

2015 ANNUAL PLAN
Our plan for the coming year is to accomplish a considerable amount of under-the-hood work with GNU remotecontrol. This work will facilitate ease of integration between GNU remotecontrol and other software projects, along with positioning us to successfully expand into new code development within the GNU remotecontrol project. Our plan has three parts:

  • Coding GNU remotecontrol to the Model-View-Controller (MVC) software architectural pattern
    MVC is a software architectural pattern. It divides the code base into three interconnected parts. It is an excellent approach for achieving code reusability. Our objective with MVC is to achieve easier reusability of the GNU remotecontrol code base. Additionally, there are more and more web accessibly requirements, the concept of Representational State Transfer (REST) before us, and the idea of having a smaller display version of GNU remotecontrol. We first discussed the display requirements in our June 2013 newsletter. We have decided the need for displaying information on smaller format devices is growing. We must now take action to meet this need. The code base is presently being completely rewritten using the MVC pattern.
  • Improve the Translation Subsystem
    The majority of the GNU remotecontrol user base uses languages other than English. The GNU remotecontrol team will leverage contributors who have the necessary language skills to translate the display language content into languages other than English, using the workflow approach. This effort is much more than an exercise in language translation. This effort will promote increased value during the interaction with the various cultures, helping us to understand how to improve GNU remotecontrol content display. We are presently building a browser based interface to easily accomplish this interactive translation effort. The language translations will then be exportable, enabling GNU remotecontrol users to import whatever display language they need to run their GNU remotecontrol server. This translation interface resides on our new development server.
  • Preparing to begin ANSI C code development
    The driving reason we are looking to develop in ANSI C is because it is the predominant software language used with network connected HVAC thermostat hardware. Our objective with ANSI C is to prepare for interfacing with HVAC hardware, with the hope electronics manufacturers will generate an internationally accepted technology standard for the residential network connected HVAC thermostat. The majority of building automation hardware also uses ANSI C. There is no reason why we should not consider interfacing directly with hardware.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Z-WAVE
Z-Wave interest is growing as an alternative to wired or other wireless device connections. The selling point of Z-Wave is a stronger waveform, capable of penetrating deeper into a building, along with requiring less power than either Wi-Fi or Bluetooth. An informative presentation is provided by the Black Hat 2013 Briefings seminar, comparing Z-Wave to Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, and Power Line Communication. The presentation demonstrates how to gain the Z-Wave HomeID parameter, at time stamp 19:00. They present additional Z-Wave security findings, at time stamp 25:00. They present their security analysis tool, Z-Force. They find the nonce value regulation is a design flaw within Z-Wave. Open Security Research provides research on the security of Z-Wave. Both Open Security Research and the Black Hat presentation conclude changing the HomeID is the most effective means of penetrating Z-Wave security.

Granted, the research cited is dated 2013. However, there is little newly available research or documentation on implementing Z-Wave security. CES 2015, a global consumer electronics and consumer technology trade show, has many offerings in the Z-Wave technology space. The lack of sufficient Z-Wave security documentation, along with the ease of compromising the Z-Wave security model, brings the wisdom of using Z-Wave into question.

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 – December 2014

THIS MONTH…..
-TRENDS
-EYE CATCHING
-ANNUAL PLAN
-2014 YEAR IN REVIEW
-EXISTING CODE
-LASTLY

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

United States Electricity Price per KWH
Current and Past

September October Trend % Change
$0.141 $0.136 Decrease -3.55%
Year October Trend % Change % Since Difference
2004 $0.094 Same 0.00% 0.00% 0.00%
2005 $0.102 Increase 8.51% 8.51% 8.51%
2006 $0.112 Increase 9.80% 19.15% 10.64%
2007 $0.117 Increase 4.46% 24.47% 5.32%
2008 $0.126 Increase 7.69% 34.04% 9.57%
2009 $0.126 Same 0.00% 34.04% 0.00%
2010 $0.127 Increase 0.79% 35.11% 1.06%
2011 $0.130 Increase 2.36% 38.30% 3.19%
2012 $0.128 Decrease -1.54% 36.17% -2.13%
2013 $0.132 Increase 3.13% 40.43% 4.26%
2014 $0.136 Increase 3.03% 44.68% 4.26%

United Kingdom Utility Prices
Current and Past

London by night, seen from the International Space Station

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

Demand Response

Power Line Communication

Smart Grid – Consumer

  • An article, describing how consumers cannot understand their HVAC thermostat.
  • An opinion, explaining how to make the Smart Grid brilliant.
  • An article, depicting how the modifying utility-customer relationship is changing home energy management.
  • An article, explaining why average energy consumption figures cannot be located.

Smart Grid – Producer

  • An article, calling for leadership to build a better connected Smart Grid in Nigeria.
  • An article, explaining why both integration and public policy are keys to the success of any Smart Grid effort.
  • An article, stating the UK Smart Meter roll out has been temporarily halted.

Smart Grid – Security

  • An article, from the United States Department of Homeland Defense (DHS), warning of cyber threat to critical U.S. infrastructure.
  • An article, finding the United States DHS has identified 79 electrical grid cyber attacks within the Untied States this year.

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

Demand Response

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

Unattended Server Side Automation

  • No other work since the April newsletter.

Power Line Communication

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

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

-2014 YEAR IN REVIEW
We believe our 2014 annual plan turned out pretty well. You may want to review our June 2014 and July 2014 newsletters, for a refresher on dynamic Demand Response. Now, let’s see how we did with our annual plan.

Unattended Server Side Automation
We released our first script on 29 March 2014. This script is integral to any Demand Response effort. We realized there are many ways to automate what we have built. We also realized we can do a better job separating the front-end of the code from the back-end of the code. HINT…..this realization is going to show up in our 2015 Annual Plan.

Demand Response
We worked on this effort through Unattended Server Side Automation. We spoke at length with many members of the electronics industry. The summary position of most of the folks we spoke with is they like GNU remotecontrol, but want a bit more maturity in the code, by means of increased ease to access the code through automation by external technologies. HINT…..this realization is going to show up in our 2015 Annual Plan.

Power Line Communication
IEEE 1901-2010 is protected by copyright. Anyone wanting to discuss this standard with us must first own a copy of this standard. Suffice it to say, there is a struggle in the electronics industry to know how to use this standard. We love the IEEE 1901-2010 standard. Everyone we spoke with at IEEE provided us loads of help to understand the construct of an IEEE standard and their individual viewpoint of how the electronics industry operates. We are quite impressed with IEEE as an organization. They do have the ear of most of the electronics world, for both standard development and standard implementation. The forward progress of Power Line Communication has stopped, until the electronics manufacturers discover how to implement this standard in a cost effective manner. GNU remotecontrol firmly believes Power Line Communication technology will become pervasive in the residential premise. It is a matter of how long this prevailing position will take to occur. Specifically, getting the Power Line Communication technology into the hands of homeowners at a price point they will accept.

So, boiling everything down to a simple set of statements……

  • GNU remotecontrol does not see any possibility for safe and effective Demand Response to occur without an internationally accepted technology standard for the residential network connected HVAC thermostat.
  • GNU remotecontrol believes the only way an internationally accepted technology standard for the residential network connected HVAC thermostat will ever succeed is if the electronics manufacturers want this standard.
  • GNU remotecontrol believes the consumer, the residential homeowner, is the only source capable of convincing the electronics manufacturers to generate an internationally accepted technology standard for the residential network connected HVAC thermostat.
  • GNU remotecontrol believes the consumer will find a way to convince the electronics manufacturers to produce an internationally accepted technology standard for the residential network connected HVAC thermostat, by having the combination of money to spend and the nationalized authority to accomplish Demand Response. This authority, in the United States, will come from some judicial decision defining the authority of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. We have spoken about the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission case, at length, since our June 2014 newsletter.

So, there we have it. The intersection between consumer and supplier, again, will decide a matter dramatically impacting a culture. Throw in some government regulations, and we have a new culture. This new culture will have not only the consumption of energy monitored in real time, but also the price of energy established on a national basis. This is a culture change like nothing seen in history, because it is about to happen on a national level. The data privacy matters are paramount. Security of both the application operating these technologies, and the data generated by these collective technologies, is uncertain during the maturing of this new technology platform.

In conclusion, GNU remotecontrol firmly believes any approach using only a propriety technology platform will fail. We hold this position because there would be insufficient resources thinking about, checking on, and helping to improve the technology platform. As you read above, the United States Supreme Court having to decide both the definition of Demand Response and who has the authority to regulate Demand Response illustrates the magnitude of this subject.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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 2014

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

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

United States Electricity Price per KWH
Current and Past

August September Trend % Change
$0.143 $0.141 Decrease -1.40%
Year September Trend % Change % Since Difference
2004 $0.099 Same 0.00% 0.00% 0.00%
2005 $0.106 Increase 7.07% 7.07% 7.07%
2006 $0.118 Increase 11.32% 19.19% 12.12%
2007 $0.121 Increase 2.54% 22.22% 3.03%
2008 $0.130 Increase 7.44% 31.31% 9.09%
2009 $0.130 Same 0.00% 31.31% 0.00%
2010 $0.132 Increase 1.54% 33.33% 2.02%
2011 $0.135 Increase 2.27% 36.36% 3.03%
2012 $0.133 Decrease -1.48% 34.34% -2.02%
2013 $0.137 Increase 3.01% 38.38% 4.04%
2014 $0.141 Increase 2.92% 42.42% 4.04%

United Kingdom Utility Prices
Current and Past

London by night, seen from the International Space Station

UPDATES TO PREVIOUSLY POSTED ITEMS
The Smart Grid Educational Webinar Series Archives has changed the address of our presentation. We hope you view this presentation. It was an excellent experience for both the GNU remotecontrol Team and “…the world class experts in the field…”

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

Demand Response

  • An article, reporting an appeals court grants a stay on decision to overturn FERC Order 745.
  • An article, considering the future of Demand Response in light of this aforementioned ruling.
  • An article, discussing the first legal case in the FERC Order 745 matter.
  • An article, considering if Smart Phones are the bridge to help achieve automated demand response.
  • A review, of the Ecobee3 Wi-Fi Smart Thermostat provides unpleasant results.
  • An article, finding the Smart Grid has entered the age of high performance computing.

Smart Grid – Consumer

  • An article, reporting Nest has purchased Revolv and discontinued the Revolv offering.
  • An article, describing the cultural impact in India from having a national electric Smart Grid.
  • A security bulletin, defining point-of-sale security compromises. The ability to compromise a device such as an insecure network connected HVAC thermostat, by either design or configuration, could be much simpler to accomplish than previously understood.
  • A review, of Smart Phone enabled door locks. The findings represent insufficient security to the door lock design, increasing the risk of home invasion.
  • A survey, finding public utilities will experience strong competition in building a national electrical Smart Grid. What is unclear is how this competition will impact the price of energy, to offset these competitive costs for a public utility.
  • An article, finding PJM Interconnection is proposing many rule changes to FERC Order 745.
  • An announcement, from the United States Department of Energy, of nearly $8 million to support research and development of the next generation of heating, ventilating, and air conditioning (HVAC) technologies. This seems to be an attempt to align with the Appliance and Equipment Standards Program, in hope to find best practices for using HVAC technologies with the various other technologies prevalent today.

Smart Grid – Producer

  • An article, considering how to best modify Smart Grid analytical thinking.
  • An article, finding Southeast Asia to be the next hot spot for Smart Grid investment.
  • A thought provoking article, considering the self-contained system of a submarine to improving public utility operations.
  • An article, describing how South Korea is well-positioned to export their Smart Grid technologies they have successfully developed.

Smart Grid – Security

  • A study, finding smart meters can be hacked to reduce charges on billing cycle invoices.
  • A report, finding cellular phone companies are tracking users in possible violation of federal telecommunications and wiretapping laws. This report has been validated.
  • An article, finding the interconnection of the three United States electrical grids is held back only by financing. It is unclear how security of this newly interconnected electrical grid will occur.
  • An article, finding more vulnerabilities in the Untied States national electrical grid.

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

Demand Response

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

Unattended Server Side Automation

  • No other work since the April newsletter.

Power Line Communication

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

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

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

DRIVING THE NETWORK CONNECTED HVAC THERMOSTAT
The rise of electric vehicles is causing a faster build out of the Smart Grid. The collective build out of the Smart Grid will enable cost effectiveness to be found in achieving the network connected HVAC thermostat. The electric vehicle market will also bring innovation to the home, in the form of lower costs for Smart Grid technologies which complement the electric vehicle charging process. It is highly likely the electric vehicle market will accelerate adoption of the network connected HVAC thermostat, simply because of cost reduction to establish the necessary infrastructure in the home.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

ENERGY DISAGGREGATION SOFTWARE
Analytics upstart Bidgely will integrate its tracking and controlling systems with TXU Energy MyEnergy dashboard. The only way this analytical effort can be accomplished is to collect the necessary data. This offering is a milestone in history, as the first public utility now offering appliance level analysis of energy consumption. The annual Texas power consumption is ranked between the United Kingdom and Italy. Privacy on the electrical grid has irrevocably changed.

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 – October 2014

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

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

United States Electricity Price per KWH
Current and Past

July August Trend % Change
$0.143 $0.143 Same 0.00%

 

Year August Trend % Change % Since Difference
2004 $0.100 Same 0.00% 0.00% 0.00%
2005 $0.105 Increase 5.00% 5.00% 5.00%
2006 $0.118 Increase 12.38% 18.00% 13.00%
2007 $0.121 Increase 2.54% 21.00% 3.00%
2008 $0.132 Increase 9.09% 32.00% 11.00%
2009 $0.130 Decrease -1.52% 30.00% -2.00%
2010 $0.133 Increase 2.31% 33.00% 3.00%
2011 $0.135 Increase 1.50% 35.00% 2.00%
2012 $0.133 Decrease -1.48% 33.00% -2.00%
2013 $0.137 Increase 3.01% 37.00% 4.00%
2014 $0.143 Increase 4.38% 43.00% 6.00%

United Kingdom Utility Prices
Current and Past

London by night, seen from the International Space Station

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

Demand Response

  • A new product line, from Ecobee, with an API.
  • An announcement, Echelon has sold their grid division. This bring the future of the LonWorks protocol into question.
  • A brief, recommending how to increase customer demand for Demand Response.
  • An article, identifying the Smart Grid as the next killer software application.

Smart Grid – Consumer

  • An article, reporting Amazon is working on launching a Smart Home device product line.
  • A conference, Demand Response World Forum 2014.
  • An article, reporting the United States Department of Energy has a final determination strengthening energy-efficiency for commercial building codes.
  • An article, reporting the United States Department of Energy has released a set of voluntary privacy recommendations for smart grid owners, operators, and third parties.
  • An article, reporting the impact of electric vehicle charging on the coming Smart Grid.
  • An article, reporting the United States Federal Energy Regulatory Commission is studying electricity market reforms.
  • An analysis, considering why consumers do not reduce their energy usage.
  • An article, describing the debate of owning customer energy data.
  • An article, discussing safety from hackers attacking Smart Home technologies.
  • An opinion, asserting the lack of federal oversight of Demand Response will hamper growth of Demand Response.
  • An article, discussing possibilities of Smart Grid mergers.
  • An article, considering low income Smart Grid customers.

Smart Grid – Producer

  • An article, reporting a federal appeals court upholds FERC Order 1000.
  • A website, the OpenADR Demand Response Research Center.
  • An article, discussing utilities needing to future-proof their mobile networks.
  • A report, finding electric transmission and distribution challenges include aging assets, equipment and technology investments, upgrading capacity verses lessening susceptibility, and power delivery system redesign plans.

Smart Grid – Security

  • A company, using proprietary technology to collect electric meter readings via small aircraft.
  • An effort, to develop and test a next generation energy management system. This effort does not speak of a security component.
  • An article, describing the need to secure the Smart Grid.
  • An article, addressing the current security status of the United States Smart Grid effort.
  • An article, describing the ten most dangerous Home Automation devices.
  • An opinion, recommending what utilities should do with their customer data.
  • A new Home Automation product line, having loads of interoperability, with little to no comprehensive security plan.

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

Demand Response

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

Unattended Server Side Automation

  • No other work since the April newsletter.

Power Line Communication

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

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

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

FSF INTERVIEW
The Free Software Foundation (FSF) interviewed the GNU remotecontrol team. GNU remotecontrol is a member of the Free Software Foundation. The article is a comprehensiveness then-to-now writing, in combination with where the software project will most likely go in the future.

FIVE YEAR HOME EFFICIENCY EXPERIMENT
The Tennessee Valley Authority has completed a study of combining various energy efficiency approaches. This study is the first time these approaches have been combined to this extent, for this long of a period. The outcome is the efficiency benefits are there to be gained, without exerting much expense. The question each person must decide is how long they are willing to wait for their payback period to arrive.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

BLACK HAT USA 2014
Black Hat is the most technical and relevant global information security event series in the world. Their 2014 conference clearly demonstrates the electronics industry is not moving fast enough to secure Smart Home technologies. This problem is not only caused by the electronics industry. It is also caused by an end-user willingness to have functionality over security. The final result is often property theft or identity theft. The need for security of both the Smart Grid and the Smart Home cannot be overstated.

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 2014

 

We are unable to accomplish timely completion of the September 2014 edition. We have decided to wait and publish the next edition in October 2014, 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 – August 2014

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

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

United States Electricity Price per KWH
Current and Past

May June Trend % Change
$0.136 $0.143 Increase 5.15%
Year June Trend % Change % Since Difference
2004 $0.099 Same 0.00% 0.00% 0.00%
2005 $0.104 Increase 5.05% 5.05% 5.05%
2006 $0.118 Increase 13.46% 19.19% 14.14%
2007 $0.122 Increase 3.39% 23.23% 4.04%
2008 $0.128 Increase 4.92% 29.29% 6.06%
2009 $0.132 Increase 3.13% 33.33% 4.04%
2010 $0.132 Same 0.00% 33.33% 0.00%
2011 $0.134 Increase 1.52% 35.35% 2.02%
2012 $0.135 Increase 0.75% 36.36% 1.01%
2013 $0.137 Increase 1.48% 38.38% 2.02%
2014 $0.143 Increase 4.38% 44.44% 6.06%

 United Kingdom Utility Prices
Current and Past

(OK, we are looking for a pretty picture to put here. Our other picture went away.)

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

Demand Response

Smart Grid – Consumer

  • An article, addressing a new Congressional Report, explaining the risks present within the United States electric grid.
  • An article, explaining the edge of residential property is where the next Smart Grid growth event will occur.
  • An evaluation, of various Smart Thermostats and their inability to effectively achieve comfort with cost effectiveness.

Smart Grid – Producer

  • An article, explaining electric service outages are driving Smart Grid growth more than the desire to achieve improved energy efficiency.
  • An article, finding the United States electric grid grid is the worst in the industrialized world, having a 285% increase in electric service outages.
  • A press release, announcing India will modify their entire national electric grid to use OpenADR.
  • A decision, enacting full retail deregulation of the Japan electric power system. Electricity supply in Japan is carried out by privately-owned independent regional electric power companies. In 1952, the nine electric power companies established the Federation of Electric Power Companies (FEPC) to promote smooth operations within the industry.
  • An article, stating Japan will restart two of their nuclear reactors.
  • An article, considering why Smart Grid investments fail to produce desired results.
  • An article, illustrating how to successfully transform any Smart Grid from theory into reality. There is nothing in this article about technology standards. This absence demonstrates it is an economic game now, of finding the money to build.
  • An opinion, sharing how electric suppliers can respond to Google in the electricity production market sector.

Smart Grid – Security

  • An article, asserting Smart Meters pose both a security risk and an insurance challenge for the energy industry.
  • An article, identify the insurance challenges involved with providing coverage to energy firms.
  • A report, illustrating the ease of compromising the security of a Smart Home kit.
  • An article, discussing the IEEE approach for accomplishing energy grid security.
  • An article, considering who will control network connected HVAC thermostats.
  • An article, identifying 7 questions utilities should ask their vendors.
  • An article, identifying 7 Smart Meter security threats not involving penetrating a network.

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

Demand Response

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

Unattended Server Side Automation

  • No other work since the April newsletter.

Power Line Communication

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

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

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

WIRED OR WIRELESS
We are often asked if a network connected HVAC thermostat is best connected to a wired or wireless network. We are asked this question to gain our endorsement for supporting either one position or the other. The answer to this question is quite long and not well suited for a newsletter. It requires proper treatment, perhaps in the form a white paper. It is part of the Cost Benefit Analysis we cover in both the Implementation Cost and Road Map sections of our user manual. There are benefits and liabilities to each option, both independently and when they are used together. Talk to us if you would like for us to develop a white paper on this topic.

It is not a matter of a good tool or a bad tool. A smartphone can easily be compromised, if it is improperly configured. Even well intended help can easily bring disaster. SANS explains how a smart light bulb (a developing technology) exposes the wireless network password used by the bulb. The successful Smart Grid will need both synchronous and asynchronous technologies. A thing is not a technology. Technologies are specified, measured, and validated.

We answer this wired or wireless question by determining whatever is the most suitable answer for the end-user, to NOT expose them to either:

too great of a security risk

OR

too expensive of an operational cost

We are quite concerned about the false perception of using wireless fidelity (Wi-Fi) with a computer will bring success from using Wi-Fi with the network connected HVAC thermostat. A network connected HVAC thermostat is a System on a Chip (SoC). A SoC is a much lesser technology combination than a computer, resulting in a much smaller set of capabilities. Not all wireless networking options use the same type of wireless technology. Wi-Fi is not ZigBee, which is not Bluetooth, which is not AMI, which is not cellular. These technologies can sometimes work together, but they are completely different technologies using some form of radio frequency on the radio spectrum.

Again, properly answering this question requires much better treatment than only a newsletter.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

UNIVERSAL SERIAL BUS
A critical flaw has been discovered in Universal Serial Bus (USB). Some HVAC thermostats have USB connectors. This flaw does not mean all technologies using USB are vulnerable to this problem. It does mean any technology automatically enabling a USB device is vulnerable.

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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