Newsletter – April 2013


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

  • PG&E has early results, showing their customers like to control their thermostats with their smart phones. These results come from researching how utilities are embracing smart thermostats to help manage energy grids.
  • Sprint is expected to reduce their retail energy costs by 15 percent, a $1.5 million annual savings, with an 18-month payback on the program.
  • There are, clearly, several thermostat options available for single user scenarios. What is not in place, at the Power Distribution Provider level, is a way for those thermostats to be managed, en mass.
  • The GNU remotecontrol development team is now working on our first large scale deployment. We hope our Thermostat API Emulator will demonstrate that the GNU remotecontrol can withstand the network and system demands of large scale deployments, and do it without the cost and restrictions of proprietary licensing.

The Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC) is an international industry consortium participating in a consensus process to develop publicly available interface standards. OGC Standards support interoperable solutions that enable the Web, wireless, location-based services, and mainstream IT. The standards empower technology developers to make complex spatial information and services accessible and useful for all kinds of applications. OGC has a desire to get their project running with equipment inside buildings. An example of this usage is when indoor temperature and humidity sensors are moved, but that move was not widely communicated to the rest of the energy management team. Sensor location very much matters when reviewing captured data. GNU remotecontrol will observe this emerging standard from afar, to see if we need to support any communication standard they come up with.

The Consortium for Smart Energy Profile Interoperability has developed the Smart Energy Profile (SEP) 2. This is a forthcoming standard for applications that enable home energy management via wired and wireless devices that support Internet Protocol. The founding members HomePlug Alliance, Wi-Fi Alliance and ZigBee Alliance continue to clear a path to SEP 2 interoperability for consumer benefits in the smart grid market. GNU remotecontrol will observe this emerging standard from afar, to see if we need to support any communication standard they come up with.

The stuff we are talking about now…..

We reviewed, in 2009, what it would take to get our application running under SELinux. We have a good understanding of what those requirements are, and have interest in completing this effort. We realize being able to operate in the Smart Grid requires that we demonstrate our security capabilities. We expect having this enhanced security configuration integrated with the core GNU remotecontrol implementation will aid adoption in the United States. SELinux is the best option we have found to demonstrate our security capabilities. The Nagios part of our framework already works under SELinux.

The stuff you may want to consider…..

We recently resolved 2 bugs. Please review and apply to your GNU remotecontrol installation, as appropriate.

The stuff you REALLY want to consider…..

Leyden reports on research from Trend Micro. The article shares how simple SCADA security oversights can disrupt entire systems. It is not worth suffering a compromise of your systems due to not implementing simple security measures. Talk to us if you would like further information on addressing HVAC security concerns.

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.


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