Newsletter – January 2014

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

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

United States Electricity Price per KWH
Current and Past

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

United Kingdom Utility Prices
Current and Past

Historical Pricing

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

Demand Response

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

Powerline Communication

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

Smart Grid – Consumer

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

Smart Grid – Producer

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

Smart Grid – Security

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

ANNUAL PLAN
Status Update of our 2014 Plan…..

Demand Response

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

Unattended Server Side Automation

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

Power Line Communication

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

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

DISCUSSIONS
The stuff we are talking about now…..

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

SECURITY
The stuff you REALLY want to consider…..

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

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

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

…..UNTIL NEXT MONTH!

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10 Responses to Newsletter – January 2014

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