Newsletter – July 2014


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

United States Electricity Price per KWH
Current and Past

April May Trend % Change
$0.131 $0.136 Increase 3.82%
Year May Trend % Change % Since Difference
2004 $0.093 Same 0.00% 0.00% 0.00%
2005 $0.097 Increase 4.30% 4.30% 4.30%
2006 $0.110 Increase 13.40% 18.28% 13.98%
2007 $0.115 Increase 4.55% 23.66% 5.38%
2008 $0.120 Increase 4.35% 29.03% 5.38%
2009 $0.126 Increase 5.00% 35.48% 6.45%
2010 $0.127 Increase 0.79% 36.56% 1.08%
2011 $0.129 Increase 1.57% 38.71% 2.15%
2012 $0.129 Same 0.00% 38.71% 0.00%
2013 $0.131 Increase 1.55% 40.86% 2.15%
2014 $0.136 Increase 3.82% 46.24% 5.38%


United Kingdom Utility Prices
Current and Past

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

The stuff that has caught our eye…..

Demand Response

  • An article, discussing a court ruling about a software patent. This ruling will most likely play into the Smart Grid, as the ruling is relevant to the collection of Smart Grid technologies.
  • An op-ed, echoing the success of recent OpenADR deployments.
  • An article, describing the desire to overturn a recent court ruling defining Demand Response.
  • An article, considering the benefits and costs of residential Demand Response.
  • An article, describing the impact of an environmental regulation on Demand Response.

Smart Grid – Consumer

  • An article, describing a US Senate bill in progress. The nature of this legislation provides clear indication the Federal mandate for Demand Response is soon to arrive in the United States.
  • A commentary, asserting the existing electric rate structure encourages customers to make undesired decisions.
  • A white paper, describing the three pillars of an effective connected thermostat management plan.

Smart Grid – Producer

  • A commentary, asserting the utility of the future will sell less electricity.
  • An article, describing the capability levels of a Smart Grid operator.
  • An article, reporting the new electric industry business model in Japan.
  • An article, depicting what the electric customer of today wants to hear from their provider.
  • An audio recording, discussing the most probable builders of the Smart Grid.

Smart Grid – Security

  • An article, reporting Nest Labs is looking to interconnect their thermostat to garage doors and other gadgets, opening up considerable security concerns. This is in direct contrast to their newly launched Nest Developer Program, asserting the intent to make all things safer.
  • An article, considering the extreme risks often embraced by the Internet of Things.
  • An article, discussing the new standardization strategy from ANSI.
  • An article, explaining why having a smart home is not always the best choice.

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.

The stuff we are talking about now…..

The nature of the GNU remotecontrol software project, in light of the developing Smart Grid, requires us to understand a set of maturing technologies. The most unstable aspect of the coming Smart Grid is the economic side. We addressed the economic aspect of the Smart Grid in our June 2014 newsletter. The technology necessary for the Smart Grid to exist is essentially developed and mostly deployed, through the availability of both trusted and untrusted networks. The trusted networks are comprised of Advanced Metering Infrastructure, along with Advanced Meter Reading. The untrusted networks are comprised of the World Wide Web. The prevalent Smart Meter deployment efforts position public utilities for advancing to the next logical step, which is connecting Smart Meters to devices inside of the residential premises. The scale of Smart Meter deployment is different for each geographical region of each public utility, continuously growing larger.

We are convinced there is abundant credible evidence a national Smart Grid will be up and running in the majority of each developed country within the next two decades. The cost effectivenesses of this technology offering will incentivize people to be a part of a country specific Smart Grid. Those who do not willing become part of a country specific Smart Grid will eventually be forced into becoming part of a countries Smart Grid, through some form of a domicile mandate. The reason for this conclusion is it will become more costly to have people not connected to the Smart Grid. This conclusion is supported by a relevant trend, the elimination of analog telephone services, as the technology of today provides more effective options. A 2009 report shows almost one in four homes in the United States have only a cellular phone. The end of the analog telephone service offering is expected to occur in less than a decade, some advocating for the end to come now.

The specific action holding back the Smart Grid from advancing now is determining how the necessary user specific information will be handled. We also covered this aspect in our June 2014 newsletter. This information handling decision, made by both the end user and the public utility, will launch construction of the Smart Grid. Forcing the decision on the customer will also launch construction of the Smart Grid, but it will take longer to see construction begin. Regardless of who will make this information handling decision, this decision is coming to any culture wanting a Smart Grid.

A credible, dependable, and trustworthy software project must responsibly address the associated data privacy involved with such a large scale transformation to any culture.

Would you ever want anything less?

The success of the Smart Grid is resting upon effectively predicting demand for energy consumption and executing dynamic Demand Response. Successfully predicting demand for energy consumption involves recording historical energy consumption, for identifying trends of probable future energy demand. This historical usage is where the data privacy matter is centered. The reality is historical user data will be stored by the public utility. It is only a matter of how the residential customer wants their specific user data handled.

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.

The stuff you may want to consider…..

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.

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.

The stuff you REALLY want to consider…..

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission is charged with defining and regulating cyber security of energy facilities in the United States. There is an increasing trend to penetrate the systems associated with energy production, transmission and distribution. The US Department of Homeland Security Industrial Control Systems Cyber Emergency Response Team is part of this collective protection effort by the Federal government. ICS-CERT and Symantec have each issued reports on the threat activity. We addressed the US energy firm cyber defense protections are inadequate in the March 2014 newsletter and the financial downgrade of the entire US electric utility sector in the June 2014 newsletter.

It is radiantly clear the only way energy related activities will ever be secure is to utilize a system approach to successfully design, build, and operate the energy related activities. GNU remotecontrol is designed and built for integration with existing Information Technology systems, eliminating the need to develop a unique security policy for network connected HVAC thermostats. Any thermostat not operating under a comprehensive security plan is nothing more than a security threat that will most likely bring a security compromise to your organization.

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.

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.



2 Responses to Newsletter – July 2014

  1. Pingback: GNU Remotecontrol: Newsletter – July 2014 | Open World

  2. Pingback: Newsletter – December 2014 | GNU remotecontrol

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