Newsletter – March 2015


 TRENDSThe stuff going on in the big picture now

United States Electricity Price per KWH

Current and Past


December January Trend % Change
$0.135 $0.138 Increase 2.22%


Year January Trend % Change % Since Difference
2005 $0.094 Same 0.00% 0.00% 0.00%
2006 $0.108 Increase 14.89% 14.89% 14.89%
2007 $0.113 Increase 4.63% 20.21% 5.32%
2008 $0.116 Increase 2.65% 23.40% 3.19%
2009 $0.126 Increase 8.62% 34.04% 10.64%
2010 $0.124 Decrease -1.59% 31.91% -2.13%
2011 $0.125 Increase 0.81% 32.98% 1.06%
2012 $0.128 Increase 2.40% 36.17% 3.19%
2013 $0.129 Increase 0.78% 37.23% 1.06%
2014 $0.134 Increase 3.88% 42.55% 5.32%
2015 $0.138 Increase 2.99% 46.81% 4.26%

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

A recent article, with the assertion of saving billions of dollars, explaining how to arrive at this conclusion. Demand Response can or cannot include battery systems, based upon the design of the response. It is important to note batteries will never meet supply needs. Batteries are intended for storing excess energy generation or bridging the gap between a service outage and service restoration. The article is well-written and helps to understand how Demand Response will most likely play into the electrical grid of the not too distant future.

A recent article, discussing the future of Opower. Their growth has stalled and brought into question the viability of their offering. The concern centers around the readiness, and subsequent willingness, of the market to use Demand Response calculation services, or the common concerns of leadership capabilities, leadership strategy, cash flow, and the various components of running any for-profit venture.

Smart Grid – Consumer

2015 is being characterized as the year home automation becomes mainstream. A recent venture called Simple Energy provides cost comparisons for planning energy efficiency implementations. The timing of the offering is excellent, as TVA desires to implement additional charges for when electricity is consumed. These charges will go to the energy distributor, the local electric utility, but will no doubt be passed on in final customer billing. The thrust of the energy efficiency debate is about to switch from market driven to regulator driven, as the cost of energy is about to irrevocably change if time-of-use rates are implemented at the residential consumption level.

Smart Grid – Producer

A compelling report regarding the perceived and tangible costs of reliable electric service. It is important to note the comparison of who receives both the costs and the benefits of reliable electric service. There is little doubt electricity is considered a constant in many cultures. A study years ago found the second leading reason for a successful business in Kenya is energy consistency, as electric service is unstable in this region. This condition is unimaginable in most countries.


Status of our 2015 Plan


  • We are in development stage.
  • We are approximately 80% finished with development.
  • We are prepared to immediately enter structured system testing, upon completion of development.
  • We have decided 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

  • We are complete with the development stage.
  • The system testing of this effort will occur during system testing of v2.0.


  • Further discussions with the members of the electronics industry.
  • Further work on the use-case for our firmware effort.

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



Our journey to design and build firmware for an internationally accepted residential network connected HVAC thermostat is moving much faster than we anticipated. We are receiving considerable interest from members of the electronics community and new developers are joining the GNU remotecontrol software project. The completion of the final specification for the firmware project will reveal to us how we need to further grow GNU remotecontrol to support the firmware. This is an exciting time for GNU remotecontrol.


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


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.

SECURITYThe stuff you REALLY want to consider


Since 2015 is being characterized as the year home automation becomes mainstream, curiosity about security comes along to see how much of an impaction this home automation desire will change the world. DARPA is of the position no one is safe when using the Internet. A recent article reports the edges of most electrical grids are changing, further enabling the ability to interface with external electrical grids. This interface invariability involves further usage of information technology, to facilitate the communication efforts. Usage of an untrusted network, such as the Internet, with an organization having insufficient security measures, such as an electrical utility interfacing with a lesser secure electrical utility, will most likely not bring good results. The bigness of the Internet, combining with the bigness of an electricity distributer, means we as a world are entering a time of bigger than anything big has ever defined, in terms of cultural impact. The usage of information technology by electrical utilities will undoubtedly grow, before ever realizing an effective, substantial, and sustainable Smart Grid.


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.


Why the Affero GPL?

GNU Affero General Public License LOGO

GNU remotecontrol LOGO

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