Newsletter – December 2015


TRENDSThe stuff going on in the big picture now

United States Electricity Price per KWH
Present and Past


September October Trend % Change
$0.141 $0.136 Decrease -3.55%


Year October Trend % Change % Since Difference
2005 $0.102 Same 0.00% 0.00% 0.00%
2006 $0.112 Increase 9.80% 9.80% 9.80%
2007 $0.117 Increase 4.46% 14.71% 4.90%
2008 $0.126 Increase 7.69% 23.53% 8.82%
2009 $0.126 Same 0.00% 23.53% 0.00%
2010 $0.127 Increase 0.79% 24.51% 0.98%
2011 $0.130 Increase 2.36% 27.45% 2.94%
2012 $0.128 Decrease -1.54% 25.49% -1.96%
2013 $0.132 Increase 3.13% 29.41% 3.92%
2014 $0.136 Increase 3.03% 33.33% 3.92%
2015 $0.136 Same 0.00% 33.33% 0.00%



United Kingdom Utility Prices
Present and Past


London by night

EYE CATCHINGThe stuff that has caught our eye

Smart Grid – Consumer
An article explaining the average Smart Home in Europe is much more advanced compared to the average Smart Home in the United States. Another article identifying the Electric Power Research Institute preferences for the residential Smart Grid. Another article describing how the electrical industry is restricting fees associated with energy usage.

The trend is clear. Bringing automation to all levels of miscellaneous electric loads is occurring now in both the United States and Europe. This automation is far more than only the residential network connected HVAC thermostat device. There is no doubt the interconnection of automation for both miscellaneous electrical loads and the residential network connected HVAC thermostat device will occur sooner than later.


Status of our 2015 Plan


  • We are in TESTING stage.
  • We are approximately 95% finished with TESTING.
  • We are testing with both Apache and Nginx.
  • We have decided to develop two more application features, to meet user defined automation preferences.
  • We expect to release the latest version before the end of 2015.
  • More work on the items addressed in the September 2015 newsletter.

Translation Subsystem

  • More work on the items addressed in the April 2015 newsletter.


  • More work on the items addressed in the April 2015 newsletter.

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


The GNU remotecontrol Monthly Newsletter is going to a quarterly release schedule beginning in 2016. We will publish in March, June, September, and December. There are three reasons for this schedule change.

First, our research has determined the demand for the residential network connected HVAC thermostat device is at a standstill until the United States Supreme Court rules on the FEDERAL ENERGY REGULATORY COMMISSION v. ELECTRIC POWER SUPPLY ASSOCIATION, ET AL. case. This is a milestone legal decision. No one is certain how this case will be decided. The user does not know what they need to do and suppliers do not know what to build and sell until this case is decided. The industry is at a pause until the ruling is issued June 2016.

Second, it will take time for those interested in GNU remotecontrol to evaluate our latest release and decide how they want to implement the latest release. We expect laboratory and field testing will need both cool and warm months to get a concise review of the newest features in the latest release. It is likely those testing will want their own firsthand test results, requiring the seasons to change wherever they conduct their testing.

Third, the GNU remotecontrol team is extremely tired. We have spent many hours in meetings to understand how to mature the software project, capturing user desires, and deciding what to build for the latest release. The research and discussions paid off, as both the build and testing have each gone extremely well. The final result is much more than any of us originally envisioned. However, we need to physically and mentally rest to recover from the many hours we put in this year to accomplish this latest release. We plan to leverage the time waiting for the Supreme Court ruling and test results to come back by resting.

We will announce our 2016 Annual Plan in our next issue. Please contact us you if you need information shy of our new quarterly release schedule. Additionally, bug reports are always welcome.

The majority of discussions we have with those interested in GNU remotecontrol are with those who use electrical heat to warm their premises. This is no surprise, as the average domestic energy consumption is higher for heating compared to cooling. The United States has an average of ten times more electrical demand for heating compared to cooling of the same premises. Add in the variable cost of electricity and the annual electric bill starts to make much more sense.

The hearing lasted one hour. The transcript of Case 14-840 shows there is much contention between the rights of the buyer and the authority of the commission. The hearing arguments did not clearly state which appendices were referenced in the case history. The following is an outline identifying eight key points of the hearing.

  • Page 12, lines 12 through 19 address the concern of forcing retail customers into the wholesale market.
  • Page 30, lines 20 through 25 and the first two lines of the next page clearly define how wholesale regulation is forcing the retail energy market to fail by forcing wholesale regulation upon the retail customer.
  • Page 35, lines 1 through 11 explain the judicial position of how this overlapping regulation will suffer the retail energy customer to have any rights provided by their domicile state.
  • Page 45, lines 19 through 24 address how the law of today is written from the states position.
  • Page 51, lines 10 through 13 illustrate the attempt to make the entire energy market circular and to regulate the circle. This construct is not a division between supply and demand by wholesale and retail customers.
  • Page 53, line 25 and the first seven lines of the next page clearly state the inability to find the answer to this FERC challenge because there are too many scenarios involved in any wholesale and retail market combination to ever justify complete regulation without suffering another preexisting right.
  • Page 55, lines 17 through 18 explain states may offer wholesale purchase options. However, this does not mean all states must offer this option. The challenge by the FERC is to force removal of state rights to regulate wholesale and retail energy markets.
  • Page 58, lines 8 through 14 address the present states rights.
  • Page 58, line 25 through the first three lines of the next page are extremely odd. A statement is made of what other states want, but no facts are presented to support this statement.

The court will rule in June 2016. The decision is expected to be either for FERC or ESPA. It does not seem likely the court will rule by way of a third option. This statement is supported by the premise there are other cases of similar nature pending before the court. This ruling would alleviate the need for any other similarly natured cases to be heard.

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

An article recommending separation between the pieces of a Controller Area Network (CAN) by illustrating the recent security compromise of an Internet connected automobile. CAN is the model for home automation connected to the Internet. The recommendation is to separate the various levels of the Smart Grid versus having a single system. The article then centers around how to define effectual security between levels by the statement, “formal security models for smart grids could be defined…” This statement affirms there is insufficient industry agreement today to implement security decisions involving the 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.


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