Newsletter – March 2016



United States Electricity Price per KWH
Present and Past

December January Trend % Change
$0.133 $0.134 Increase 0.75%


Year January Trend % Change % Since Difference
2006 $0.108 Same 0.00% 0.00% 0.00%
2007 $0.113 Increase 4.63% 4.63% 4.63%
2008 $0.116 Increase 2.65% 7.41% 2.78%
2009 $0.126 Increase 8.62% 16.67% 9.26%
2010 $0.124 Decrease -1.59% 14.81% -1.85%
2011 $0.125 Increase 0.81% 15.74% 0.93%
2012 $0.128 Increase 2.40% 18.52% 2.78%
2013 $0.129 Increase 0.78% 19.44% 0.93%
2014 $0.134 Increase 3.88% 24.07% 4.63%
2015 $0.138 Increase 2.99% 27.78% 3.70%
2016 $0.134 Decrease -2.90% 24.07% -3.70%



Demand Response
An announcement from OpenADR of their program guide, providing templates for the most common DR programs. A survey finding energy efficiency is the most preferred new revenue stream for energy distribution providers. The United States Supreme court ruled in favor of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission on 25 January 2016. This ruling came at the surprise of many, who expected the ruling to be issued June 2016. A commentary identified the ruling does not mean the end of all tensions between state and federal regulations. States may still be able to prohibit or limit participation in demand response markets. The FERC quickly issued a Notice of Inquiry (NOI) on possible rule changes addressing the provision of primary frequency response service and compensation for those providing the service.

The United States has entered unknown waters to balance supply and demand of energy markets by mixing wholesale and retail markets under a single price regulation structure. It is unclear if the FERC ruling will provide faster adoption of DR, as the Supreme Court has ruled FERC has statute authority to implement nationalized DR efforts, or if the markets will stall to limit financial risk exposure from the unclear impact of this ruling. What is clear is the federal government has authoritatively moved to implement nationalized DR and the United States will have a Smart Grid, whether the people or the markets want the Smart Grid.

Smart Grid – Consumer
An article sharing the Nest thermostat suffered a firmware deficiency which emptied the charge in the thermostat device batteries, deactivating the device. The problem was suffered in the UK where pipes were likely to freeze and burst. Another article shared users abandoned their Nest thermostat device due to a loss of confidence. An article describing the Schneider Electric release of their first wireless networked enabled thermostat device. An article Nest is ending their MyEnergy service, acquired in May 2013, informing users they must now get the same data from their energy provider.

The United States moving to implement nationalized DR will help sell more smart thermostats and help DR service providers sell more of their services. The lack of standardization for the network connected HVAC thermostat device means more products will most likely have performance problems, simply by having less eyes evaluate the hardware and software running these devices, as the manufacturers have proprietary technology. A manufacturer ending a service to further usage of a network connected device is not necessarily bad, as the manufacturer is not bound to offer the service forever. The message the device owner will now need to get this information from their energy provider is more evidence nationalized DR is coming sooner than later, as the Supreme Court just rapidly accelerated the implementation effort.


GNU remotecontrol version 2.0 is finished. We spent time after the holidays up to now developing a few last features and polishing the user interface. We have completed the documentation. Our team is doing the last read on the documentation, to see if we missed anything. We will package and announce release of the new version only by project news and email.

We have received contact from people in fifty-six different countries about GNU remotecontrol. We are excited to have such an interest in the project. We focus our excitement to further develop our skills and increase our work output. The accomplishment of getting version 2.0 structured as Model-View-Controller enables us to now work on requests we have not yet accomplished. Scanning the horizon of what we can do in comparison to what we have been asked to do is always entertaining. The list of work we could do next is:

We know satisfactorily meeting the bulk of requests put to us requires addressing the obvious need to improve the firmware on the thermostat device. The market does not have a solid firmware offering, but a collection of ideas here and there across multiple electronics manufacturers. Standardization of the thermostat device would promote adoption of the network connected thermostat device. Therefore, GNU remotecontrol has begun to build firmware for the network connected HVAC thermostat device.

The GNU remotecontrol team has discussed since early 2014 the need to improve the firmware operating the thermostat device. It is doubtful any market will grow until standardization occurs and enables manufacturers to produce their product offerings with increased cost effectiveness by leveraging product interoperability. This scenario occurred when Ethernet was adopted in the early 1990s, rapidly accelerating user ability to use the Internet. We expect the network connected HVAC thermostat device will one day be standardized in the electronics industry through an internationally accepted technology standard. GNU remotecontrol is contributing to the arrival of this day by developing firmware for the thermostat device. Stay tuned for more information.


GNU remotecontrol accomplishes productive work output through structured work packages. This approach helps to organize our efforts and keep things on track to achieve publishing our work. We have ten different phases for our work packages.

GNU remotecontrol Work Package Phases

Order Label Name
1 REQ Requirements
2 DSG Design
3 DEV Development
4 UNT Unit Testing
5 SYS System Testing
6 UAT User Acceptance Testing
7 DOC Documentation
8 RLS Release
9 TRN Training
10 SPT Support

The GNU remotecontrol team does not perform any work output outside of structured work packages.


GNU remotecontrol Project Help Wanted

New 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.


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.


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

5 Responses to Newsletter – March 2016

  1. Pingback: Newsletter – June 2016 | GNU remotecontrol

  2. Pingback: Newsletter – September 2016 | GNU remotecontrol

  3. Pingback: Newsletter – December 2016 | GNU remotecontrol

  4. Pingback: Newsletter – March 2017 | GNU remotecontrol

  5. Pingback: Newsletter – June 2017 | GNU remotecontrol

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