Can you hack the grid from your home thermostat??

Remote control of home thermostats In California, we have 236 pages of state-mandated standards for building energy efficiency, known as Title 24.  The proposed revisions to Title 24 include the requirement for a "programmable communicating thermostat" (PCT). Every new home and every change to existing homes' central heating and air conditioning systems will be required to be fitted with a PCT beginning next year following the issuance of the revision.  Each PCT will be fitted with a "non-removable" FM receiver that will allow the power authorities to increase your air conditioning temperature setpoint or decrease your heater temperature setpoint to any value they chose.  During "price events" those changes are limited to +/- four degrees F and you would be able to manually override the changes.  During "emergency events" the new setpoints can be whatever the power authority desires and you would not be able to alter them. In other words, the temperature of your home will no longer be yours to control.  Your desires and needs can and will be overridden by the state of California through its public and private utility organizations. Just so people don't think California is the home of fruits and nuts, enclosed is an article from the Carrier website (http://www.comfortchoice.com/details/1,,CLI1_DIV17_ETI902,00.html): Carrier is providing ComfortChoice, an energy demand solution, to the Long Island Power Authority's (LIPA) residential and small business customers. The solution is part of "LIPAEdge," a new energy conservation program designed to help residential and small business customers get the most out of their energy dollars while helping Long Island's electric system operate as efficiently as possible. ComfortChoice addresses power reliability and energy cost issues, particularly during periods of peak demand. By reducing energy usage during these periods, or during capacity shortfalls similar to California's current situation, utilities can increase system reliability, reduce energy price spikes and maintain adequate energy supplies. The LIPAEdge program includes the installation of a new, high technology Carrier Energy Management Interface (EMi), an Internet-communicating, seven-day programmable thermostat, in homes and small businesses with central air conditioners or heat pumps. This proves you don't need to only address big ticket items like power plants and substations to have a potential cyber impact on the grid. Joe Weiss
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  • <p>I can see it now: Some idiot builds a botnet of computers that can detect and take control of these thermostats. Then he ransoms the electric grid operators for huge sums of cash to avoid getting hacked and taken down by a massively parallel attack.</p> <p>I think we need a law requiring secure authentication, product testing, and liability for damages before controls are issued to these thermostats. This is an entirely predictable disaster.</p>

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  • <p>Just read the blog and thought that I would add some comments on the side for you:</p> <p><a href="http://www.energy.ca.gov/title24/2008standards/notices/2005-11-29_workshop_notice.html">http://www.energy.ca.gov/title24/2008standards/notices/2005-11-29_workshop_notice.html</a></p> <p><a href="http://www.energy.ca.gov/title24/2008standards/prerulemaking/documents/2006-02-16_workshop/public_comments/PGE_SCE_SCG_SDGE_COMMENTS.PDF">http://www.energy.ca.gov/title24/2008standards/prerulemaking/documents/2006-02-16_workshop/public_comments/PGE_SCE_SCG_SDGE_COMMENTS.PDF</a></p> <p><a href="http://www.theminorityreportblog.com/story/steven_foley/2008/01/09/will_the_state_of_california_control_your_thermostat">http://www.theminorityreportblog.com/story/steven_foley/2008/01/09/will_the_state_of_california_control_your_thermostat</a></p> <p>The three links give a fairly interesting view of this proposal. To make matters worse, check out the dates on the initial project from the State of California (2005). The response for the Utilities is also interesting.</p> <p>For those of us that have declared independance from the grid by being able to derive power from the sun, we still must comply with these rules, or so it seems, and we would get shut down anyway.</p> <p>I do not mind if I got an incentive on my bill for this system, even different incentives for different levels of participation, from none to complete let them pick the temperature. But I do not feel that they can assertain what is best for my health and well being at any moment in time.</p> <p>Enjoy the other links as sources of information and background on a very hot and what I am sure will be a contentious topic.</p>

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  • <p>Hi Joe, Here is a good article on this subject: <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2008/01/11/us/11control.html?ex=1357707600&amp;en=608b7b5bb2921934&amp;ei=5088">http://www.nytimes.com/2008/01/11/us/11control.html?ex=1357707600&amp;en=608b7b5bb2921934&amp;ei=5088</a></p> <p>And I see that the PCT proposal has been withdrawn: <a href="http://www.energy.ca.gov/title24/2008standards/faq.html">http://www.energy.ca.gov/title24/2008standards/faq.html</a></p>

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