[SATLUG] Re: Any Technical/Automation-Hacking/Override info on

Borries Demeler demeler at biochem.uthscsa.edu
Sun May 16 16:26:10 CDT 2010

> I think you're missing the point .. it's not about who is deciding how
> hot or cold your house is.  From what I've read about this, CPS will
> cycle your A/C during peak load times to smooth the load cycles.  I've
> seen this happen both in Florida and Texas: the first hot day of
> summer causes brownouts and blackouts because everyone sets their
> thermostat for 72 degrees and they all kick on at the same time.
> Great, now you have no A/C at all and it's 100F outside.
> The deal doesn't sound all that bad:
> 1) You get a free programmable thermostat (this alone saves you money)
> 2) The cycling only happens during peak times (3pm-7pm) of peak months.
> 3) Cycling doesn't happen more often, it just happens at better times.
> 4) You can remove yourself from the project temporarily or permanently.
> What I get from #3 is they want to setup a sequence across the grid so
> that as one house cycles on, another one cycles off .. to keep all the
> houses from cycling on at the same time and causing brownouts.  You
> control the temperature, they control when the A/C runs to maintain
> that temperature.
> The bigger issue here is that the power grid is overloaded and it's
> getting worse as people put more power hungry electronics in their
> homes (honestly, who needs 6 computers, 3 gaming systems, and 2 plasma
> TVs? ;)).  I suppose the alternative to centralized power cycling
> would be to increase electric rates to the point that no one can
> afford to run their A/C.  Or maybe do tiered billing like the cell
> phone companies and charge 2x more for power during peak times than
> off-peak times.
> I guess from the security perspective, the only big risk is that
> someone could access the system and force everyone's A/C to cycle on
> at the same time, thus causing a brownout or blackout.  Of course that
> can happen now, it's just not as likely.  It's a voluntary program of
> course, but in the end it could help avoid situations like I described
> above.
> -Henry

I have been signed up for this program for several years now and 
besides a plastic component on the digital thermostat breaking off
I have not noticed any ill effects of this program. I cannot tell
when it kicks in during peak hours, this program is definitely low
if not no impact.


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