Secure and threshold-based power usage control in smart grid environments

Bharath K. Samanthula, Hu Chun, Wei Jiang, Bruce M. McMillin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Due to various advantages such as energy efficiency, reliability and self-monitoring, the smart grid technology has been emerging as the next-generation intelligent power grid system. Some of the well-known telecommunication, IT and power industries have already adopted smart grid technology along their daily business operations. This paper mainly focuses on the prevention of power outage issue in a smart grid environment. More specifically, consider a utility company which sets a threshold on the total power usage of households from a neighbourhood. Whenever the total power usage from the neighbourhood exceeds the threshold, some of the households need to reduce their energy consumptions, thereby avoiding the possibility of power outage. In the literature, this problem is referred to as threshold-based power usage control (TPUC). In order to solve the TPUC problem, the utility company is required to collect the power usage data of households in a periodic fashion. However, due to privacy reasons, the above problem is not straightforward in a privacy-preserving environment. We emphasise that the existing privacy-preserving TPUC algorithms are either insecure or inefficient. Therefore, this paper proposes two novel secure and distributed TPUC protocols by preserving the privacy of households in a given neighbourhood. Furthermore, we empirically show the practical value of the proposed protocols through various experiments.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)264-289
Number of pages26
JournalInternational Journal of Parallel, Emergent and Distributed Systems
Issue number3
StatePublished - 4 May 2014


  • encryption
  • power usage
  • privacy
  • smart grid


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