Crush Your #OhmHours - With The Lights On

How The “Bottom Up” #OhmHour Strategy Is Earning Users Points & Not Leaving Them In The Dark

By
Max Dunn
on
May 16, 2018
Category:
Home Energy
Tags:

When new OhmConnect users think about what they can do to save energy during an OhmHour, most start with asking themselves, "What can I turn off?"

And since turning off lights is an obvious thing to do, those usually go first.

Then they might think of turning off their TV or computer. Sitting in the dark for an hour, they dream of how many points they are going to get for all their energy reduction. Then when their results come in a few days later, they are often sorely disappointed upon discovering that they didn't save that much energy, and sometimes even went over their forecast!

“How did I lose points when I shut off all the lights?”

The cold hard facts are that modern CFL or LED lights don't really take much electricity to operate, and even a computer or TV isn’t draining too much for any one hour. All to say - sitting in the dark for an hour isn't going to crush your #OhmHour the way you might want it to.

But take heart, there are other things you can do that will really make a difference, and which don't require you to miss out on your Handmaid's Tale viewing or sit in the dark.

Powering down where it matters most

The big three things that take the most energy are:

  1. Your air conditioner (A/C)
  2. Electric heat
  3. Cooking (unless you have a gas stove and oven).

By avoiding doing these energy-hogging activities during an #OhmHour, you will likely have a pretty healthy reduction.

Other big energy hogs to not run or turn off are your:

  • Electric space heater
  • Washing machine
  • Dishwasher
  • Electric dryer
  • Toaster
  • Coffee maker
  • EV charger
  • Pool pump
  • Refrigerators (especially that old refrigerator out in your garage).

Pro tip: if it is a hot day and your turn off your A/C, your house temperature will likely only change by about five degrees during the #OhmHour. If it gets hot, turn on a fan since those take only about 0.050 kWh!

Thinking about #OhmHours from the bottom up

A great way of planning for an OhmHour is not to focus on what you can turn off, but instead what you can leave on.

  • A few light bulbs, your Internet connection and a laptop computer will consume only about 0.100 kWh during your #OhmHour.
  • Even a TV or a desktop computer will only add about another 0.100 kWh for a total of 0.200 kWh, which is still pretty good.
  • If you do want something to eat, heating something in a microwave for five minutes will only add about another 0.100 kWh, vs 1.500 kWh if you heat it in the oven for 30 minutes.
  • Turning off your A/C for the hour is likely to save around 3.000 kWh.

Here’s a graphic that shows you the relative energy consumptions of common devices and appliances:

So! During your next #OhmHour, take a bottom-up approach by first turning everything off and then turn back on the few things you want to use.

Big points in your account and sparing the hassle of sitting in the dark? Win-win.

Max Dunn

Max is driven by his passion to move the world towards a clean energy future. With an engineering degree, a Sustainable MBA and startup experience, he is attacking this problem from many different angles. He is also an electric vehicle nut, riding a Zero electric motorcycle and powering his house from his electric Nissan Leaf.

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