Never Break Your Streak Again: Our Best Tips For How To Succeed At Even The Most Inconvenient of #OhmHours

Over the years, we’ve all experienced #OhmHours that are just not convenient and today we’re sharing the tips and tricks we’ve learned to help us power down (and keep our streak going) in even the trickiest of conditions.

We’ve all been there. You get a notification that an #OhmHour is on its way tomorrow and think “There is no way I can possibly power down then!”

Maybe you’ve got friends coming over. Or the kids will just be getting home from their soccer game. Or maybe it’s just too dang hot outside to part with the A/C.

We hear you!

Over the years, we’ve all experienced #OhmHours that are just not convenient and today we’re sharing the tips and tricks we’ve learned to help us power down (and keep our streak going) in even the trickiest of conditions.

No more excuses.

Excuse #1: It’s too hot!

Air conditioners are major energy hogs.

Cutting the AC is therefore one of the best ways to earn points during #OhmHours.

If you don’t have a WiFi thermostat but you still want to go for maximum points, consider keeping cool during #OhmHours with a fan -- ideally battery-powered like this one from OPOLAR. And for those who want to strike a balance between #OhmHour cash and comfort, just turn your thermostat setpoint up a few degrees during #OhmHours (e.g. from 70° to 74°) instead of turning off your AC altogether.

Excuse #2: It’s too dark!

Turning off the lights is one of the easiest and most obvious ways to reduce your energy use during an #OhmHour -- especially if your home has lots of incandescent light bulbs (which are far less efficient than CFL or LED bulbs). Depending on the time of day, however, turning off the lights can literally leave you in the dark (funny how that works…).

Enter the Black Diamond Moji, a compact and battery-powered LED lantern. It’s dimmable, omnidirectional, and can stand upright or hang upside down -- perfect for everything from cleaning up after dinner to putting the kids to bed.

Excuse #3: I have to cook dinner!

It’s everyone’s worst nightmare: an #OhmHour smack in the middle of dinnertime.

Cooking with an electric range and/or oven might cost you your hard-earned #OhmHour streak, and reality is setting in that your kids are going to have to go to bed hungry (or at least late).

DoorDash to the rescue! At OhmConnect, we’re in the planning stages of  a program to cover the delivery fee when you order takeout from DoorDash during evening #OhmHours. Stay tuned!

Not in the mood for takeout? Keep your freezer stocked with TV dinners! (Seriously -- have you tried the frozen entrees from Trader Joe’s? They’re fantastic.) Warming an entree in a microwave or toaster oven uses considerably less energy than a conventional oven.

Excuse #4: I’m bored!

So you’ve powered down the house. Now what are you going to do for 60 minutes?

You may be tempted to turn on your TV -- but before you do, remember that content from Netflix, Hulu, etc. can be accessed on a laptop or mobile device. And if you have a cable or satellite subscription, you can access online content from major networks like ABC, NBC, and Fox. Just be sure to keep your charger unplugged until the end of the #OhmHour!

As an alternative to video, why not read a book or listen to a podcast on your mobile device?

Did you know that many public libraries offer free access to popular e-book services like Axis 360, Hoopla, and OverDrive? (All you need is a library card and online account.) Likewise, check out Podbay for a list of top-rated podcasts -- many of which are an #OhmHour-friendly 60 minutes in duration. OhmConnect staff favorites include “Stuff You Should Know” and “Freakonomics Radio”.

Excuse #5: The game is on!

It’s springtime. That means baseball season has started and basketball and hockey playoffs are in full swing. (Admit it: you like hockey. Disclaimer: the author might be Canadian.)

While no one wants to miss out on the action, you don’t have to watch on TV. As stated above, if you have a cable or satellite subscription then you can likely stream the game on a laptop or mobile device.

Alternatively, you can listen to the game on the radio, either on a mobile device with an app like TuneIn or on that battery-powered AM/FM radio in your earthquake kit. (You do have an earthquake kit, right?)

Excuse #6: My in-laws are in town!

We challenge you to come up with a better way of incenting out-of-town visitors to relocate to a motel than explaining to them that, out of concern for the environment and financial self-interest, you enjoy shutting off electricity to your home at random times of day.

And there you have it! A solution for every inconvenient #OhmHour. Got your own strategies for how you manage a tricky #OhmHour? Share them with us on Twitter!

John Anderson

John is an Energy Economist fascinated by the potential for consumer technologies to bridge the participation gap between supply- and demand-side resources in competitive wholesale electricity markets.

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