A thermometer indicating record-breaking temperatures, emphasizing the importance of OhmConnect during heatwaves.
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Hot hot hot

OhmConnect community more critical than ever in record-breaking heat

Katie Overmonds
August 17, 2020

In the middle of a record-breaking heatwave this weekend, nearly 2 million California residents had their power shut off. Why? Soaring temperatures and extreme demand for electricity across the state overwhelmed the energy grid, and California saw its first rolling blackouts since 2001. 

What’s worse: the scorching weather isn’t letting up. Some regions expect to see over 100 degree days through the end of the week! And the state has announced rolling blackouts through Thursday. 

So what happened? 

OhmConnect’s Senior Market Analyst, Brian Kooiman, explains: 

The California Independent System Operator (CAISO), the organization that manages California’s electricity grid, instituted an emergency “Stage 3” action. This declaration requires utilities (SCE, PGE, and SDGE) to cut power to customers in an effort to rebalance the available electricity supply with the high demand for energy during the record-breaking heat. Another contributing factor was two natural gas power plants unexpectedly shutting off on Friday, further reducing energy supply. 

Californians can get paid to unplug

There is, of course, another way to rebalance energy demand, help prevent future blackouts and reward customers for saving: OhmConnect

When the energy grid is stressed, we pay our more than 150,000 California customers to reduce their energy consumption for short periods of time we call OhmHours. OhmHours are energy saving events, usually one hour in length, for which OhmConnect has committed to the grid that our users will save energy.

We send our community notifications letting them know when to conserve energy, and if they use less energy than forecasted they get paid. It’s a completely free service and it takes just a few minutes to sign up.

Check out this video to learn more: 

If you’re already an OhmConnect customer, thank you. Your efforts in turning off the A/C and unplugging your major appliances is making a big difference for your community, the state and the climate. 

Not yet an OhmConnect customer? Sign up to get paid to save energy, here.

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