For JR and Eileen from San Diego, powering down during #OhmHours has become a fun part of their weekly routine.
OhmConnect users for more than a year, the couple has earned around $500, simply for powering down and heading out of the house once per week.
“We’re pretty hardcore about our #OhmHours,” JR explained. “When we get notified that an OhmHour is coming up, we make a plan to switch everything off and go out for a walk or a bike ride or a dinner somewhere - which is subsidized by what we earn from OhmConnect!”
The couple first heard about OhmConnect from a friend who shared enthusiasm for electric cars, solar power and smart home technology.
OhmConnect is a free service that will pay you to help save when the energy grid gets stressed. Instead of turning on another power plant, the OhmConnect community gets into action and saves as much energy as it can. These earning periods are called #OhmHours and during this time, a participant’s job is to simply use less energy.
“It was a bit tricky to get started and get our utility account connected but since we’ve gotten the hang of it, it’s been great!” JR explained. “We’ve gotten it down to a bit of a science and on average, we have been reducing our energy usage by 94%”.
Stick with it, and don’t break your streak. … and he’s right! The folks earning the most every #OhmHour are those who have proven that they can consistently reduce their demand, every week. “Your earnings will go WAY up when you get consistent. Because I have a streak of 68 #OhmHours in a row so I’m getting a 340% bonus. I make 3-4 times more than someone who’s new, even though our energy savings are the same.”
Turn off everything you can. “We don’t flip our circuit breakers, but we get pretty close,” he explained. “I hear of some people who just turn off a few things but for us it’s black or white. When an #OhmHour is happening, we shut down everything we possibly can and we leave the house.”
Keep an eye on your emails from OhmConnect to make the most of it. “What’s helped us achieve our goals each week is TP-Link smartplugs. Every so often, OhmConnect offers deals on these or even gives them away for free so pay attention to your email and don’t miss out on what comes your way.”
1. Sign up for OhmConnect and sync it with your online utility account through PG&E, SDG&E or Southern California Edison. You must have an online account with one of these electric companies to qualify. You can only get paid when you connect your online utility account, so this is an important step.
2. Receive energy usage notifications during “#OhmHours” — high-energy-consumption hours that trigger dirty power plants to activate in order to support the overtaxed grid. This typically occurs once or twice a week in the afternoons or evenings via email or text message.
3. Head outside or at least turn the TV off until the #OhmHour is up. Heck, you can even play mobile phone games during this hour — just resist plugging in any new electronics.
4. Profit! OhmConnect rewards you with cash for not contributing to the high demand that prompts unclean power sources to turn on.
“For us, it’s an opportunity to do something different, out of the house. I don’t try to save just a little energy - I try to save it all.”