It’s time to chill your summer energy bill
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Cold hard cash

It’s time to chill your summer energy bill

Cisco DeVries
June 23, 2022

It’s getting hot. Bills are going up. OhmConnect can help. 

OhmConnect is the no-cost, no-risk way to reduce your electricity use when it is most expensive – and just in time. California residential electric rates are already up more than 25% since 2016 and they are about to go up again – as much as another 25% – this year, according to TURN (see chart below). This could mean a summer electric bill increase of more than $200 for the average customer in just two years.1

Tips to reduce your energy bill during the hot summer months.

But you can take control, stay comfortable, and reduce those costs. And we’ll even pay you a little extra to do so. Last year, new OhmConnect members reduced their summer energy use by almost 7% on average. New OhmConnect members who linked at least one smart plug or thermostat reduced more than 10% on average! On top of that, our members received more than $4 million in cash, rewards, and prizes from OhmConnect for making electricity reductions during peak times in 2021.

This year, we have set an even bigger goal: help reduce our members’ most expensive electricity use by at least 15% this summer. We will help you cut back on the energy you are wasting and instead use energy when it is cheapest – all at no cost to you!

How OhmConnect can help you save electricity and money

First, we are going to provide every one of our 200,000 members a set of customized recommendations – based on their electricity use – on how to use less without sacrificing comfort. We will also provide our members with regular summer updates, comparisons, alerts, and reminders as to when electricity prices are at their highest. 

Second, we will continue to reward members for saving even more electricity during what we call OhmHours and AutoOhms, when costs are particularly high and the grid is particularly stressed.2 We plan to give away at least $5 million in cash and prizes this year.

Third, we will help members reduce their electricity use by linking devices like smart plugs, smart thermostats, and smart appliances. We’ll even provide free and discounted smart devices to get you started. 

If the average new OhmConnect member follows our recommendations, they should be able to reduce their energy use by 15%.

A detailed breakdown of costs on a typical summer energy bill.

Why are electricity bills so high in 2022?

So, what is causing your skyrocketing utility bills? In some ways it is a perfect storm of challenges. 

  • Infrastructure costs: Utilities are raising rates to prepare the grid for extreme weather, wildfires, and other hardships brought on by our changing climate. For example, PG&E is planning to spend $15 billion to bury power lines in an effort to prevent wildfires like those that tragically burned multiple towns in the past few years. 
  • Time-of-Use rates: Many California residential customers were automatically switched over to a new “Time-of-Use” rate plan in the last few months. Under these rate plans, the price of electricity is based on when the customer uses energy, not just how much they use. This dramatically increases the cost of power during the 4-9PM “peak pricing” period when demand is highest. (Want to use Time-of-Use rates to your advantage? Check out our tips to save when electricity is most expensive!)
  • Increasing price of natural gas: The cost of natural gas, which is used to generate electricity when cheaper renewable power is not available, is at historic highs. This is driven by a number of factors, including the war in Ukraine, and is a large part of the reason that electricity rates are up 8% on average across the entire U.S. 

The result will be a big increase in costs for California customers, unless they make changes to the way they use energy at home. But that is where OhmConnect comes in. Let us help you chill your summer bill today!

1A typical PG&E customer would have paid $0.24 per kWh for much of their power during summer evenings in 2020. This summer, that rate will be as high as $0.51. Some customers in the Southern California Edison territory will see rates as high as $0.66 per kWh.

2This is also how OhmConnect gets paid. California utilities and CCAs pay us to reduce demand on the grid instead of turning on a dirty, expensive and polluting power plant.

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