What are OhmHours and AutoOhms?

So you’ve signed up for OhmConnect because you heard you could get paid to turn off your lights. But right about now you might be wondering … How does it actually work? And what’s this OhmHour thing you keep hearing about?

OhmHours and AutoOhms are energy saving events, usually an hour in length (but sometimes more or less), in which OhmConnect has committed to the grid that our customers (you!) will save energy.

In short: The OhmHour and AutoOhm is where the magic happens.

Understanding OhmHours and AutoOhms

Map of California  showing how an OhmHour works

To understand OhmHours, it helps to know a little bit about the electricity grid:

Most of the time, the energy market accurately predicts how much energy will be needed in a given region. But sometimes, people use more energy than forecasted, which means the grid will turn on a “fast-acting power plant” to balance the system.

Map of California  showing how an OhmHour works

And while they may be quick and effective, these fast-acting power plants aren’t great for the planet or our pocketbooks. They’re very expensive to operate and most of the time, they use fossil fuels pretty inefficiently. (On average, they produce 2 - 3x the carbon emissions that a typical power plant generates and spews out local pollution into the surrounding neighborhoods.)

By participating in an OhmHour or AutoOhm, you are helping your community avoid the situation where one of these dirty, expensive peaker plants is turned on.

An energy consumption chart explaining what an OhmHour is

The best part about all of this is that the folks running the electricity grid would rather pay people to use less electricity rather than pay a power plant to turn on. Your household electricity reductions are sold back into the grid, a dirty power plant stays off, and we pass back those earnings to you. The grid stays balanced, less pollution is emitted, and best of all, people get paid instead of power plants. It’s a win-win-win!

Map of California  showing how an OhmHour works

What should I do when I receive an OhmHour notification?

It goes a little something like this:

  • Receive a notification via SMS text or email, whichever you’d prefer.
  • Reduce your energy use. Turn off your lights, unplug and give your thermostat a breather. Best yet, connect your most energy hogging appliances to smart plugs so they can be powered down automatically, without you needing to lift a finger.
  • Get rewarded. You’ll receive an email within a few days of the OhmHour to let you know if you were successful in reducing your energy usage and if so, Watts will be added to your account. You can use those Watts in a variety of ways in our Rewards Marketplace including cash withdrawals, entries into epic giveaways, and steep discounts on the hottest smart home tech. Plus, you earn Bonus Watts immediately for every smart device you have connected!

How often do OhmHours and AutoOhms happen?

Both AutoOhms and OhmHours are ways for you to get paid for saving energy, but they’re slightly different.

OhmHours happen when the grid predicts an energy surge in the next 24 hours. AutoOhms happen when the grid is experiencing a surge in energy right now.