What is an #OhmHour?

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 are energy saving events, usually an hour in length, in which OhmConnect has committed to the grid that our users (you!) will save energy.

In short: The #OhmHour is where the magic happens.

Coming Up:

Understanding #OhmHours

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, 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!

What should I do when I receive an #OhmHour notification?

It goes a little something like this:
  1. Receive a notification via SMS text or email, whichever you’d prefer.
  2. Turn off your lights, give your thermostat a breather, or even flip that circuit breaker for maximum earnings!
  3. Get paid. You’ll receive an email within a few days of the #OhmHour to let you know if you were successful in beating your forecast and if so, points will be added to your account. Those points can be cashed out via Paypal.

How often do #OhmHours happen?

#OhmHours occur roughly 1 - 2x per week. They're typically caused by an unexpected surge in electricity usage or potentially another nearby power plant which encounters an unexpected outage. For this reason, they do vary from area to area.

What’s a Prize #OhmHour?

Prize #OhmHours are a lot like regular #OhmHours —  they're hours during the week when saving energy helps the grid and earns you rewards. You'll know it's a Prize #OhmHour by the star on the #OhmHour on your dashboard:

A chart documenting ohmhours with the last one marked as a prize ohmhour

Instead of earning points for using less energy however, Prize #OhmHours give you a chance to win a prize. You'll get an energy-saving goal for each Prize #OhmHour, and if you beat it, you'll be entered to win the next prize drawings (which happens every 2 weeks).

The Prize goal will be lower than your average energy use (what we call your forecast for regular #OhmHours).

Read all the details about Prize #OhmHours, here.

What’s a MEGA #OhmHour?

MEGA #OhmHours happen when we need as many people to reduce as much as possible, preferably by shutting off circuit breakers. MEGA #OhmHours are worth more than regular #OhmHours, and the big payouts come when you have a MEGA #OhmHour and high status at the same time. Here’s what you need to know:

MEGA #OhmHours are clearly indicated in advanced notifications and on your dashboard.
MEGA #OhmHours are most likely to occur on weekday early evenings, as this is when the grid gets stressed the most.

Looking for some more helpful tips and tricks to receive maximum earnings?

Calculating Ohmhours illustrated by rings with numbers

“How Do My #OhmHour Points Get Calculated?” Understanding Your Forecast to Maximize Earnings

One of the most common questions we get asked is how an #OhmHour baseline is calculated. Learn the ins and outs to maximize your earnings.

Turning circuit breakers off for an OhmHour

How I Crushed My #OhmHour Baseline: Turning Circuit Breakers Off

Heard of "energy vampires"? Find out which appliances and electronics might be sucking power, even when turned off.

Beating your OhmHour forecast portrayed by a game of chess

Beating Your Forecast: Three Steps for #OhmHour Success

There are many factors that influence electricity consumption in the home, and it’s difficult to guarantee #OhmHour success. However, if you follow a few key principles and know some tips and tricks, you can get pretty darn good at it.

A woman putting money into a jar from having earned money from a referral to OhmConnect

Reap the Referral Rewards: More ways to earn with OhmConnect!

Introducing our referral program. We've made tweaks to our process to make earning money and saving energy even easier (and more profitable) than it already is.

Happy earning!