Author Topic: Anyone else using OhmConnect?  (Read 1474 times)

cats

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Anyone else using OhmConnect?
« on: August 13, 2018, 04:44:02 PM »
Curious if anyone here has connected their utility account to OhmConnect and what your experience has been?  I had been seeing ads for it popping up in my area for a while and decided to connect our utility account a few weeks ago.  The idea is that OhmConnect sends you an alert (up to four times a week for us, 1-2 hours per alert, usually in the 6-9 pm time period) when energy demand in your area is high.  You are then supposed to lower your household energy use as much as possible during that time, with a goal of beating your forecasted energy use.  The larger goal is to even out power demand and lower the utilities' use of fossil fuels to meet peak power demand.  And for the consumer, you potentially shave a bit off your energy bill, always nice for us mustachian types!

It looks like the service/alerts are available to anyone, BUT...if you are a customer of a few particular utilities (the three major ones in California, then also one in Texas and one in Toronto that I am unfamiliar with), you can also get points for using less energy, and the points are redeemable for cash.

We signed up a few weeks ago and our energy use is already fairly low, so I don't expect this to be a huge money maker for us. But I like the idea of having a reminder to "unplug" a few times a week, I'm viewing it as a great opportunity for my husband and I to sit down, chill out, and talk to each other.  Overall it seems like an idea that's very in line with mustachian "values" and behavior, reminded me a lot of the post about how A Peak Life is Lived Off Peak.

Anyone else tried it?

NorCal Stubble

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Re: Anyone else using OhmConnect?
« Reply #1 on: August 15, 2018, 09:06:05 AM »
I've been doing it for several weeks now. My usage is fairly low, but during the hour designated I turn off my breakers and do something out of the house for an hour. I've made about $10 so far, but it's getting higher. They do a multiplier for each successful ohm hour, so when I get $1, my coworker who signed up before me gets $7. In six months he's made $70 on it due to the power of multipliers. In another six months he'll be making more than chump change.

As an aside they gave me two smart plugs for free which are cool as they connect to my google home and I can turn my dehumidifier verbally and I can see its daily power consumption.

So far it's been a positive experience, but it definitely requires me to work around the ohm hours as they usually fall at times I want to be cooking.

cats

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Re: Anyone else using OhmConnect?
« Reply #2 on: August 15, 2018, 08:31:51 PM »

So far it's been a positive experience, but it definitely requires me to work around the ohm hours as they usually fall at times I want to be cooking.

Yes, the timing does require some planning!  We are lucky that we work a slightly offset schedule of starting early and getting home early enough that we at least have time to reheat things in the microwave before 6pm (probably wouldn't have time to cook a full dinner, but we don't have time for that most weeknights anyway....we just cook on the weekends and reheat during the week).

The ohm hour does often fall during our kid's bedtime so we have to make sure to do bedtime stories in a spot with good natural light.

cats

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Re: Anyone else using OhmConnect?
« Reply #3 on: August 23, 2018, 10:55:46 AM »
Okay, now Iím quite excited about this program. I got my husband totally on board so we now have a nice streak of hours going and have hit ďgoldĒ level, so we get a multiplier on our points. And we got a ďmegaĒ hour earlier this week, which is a $5 bonus.  Our PG&E bill is typically around $30/month in the summer so $5 is nothing to sneeze at. 

NorCal Stubble

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Re: Anyone else using OhmConnect?
« Reply #4 on: August 24, 2018, 05:40:10 AM »
I made $11 on that mega! My coworker made $13, but his multiplier is higher than mine. This month alone I've made nearly $20, so it adds up. My electric bill is significantly higher than yours, so my average is higher, meaning my rewards are also going to be higher from ohm connect.  The damned dehumidifier alone costs nearly as much as your entire monthly bill...

dacalo

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Re: Anyone else using OhmConnect?
« Reply #5 on: August 26, 2018, 10:40:48 PM »
We have been participating past 10 months or so and I think we have received around $60 via Paypal. We don't actively participate (hard with a little one and time block being during dinner time) but it's a good concept and encourages to be mindful. We have our ecobee thermostat and TP-link wireless plugs linked to it so that they shut off during Ohm hours.

cats

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Re: Anyone else using OhmConnect?
« Reply #6 on: August 27, 2018, 08:02:46 AM »
We have been participating past 10 months or so and I think we have received around $60 via Paypal. We don't actively participate (hard with a little one and time block being during dinner time) but it's a good concept and encourages to be mindful. We have our ecobee thermostat and TP-link wireless plugs linked to it so that they shut off during Ohm hours.

So if youíve been at it 10 months...how do you find the winter?  I think we might have a harder time with that as itís hard to take advantage of natural light when itís dark.  And like you, we have a kid, so just going out for an hour isnít really going to happen. 

dacalo

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Re: Anyone else using OhmConnect?
« Reply #7 on: August 28, 2018, 05:22:49 PM »
We have been participating past 10 months or so and I think we have received around $60 via Paypal. We don't actively participate (hard with a little one and time block being during dinner time) but it's a good concept and encourages to be mindful. We have our ecobee thermostat and TP-link wireless plugs linked to it so that they shut off during Ohm hours.

So if youíve been at it 10 months...how do you find the winter?  I think we might have a harder time with that as itís hard to take advantage of natural light when itís dark.  And like you, we have a kid, so just going out for an hour isnít really going to happen.

Sorry I misspoke, looks like we started in February (still winterish). It is definitely more difficult during winter time due to shorter day light but we live in an area in CA where the weather is more temperate so our use of heater was pretty minimal. We just made sure to turn lights off when not used and did little things but summer is a lot easier for sure. Looking back, points earned during that period were pretty dismal.

tenns9

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Re: Anyone else using OhmConnect?
« Reply #8 on: September 28, 2018, 09:58:03 PM »
I've been participating in Ohm for a couple months now. In August alone I received $55 in my paypal account. We probably use more electricity than most mustachians so I'm sure that's why I've made more than most of you. For reference our electricity bill was $220 in August. I also didn't have the 2x platinum multiplier yet either. If I was at platinum I think I would have received around $80. During the ohm hours we always cut back about 95% of our usage.

Definitely worth participating if you have a higher electricity bill.

bayareasaver

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Re: Anyone else using OhmConnect?
« Reply #9 on: December 01, 2018, 07:03:40 PM »
Hi all, just thought I'd add that I'm a single person living alone in a small-ish house (850sf) with a low/moderate electricity and gas bill (never goes above $100) and I just got $84 from OhmConnect in an Amazon gift card. Now that it gets dark so early I just put in a bit more planning and either do grocery shopping or something else during the hour or leave one light on and read. I also got a smart plug through the site that they reimbursed all or most of. I like doing something about climate change as it makes me more aware of my energy consumption throughout the day.