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OhmConnect is a website that offers to help you save power, and pays you if you can successfully do it. I've been using it for a few weeks now. After you connect your electric company with OhmConnect, you're all set. Each week, they choose a few days where your goal for one hour (known as an #OhmHour) to reduce your power usage. You get even more points if you connect your smart devices that will help you to save power throughout the day.
You're eligible to participate if you're a customer of PG&E, SCE, or SDG&E.
How does OhmConnect Make Money?
According to OhmConnect's own article, they make money by winning bids to deliver power like a power plant. With your power usage data from your electric company, it allows OhmConnect to make smarter bids. In return, if you're able to successfully reduce your usage during each #OhmHour. Bascially, California is willing to pay companies to run big data to get customers to subsidize power usage.
Can I Save Power with OhmConnect?
Yes! A few times a week, OhmConnect will warn you of a one hour period where you need to save power. They send you emails and text messages a day in advance, and right before the actual #OhmHour. The preset time always seems to be during peak hours after work on a weekday. If you're having a party and you know you can't beat your #OhmHour, then you can opt out before the hour begins. Using OhmConnect is a great way to bring awareness to saving power. This may be as simple as turning off lights for an hour. Over time, it'll become a habit and you'll learn that saving power all the time isn't so difficult.
Can I Earn Money with OhmConnect?
Maybe!? Making money with OhmConnect is possible, but will certainly be easier if you current aren't efficiently saving power. If you can consistently beat your #OhmHour, you'll can consistently make money. +6 points for beating your #OhmHour and -5 points for missing it. You'll know within 24-48 hours, mainly because it takes awhile for the electric company to report your usage. But you'll need 100 points minimum to cash out! 1 point equals 1 cent. You'll need 1000 points to redeem either Paypal or Gift Card. Meanwhile, if you're not able to earn enough points to cashout, OhmConnect can use all your data (not just your #OhmHour). You as the customer, are actually the product. Don't expect to be make a ton of money, but it can certainly buy you a few cups of coffee if you can successfully save power.
Tips to Earning More OhmConnect Points
- The more success OhmHour completed in a row, the higher the bonus. 5% per completed
- Avoid going over, because you can lose points (though you can't go negative).
- MegaHours can get you 500 points in one shot.
- You'll get more points for successful OhmHours when you're at higher level (Carbon, Bronze, Silver, Gold, Platinum). You'll also lose more points for unsuccessful OhmHours.
My experience so far for me is it's incredibly difficult to make enough points of make it worth the trouble. Our home has already been completely retrofitted with LED lights and we are fairly responsible at keeping lights we don't need off. Based on my experience so far, my #OhmHour is always around 7pm-8pm when I'm preparing or eating dinner. Therefore, the only days I successfully beat my #OhmHour is when I eat out or am not at home during those hours. For me, saving power is one thing, but trying to change my lifestyle isn't really a feasible option in the winter.
In warmer seasons, I use my #OhmHour to take a walk after dinner. If I want to try to meet the MegaHour, then it's best to switching off off Power Strips to reduce vampire draw.
Doing some reading online, I've found some other comments online about OhmConnect, mostly negative. And though I've read reviews of people being paid out by OhmConnect, there are also many cases of people unhappy with how OhmConnect as a program is run.
- Others online have reviewed OhmConnect as being a scam because they change how many points they deducted based on how many points they have.
- Losing points from an #OhmHour that they were not notified about.