OhmConnect is a start-up that works with consumers and their local utilities to lower energy costs and save money together. Before reading any further, it appears that cash payments currently only work with customers of PG&E, SDG&E or Southern California Edison in California.
During times of high electricity demand, customers will get an email or smartphone app notification that it is time for an “#OhmHour”. During that time, customers will reduce their electricity demand by turning off lights and not using their A/C, heater, or other appliances. The utility saves money by avoiding having to turn on their dirty and expensive “peaker plants”. The utility pays OhmConnect, which in turn passes on 80% to you.
In exchange for your OhmHour participation, the customer will get paid cash via PayPal. Supposedly, you can earn up to $300 a year. If you connect any smart home devices like a Nest thermostat or an electric vehicle, you can earn extra bonuses and also automate your participation. OhmConnect participation is free and does not affect your existing utility service.
I’ve been a member for a few weeks but it doesn’t seem to be very interesting if you are not an eligible California resident. I wish they would have been more upfront about that. You can rack up some “token”, but it’s not a meaningful activity unless they can track your energy usage reductions. At most, I’d sign up and get an alert if/when they spread to your area.
If you are a California resident and customer of PG&E, SDG&E or Southern California Edison, sign up for OhmConnect here and link your account and get a $5 bonus. Get a $20 bonus after linking accounts + a 1 kilowatt reduction during a single hour within 90 days. Get a $75 bonus if you link, do the 1kW reduction, and participate in 9 out of the last 10 #OhmHour events.