How would you like to save energy, and get paid to do it at the same time? Well, there’s a company that has a built a tool for you to do just that. This company has dedicated their energy savvy to the greater good and is putting money back in your pocket, instead of exploiting it for selfish purposes like Enron did in the early 2000s.
That tool is OhmConnect. This is actually a free service that allows most people in California to lower the amount of energy they use, and get paid for doing that. All you have to do is sign up online and download the app. It sounds too good to be true, so you are probably wondering how OhmConnect works.
How it Works
Basically, this tool works by organizing people together and getting them to reduce the amount of energy they use when the grid would prefer to pay people to lower their energy consumption instead of paying high fees to other power plants. Users receive messages via text, email, or push notification informing them of the time to reduce their energy consumption for an hour. Your reductions are measured via your smart meter data. To get paid, you can use your Venmo or PayPal account, and you can make money just by reducing your energy consumption for about half an hour.
What this does is reduce the demand for electricity during peak hours when additional power plants are usually used. However, if people aren’t using as much electricity, those “peaker” plants are no longer necessary. The best thing about these reduction events, which are called #OhmHours, is that they coincide when your home’s energy use is producing the most pollution. Those peaker plants produce 3 – 5x the carbon footprint and pollution into your local community than normal power plants do. Reducing local pollution and not using inefficient power plants, all by getting residents to reduce their energy use for an hour, is something that the state and the grid would gladly pay residents to ensure.
Save Money, Earn Money
When peaker plants are about to turn on, the cost to produce electricity can jump to more than 20x its normal price. When OhmConnect sees these spikes, their notifications are triggered. The #OhmHour service has been created as a social event, and users have even rallied together to donate their earnings back into community groups, such as local schools and charities. There have already been a number of elementary schools which have started community fundraisers and have raised thousands of dollars for school supplies and events, driven entirely by that community’s energy reductions.
You may be surprised to learn just how much money you can earn just by making a few simple changes in the way you use energy. Users have earned up to $300 using their service and their community has prevented over half a million pounds of carbon dioxide from being emitted. Users can optionally automate the entire response of their home to #OhmHours, if they happen to connect wifi thermostats, electric vehicles, or other smart home devices. OhmConnect currently integrates with the ecobee 3 thermostat, Nest Learning Thermostat, Honeywell, electric cars, and other smart home automation equipment.
Do You need to Have a Mobile Device?
While this app is often used by mobile device users, rest assured that as long as you have the ability to receive email messages or text messages, you can use this service. Currently, the service is only offered to residents of California, but other states are coming online soon. The California utilities that OhmConnect works through at the moment are PG&E, SoCal Edison, and San Diego Gas and Electric. To learn more about this tool and find out how you can sign up to save money on electricity and earn money at the same time, visit OhmConnect.com.
Featured photo credit: Lex McKee via flickr.com