You may have heard of an energy crisis brewing in the Los Angeles region this summer. An enormous methane gas leak erupted late last year causing the natural gas storage facility in Aliso Canyon to shut down. Many of the power plants that relied on its gas won’t be able to fire up this summer. This means energy shortages and potential blackouts for the LA region.

But guess what is fired up this summer? The thousands of OhmConnect members in Los Angeles. They are ready to save energy to help the grid avoid emergencies. To help the community grow even stronger, the sign up and referral bonuses have temporarily increased to $40 for SCE customers until September 30th. To be specific, any SCE user who signs up and enrolls between August 10th and September 30th will earn a $40 enrollment bonus, plus the referrer will earn a $40 referral bonus, regardless of whether the referrer is an SCE customer.

  • Every SCE user who enrolls between August 10th and September 30th will result in $40 bonus
  • Any user who refers an SCE user between August 10th and September 30th will receive a $40 referral bonus
  • Please be aware that SCE is taking longer than usual to process enrollments, so there may be a one week delay or more to receive the bonus.

Will #OhmHours be different for participants?

Some members in Los Angeles may notice differences in upcoming #OhmHours as compared to our previous #OhmHours due to new SCE and California Public Utilities Commission requirements. Some notable differences include:

  1. Although not expected, events may be as long as 6 hours
  2. Notifications may be sent out the day of the event
  3. You will receive no more than 30 event hours per month

How do I know whether these changes affect me?

If you signed up for OhmConnect after July 8th and receive utility service from SCE, then you most likely will receive #OhmHours reflecting these new requirements from the CPUC and SCE. To double check whether this update applies to you, please visit your settings page and view the “Utility Account / Demand Response Program” section. If “Demand Response Program” displays “Aliso Canyon,” then you should expect the program as described above this summer.

Can I enroll in this updated program?

If you’ve already participated in #OhmHours prior to July 8th, then SCE unfortunately has disqualified your eligibility in this new program. Only new users to OhmConnect are eligible to sign up and enroll in this updated program.

I need a refresher…what caused this crisis in Los Angeles?

A storage facility in LA that supplies many ‘peaker plants’ with natural gas suffered an enormous methane leak earlier this year. This storage facility, located in Aliso Canyon, is intended to supply 17 local gas fired power plants, hospitals, and other entities reliant on natural gas. The leak began back in October 2015 when one of the facility’s 117 wells erupted and started to spew methane into the surrounding air. By the time the leak was patched, an enormous amount of damage was done to both LA’s energy production capabilities and the environment.

The EDF (Environmental Defense Fund) has estimated that the nearly 100,000 tons of methane that leaked had the same 20-year climate impact as if an additional one billion gallons of gasoline were burned by cars. This is because methane is a much more potent greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide.

Aside from the environmental damage this event caused, the closure of this facility presents the LA region with shorter term difficulties this summer.

This past April, residents were informed of the possibility of rotating blackouts up to 14 days this summer due to the combination of unseasonable heat waves and the electricity shortage caused by Aliso Canyon’s closure.