Forecast. If you’ve been with OhmConnect for a while, you’ve probably seen this term before. You have also probably wondered at some point, “what exactly is a forecast?” This week’s blog post will demystify your forecast and show how OhmConnect uses it to calculate your #OhmHour points.

At its most basic, your forecast is an average. It represents how much electricity you are expected to use during an #OhmHour and is calculated using your historical smart meter data.

For example, if an #OhmHour occurs on Thursday from 2 – 3PM, OhmConnect averages your usage from 2 – 3pm from the previous ten weekdays. If this #OhmHour occurred on Saturday or Sunday, your usage during the most recent 4 weekend days are used.

After all, your usage during a weekday while you’re at work is likely quite different from while you’re at home on a Sunday evening.

Let’s take a look at a visual representation of an imaginary #OhmHour on Wednesday, 8/17 from  2 – 3PM.

Forecast_Graph_2

Your forecasted average would be 2.45 kWh.

However, before this average of 2.45 kWh is official, a “Day-Of” adjustment is applied to account for any unexpected hot or cold weather. For the sake of simplicity, let’s assume the “Day-Of” adjustment for this example is zero.

Based on this information, your goal for this particular #OhmHour is to reduce your energy use below 2.45 kWh from 2 – 3pm. The more you reduce, the more points you will earn. If you use more electricity and didn’t opt-out of the event — let’s say you use 3 kWh instead — you may incur a minor penalty.

Previous #OhmHour participation is also taken into account for your forecast. If you participated in an #OhmHour during any of the days used to calculate your forecast, that day will not be factored into the average. This is done to prevent you from having an unfairly low forecast, since you were saving more energy than normal. Holidays are understandably excluded from the calculation for a similar reason. In these cases, OhmConnect pulls the next most recent day’s data.

Keep in mind that if your utility is missing meter data from the preceding days, OhmConnect won’t be able to calculate your forecast and therefore award points. When this happens, you may see #OhmHours listed as “TBD” until the data arrives.

If you know how #OhmHours are measured, you can take steps towards saving even more energy. One way OhmConnect makes this information more accessible is by including your estimated forecast in #OhmHour emails. By knowing your forecast estimate ahead of time, you’ll have a better sense of how much you need to save. It’s important to remember that this is an estimate and is likely missing the most recent one or two days of data. Additionally, the ‘day of adjustment’ has not yet been included. This means that the estimated forecast in your #OhmHour email will slightly differ from the ‘final’ forecast on your #OhmHour performance dashboard.

Finally—keep in mind that your energy usage data is always available to you within your utility provider’s online portal. For the true buffs out there, devices can be rented or purchased to measure how much power your devices use at any given time.

So long, till the next #OhmHour!