By now, you probably know how participating in #OhmHours is good for your wallet… but do you know how powering down collectively with your community is also doing good things for the grid and the planet? Continue reading “How participating in an #OhmHour helps the grid and the planet”
The planet-friendly electricity bill hack that hundreds of California, Texas and Toronto residents are trying this summer
Did you know, you are entitled to receive payments for your energy savings? Residents of California, Texas and Toronto have had a program available in which local energy authorities will pay you to reduce energy use when your city is at risk of turning on the worst polluting power plants.
One of the most common questions we get here at OhmConnect is ‘where does the money comes from?’ So here goes!
How to earn money during times of peak energy usage
If a California, Toronto or Texas resident saves energy at times when an environmentally damaging power generator is at risk of turning on, they can receive a payment through the OhmConnect platform from that state or province’s energy authority (the CAISO in California, ERCOT in Texas and IESO in Ontario.)
To help mitigate the risk of new, unsustainable peaker plants being built in these states and provinces, the local energy authorities are working with OhmConnect to introduce a simple service that pays people for the energy they save. The easy-to-use platform pays users via PayPal for the energy they are already saving and also helps eliminate our communities’ reliance on energy from unsustainable sources.
Up until now, it was only large industrial corporations that were eligible to be paid for their energy reductions during peak-demand periods but now, with the launch of OhmConnect’s residential platform, we’ve given power to the people.
“It’s like having a power plant remote control in your pocket”
To participate in the program, you simply receive a text message or email (your choice) once per week on the day before these dirty power plants turn on. All you need to do is to hold off on doing any high energy activities, like laundry or running the dishwasher, and reduce energy if possible by turning down your A/C etc. OhmConnect coordinates with other users in your neighborhood to ensure enough people reduce energy use to prevent that power plant from turning on.
Your energy savings are measured through the smart meter your utility provider installed and OhmConnect sends you a payment. You can choose whether to pocket that payment or donate it to your favourite charity! To get started, sign up for OhmConnect here and connect your utility account.
We’ll spare you the electricity joke about this being a ‘positive’ 😉
Here at OhmConnect, #OhmHours are one of the highlights of our week. We relish the opportunity to flick off our lights, give our thermostats a break and get paid for doing something good for our planet.
But even more than our own happiness, we LOVE hearing the stories of how folks spend this unplugged time outside our office walls and this week’s story brought huge smiles to our faces. Check out this awesome note we received from Vince, an OhmConnect customer about how he and his two sons spent last week’s #OhmHour:
“During Earth Week at the boys’ pre-school, they learned about recycling and “keeping the Earth clean, so it doesn’t get sick.” And during one of our regular walks to the nearby park, Carter notices trash along the way and out of the blue, he says we need to clean it up. So he asks if he can come back to pick it up one day. I know what you’re thinking – ‘What 3-year (or even older) is eager to pick-up garbage without their parents making them?!?!’
So to keep this green train going, I go online that evening to look for grabbers that are short enough for them – most were almost as tall as them =). But we didn’t have time to pick up garbage until 2 weeks after we got the grabbers. And I gotta tell you, it was almost getting to the point of being annoying (but nonetheless cute) because Carter was literally asking everyday when we could pick up garbage (he did the same thing until we finally found time to vacuum our cars).
So what better time to do this than during an OhmHour when we would also be saving energy? So off we went. They ended up filling an entire grocery bag. About 95% was garbage they picked up all by themselves as they alternated between who held the bag and who grabbed the trash – I had to pick up a couple of heavy bottles for them.”
Thank you Vince for sharing your story!
We love that OhmConnect can be a win-win-win-WIN! For Vince,
- He and his family earned money for participating in the #OhmHour
- The grid had a better chance of being balanced during that time because of the participation of Vince and thousands of other #OhmHour participants
- Cleaner energy sources reduce emissions for the world
- The park near their home got a bit cleaner that day!
Have you got a story of your #OhmHour win-win-win-win? We want to hear it! Drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org and we might feature it on our blog and social media.
Happy powering down!