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?
Here’s how energy sharing takes the heat off the grid during times of stress:
Every day while we are sleeping, going to work or taking the dog out for a walk, the public and private organizations that manage the grid are behind the scenes, producing just enough energy to power what’s needed to keep our cities going.
They calculate how much energy you’ll need, how much your neighbor will need, how much the business down the block will need, and so on. Those figures add up to determine how much total energy is needed that day. However, once in awhile, the calculation doesn’t exactly predict how much energy is needed, and more is needed to make sure that light bulbs and TVs remain on.
When more energy is needed, one of two things can happen:
- The people who operate the grid decide to turn on an expensive ‘backup’ power plant (typically the dirtiest type of energy) or…
- …you can share the energy allotted for you with the people who are using more than expected.
In scenario #1, the grid continues to rely on expensive ‘backup’ power plants, which cost hundreds of millions of dollars to build, and are much more harmful to the environment than normal. The high cost of building these new ‘backup’ power plants contributes to high energy costs.
What happens in scenario #2? When you share energy back with other people on the grid, the grid doesn’t need to rely on expensive and dirty backup power plants and can keep operating as usual.
The more predictable and stable the grid, the more regulators can branch out from traditional sources of energy (coal and fossil fuels) into the world of renewables with ease, which is an essential move we need to make as we combat climate change.
With hundreds of thousands OhmConnect participants and a growing user base, we’ve got our fingers crossed for sunny skies ahead!