How To Get Paid For Lowering Your Energy Bill

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If you live in San Diego and you don’t have solar panels, chances are your monthly energy bill is not cheap, especially in the summer.


According to Action Solar, a solar company in San Diego, the average household pays $95 – $130 on electricity per month. We’ve had months where we nearly paid $300 on our SDG&E bill, and it's only the two of us! Needless to say we don’t have solar at the moment. 


In this blog post, I am going to share with you how to get paid for lowering your energy bill. 


What Uses The Most Energy In Your Home?


Some of the most energy intensive appliances are the refrigerator, dishwasher, dryer, A/C and heating. Arcadia, a climate-change-fighting tech company conducted research in 2017 on the electricity costs for common household appliances. Here’s an idea of the cost range to run these appliances daily:


Refrigerator: 4,320 watts for a 24 hour period, approximately $193.70 per year


Dishwasher: 1800 watts for one hour, approximately $161.50/year. 


Dryer: 3000 watts for an hour cycle, approximately $100.93/year


Central Air Conditioning: 3500 watts an hour, approximately $202-$519/year. 


SDG&E charges more during on-peak hours from 4:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. To maximize energy savings, use major appliances during off-peak (6 a.m. - 4 p.m.

9 p.m. - midnight), or super off-peak periods (Midnight – 6 a.m. and 12 a.m. – 2 p.m. weekends). 


How to Save Money On Your Energy Bill AND Earn Some Cash 


Last year I discovered a company that PAYS you to save energy. While you’re getting paid to save energy, you are also lowering your energy bill! This company is called OhmConnect. OhmConnect was created in 2014 by Cadir Lee, Matt Duesterberg and Curtis Tongue whose ambition was to focus on sustainable energy.  The CEO of OhmConnect,  Cisco DeVries says, “OhmConnect, operates like a “virtual” power plant, but instead of generating electricity, it reduces the demand for power by paying individuals and families like mine to reduce their energy use.”



How To Get Started With OhmConnect


How it works is that you sign up for free on their website, and provide your utility account information. Any Californian customers that have PG&E, SCE and SDG&E electric service are eligible to participate.


You’ll get emailed and/or texted at least a day prior to an Ohmhour event. Ohm hours typically happen during times of the day where more energy is used. I’ve noticed most Ohm hours occur anywhere on average from the hours between 6-9pm. If you don’t wish to participate in an Ohm hour, let’s say you are having a party, and will need to use electricity, you can simply opt out of the event.  


An Ohm event  will usually last one hour, or sometimes 2-4 hours if the demand for energy is extremely high, for example, during the 2020 rolling blackouts in California. During Ohm hours, I go through our home and unplug anything, or sometimes I would turn our breaker off to maximize our points. One of the rewards we redeemed was a Nest Smart Thermostat which when connected to our OhmConnect account, it earns us bonus watts (points) during an event. Now that we have the smart thermostat, I don’t turn off our breaker because the thermostat must be connected to wifi and be on in order to be eligible to earn bonus watts. It is usually not an inconvenience for us to participate in Ohm hours because we’ll usually go on a date night or go do an activity where we don’t require using our household energy. 

Make sure your thermostat is on and connected BEFORE an event or else it will say "not earning" and you won't earn extra points.


What Are The Benefits Of Participating In Ohm Hours?


I enjoy competition/goal type games if you will. I love participating in Ohm hours knowing that along with lowering our carbon footprint, we are also lowering our energy bill and getting rewarded to do so! Each Ohm hour will have a goal of how much energy watts to save. Depending how much energy is saved, as well as the rate of energy that particular day will depend on how many watts (points) are earned. If you save more than the energy goal, you’ll earn points and begin an energy saving streak. The more energy you save, you’ll reach a higher status which makes you eligible for redeeming more rewards. 


Last year in 2020, we redeemed our points for cash, and we earned a little over $250, and this year in 2021, we redeemed our points for cash and earned $185! We also redeemed our points for a Nest Smart Thermostat and a Kasa smart plug

We cashed out $258.81 in November 2020!

We cashed out $185 in September 2021!


How Much Can You Earn During Ohm Events?


There are a few ways to redeem rewards. You can redeem points for cash, use points to buy smart devices, Amazon gift cards, enter to win prizes, or OhmConnect swag. According to OhmConnect, OhmConnect customers earn an average of  $100-$300 each year. If you use a smart plug or a thermostat, it increases the amount of points earned for each Ohm event. 


What Happens If Your Energy Use Is Higher Than The Ohm Hour Goal? 


Don’t worry, it happens! If you use more energy than the goal, you’ll accrue negative points and lose your energy saving streak. Before we had the smart thermostat, we forgot to turn off the air conditioning when we left for work. We lost points and our streak, but in a few more Ohm hours we were able to get our Diamond status back. 


Earn $25 and Smart Plugs By Signing Up


Use this link to sign up for OhmConnect. When you connect your utility account and become an active customer by the end of September 2021, you'll get a free thermostat or $25 + 2x smart plugs! Didn’t sign up in time for the September giveaway, that’s ok, you will still get a bonus from OhmConnect for signing up! 

Happy saving and earning!

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