It’s no secret, I like to save money. But I’m also passionate about taking care of our planet as I feel we all have the environmental responsibility to do so. This week I received quite the phone call from a website/app I’ve been using lately. It was about a big number with a dollar sign and a comma and they wanted to give it to me?! But more on that later! 🙂
How I Discovered This Money-Maker
This past January I saw an article on Facebook posted by the PennyHoarder.com about the different ways someone can save money. One of their suggestions caught my eye- and boy am I lucky it did. The article mentioned a company based out of San Francisco that partners with energy companies and alerts its users when your energy is coming from dirty power plants. The app encourages you significantly decrease your energy use during these hours to 1. Earn yourself some money 2. To have a greener and cleaner impact on the environment. They send you notifications 1-4 times a week, based on your preferences and you receive points based on how much energy you conserve compared to your average usage.
The company is OhmConnect.com and I HIGHLY recommend you look in to it especially if you care about the environment (which you SHOULD!). I’ll tell you why… So I’ve always been extremely environmentally conscious and so has my family. When I was doing hair (before becoming a SAHM) I worked for a beauty company that used only sustainably sourced ingredients and did a lot of fundraising for local and global environmental organizations, so I’ve always been aware of my carbon footprint and I always try my best to reduce it. This app just reemphasizes my love and passion for taking care of our planet.
What is OhmConnect?
OhmConnect is based out of the San Francisco Bay Area who’s mission is to replace the use of the dirtiest power plants with smarter consumer usage and conservation. Their goal is to bring awareness and to ensure we are using the cleanest and most sustainable sources.
How Does the program work?
Go to OhmConnect.com or download their app. OH it’s totally free btw. Once you’ve created an account, you’ll want to connect it to your energy company’s account. The goal here is to decrease your average energy usage during certain hours (called #OhmHours) to receive points and tokens. Ohmconnect then compares your past usage to your current usage to reward you for cutting back during these times. You can opt in for texts, emails, or receive notifications from the app so you can be informed of when these OhmHours occur, and you can select how many weekly OhmHours you’d like to be notified about. I chose 4. The more OhmHours you participate in and decrease your usage, the more points you receive, especially if they’re consecutive called Streaks. So turn off your lights, go for a walk, unplug and take a nap..that’s what I usually do!
How do you make money?
The million dollar question! You make money by receiving points for participating in these OhmHours. It’s 100 points per $1, and you can cash out via PayPal once you meet the $10 threshold. You’ll also earn points for initially signing up, participating and beating your forecasted energy use, for referring friends, participating in different challenges (that’s what I did!!) and a ton of other ways. You can also earn through using their Smart Devices and can redeem your points for gift cards to their store or make a donation to a great cause of your choice! UH I love that!!
What’s really cool is that the power companies are the ones who have partnered with these customer incentive programs. The power companies would much rather give its customers the money and reward them for conserving rather than relying on big power plants for energy. So that’s where the money comes from…and it’s totally not scammy. I called. Everyone. You’ll see why I really cared whether it was a scam once I tell you about this phone call I got!
What has OhmConnect accomplished so far?
As of today, OhmConnect has given $3,956,383 to the community! First of all, thats amazing! As far as environmental accomplishments, they have replaced 4 power plants, conserved the energy equivalent to 10 million LED lamps, and 341,938 cars off the road, and 100 MW (am I the only one who said that in Doc Brown’s voice?!) supplied to the grid.
So why should I care about OhmHours and if I’m using power from the big power plants?
…In times of normal usage, the most efficient and clean electricity generating plants are used as well as renewable energy. However when energy usage spikes, usually when it is hot and A/C usage is high, or when people come home at night and start cooking, it is necessary to startup less efficient and dirtier power plants. Not only is this more costly, but they also produce more CO2 which contributes to climate change.
How does that energy differ from the energy we use throughout the day?
…solar energy sometimes provides more than half of our the electricity we use. We want to use this clean energy as much as possible, but when the sun goes down, the fossil fuel power plants need to start ramping up. At night we often start to get more wind power and the demand falls, so the fossil fuel power plants can ramp down again. This makes the window between 4pm and 9pm one where savings is especially important.
Are OhmHours considered peak hours? Will a consumer see significant change in their power bill by participating in the OhmHours versus cutting energy in general?
…California is moving to a time-of-use rate structure where you will pay more during the times of the day when the electric demand is at its highest. Under these plans, you can save money by shifting loads like dishwashers, dryers and EV charging to the cheaper rates at night. And of course, just reducing your electricity usage through moving to LED bulbs, energy efficient appliances and just being careful about your electricity usage will save you money. But during OhmHours, the rewards you receive is many times more than just the electricity savings. Combining energy efficiency, conservation and OhmHours is a great way to minimize your energy costs and maximize your rewards.” -OhmConnect
How do I sign up?
If you are a homeowner or a renter go to Ohmconnect.com to sign up. Enter your zip code, email and password or you can use your Facebook login to create your own account Unfortunately Ohmconnect.com is only for residents of California, Texas and Toronto so if you aren’t a resident of these places I HIGHLY recommend going onto your energy company’s website to look for customer incentive programs and to discover when your rates increase (peak hours) and when your energy comes from some of these nasty power plants. Sign up now you’ll receive $10 when you reach silver status (which means creating a log-in and then linking your OhmConnect account to your energy account- remember you can cash out at the $10 threshold!) and another $10 when you connect your first device. It’s pretty easy to bring in between $100 to $300 a year, but put a little work into it, refer some friends and you can MAKE A LOT MORE!
Now about that number with the dollar sign and the comma…
It was a contest called #OhmMadness and the goal was to reduce my energy usage during the #Ohmhour by at least 50%, and we did! Out of less than 1000 people who qualified in my area, they chose me as the winner! OH and the amount was for $5,000!! (Holy $@#%) I seriously thought it was a scam until I started doing some research and called, well, everyone at my energy company. Check out what I had to say and how we did it on the OhmConnect.com/blog by Katie Overmonds. Plus their blog has a ton of tips and info about the environment, how to maximize your earnings and so much more!
Ps. Everyone I’ve talked to or emailed at OhmConnect have been super rad. Really nice people, down to earth. I’ll definitely be focusing more on conservation- because well, let’s be honest I like money, but mostly because the whole world and my children deserve it…
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