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Will solar users lose their streak during the eclipse OhmHour?

noosaaolnoosaaol Posts: 5Member
edited August 2017 in Solar Users

With the loss of solar generation, there's no way I can beat my forecast during the eclipse OhmHours. I've already pared down my usage to a bare minimum. Is OhmConnect making a special allowance for solar customers? A while back I was told that forecasts and usage would be based on electrical usage and not on generation. Has this been put into place?

Best Answer

  • noosaaolnoosaaol Posts: 5Member
    Accepted Answer

    Question answered... Just received this from Scott as a response to a chat:

    "Hi there. For the upcoming eclipse, OhmConnect will not be sending out an #OhmHour to any of our Solar users.
    Scott Scott from OhmConnect"

    P.S. I will still be cutting back my usage to help out.
    Corey

Answers

  • UkiwiSUkiwiS San DiegoPosts: 1,493Member, Moderator
    edited August 2017
    @[email protected].com

    Why not just change your availability in settings? You won't participate and therefore there is no chance of losing your streak.Set it back afterwards.
  • WaterGuyWaterGuy Posts: 414Member, Moderator
    edited August 2017

    Hi guys. I emailed with @Matt D about this a week or two ago and he said they'd make sure solar users are excluded from any OhmHours that day. He created an issue (OM-265) to track that, so you could reference that if anything strange happens.

    @UkiwiS, I was originally going to use the strategy you suggested, and I emailed Support to find out when they were going to send out the notification. This event was strange in that they could plan for it several weeks in advance, and I thought we might get the notification earlier than normal. I wanted to set my filters early enough to avoid that, but not so early that I'd miss OhmHours unnecessarily.

  • No Pain No GainNo Pain No Gain 93035Posts: 407Member

    @WaterGuy This was in an Energy Snapshot on August 3rd.... OH on 8/21 at 10am.

    On Monday, August 21, at approximately 9:06am PDT, the first total solar eclipse the continental United States has seen in decades will begin. While it will be exciting to observe, the impact it will have on the power grid is less exciting, and California energy officials are preparing for the likelihood that extra power plants will need to be used to make up for the loss of solar power.

    In order to avoid this, we’re planning an #OhmHour at 10am that day. Now is the time to plan how you can cut your energy usage more than ever before, so we can help make a positive impact on the grid!

  • Richard strangeRichard strange SoCalPosts: 70Member

    @WaterGuy said:
    Hi guys. I emailed with @Matt D about this a week or two ago and he said they'd make sure solar users are excluded from any OhmHours that day. He created an issue (OM-265) to track that, so you could reference that if anything strange happens.

    @UkiwiS, I was originally going to use the strategy you suggested, and I emailed Support to find out when they were going to send out the notification. This event was strange in that they could plan for it several weeks in advance, and I thought we might get the notification earlier than normal. I wanted to set my filters early enough to avoid that, but not so early that I'd miss OhmHours unnecessarily.

    As a solar household, I'll quite happily participate so long as I don't lose my streak, so it would be good to get this clarified.

  • WaterGuyWaterGuy Posts: 414Member, Moderator
    edited August 2017

    @No Pain No Gain said:
    @WaterGuy This was in an Energy Snapshot on August 3rd.... OH on 8/21 at 10am.

    On Monday, August 21, at approximately 9:06am PDT, the first total solar eclipse the continental United States has seen in decades will begin. While it will be exciting to observe, the impact it will have on the power grid is less exciting, and California energy officials are preparing for the likelihood that extra power plants will need to be used to make up for the loss of solar power.

    In order to avoid this, we’re planning an #OhmHour at 10am that day. Now is the time to plan how you can cut your energy usage more than ever before, so we can help make a positive impact on the grid!

    Yep, I emailed Support after receiving that email. I thought it was interesting that they were already pinpointing the exact date and time of the OhmHour weeks in advance, and I wanted to ask when the actual notification (the point at which we're locked in to participate) would be sent out. Matt's reply is the one I referenced above.

    @Richard strange, I think OhmConnect has a vested interest in you NOT participating, because they make/lose money in the same way you do: reduced use relative to your forecast. If you have grid-tied solar panels, then you'll almost certainly go over your forecast that day, even if you shut off your entire house at the breaker. You can definitely reduce your use (you know the day and time...), but I don't think there's a good reason for you to participate in any sort of official capacity.

  • Richard strangeRichard strange SoCalPosts: 70Member
    @WaterGuy, they dont make money off us anyway I thought? That said, although we wont reach our forecast for obvious reasons, we would still be making reductions that help the grid. If all of us Solar folk did as @UkiwiS sugests, then none of our automatic devices would be turning off, that would all add up.

    Case in point, with HVAC runinng and two electric cars charging, I could easily be using 15 kWh that would otherwise be switched off.

    By us not participating we are essentially creating a double whammy :) not only are we being part of the problem by having low solar output, but we could also be consuming lots of power. Better at least to erradicate one of the problems?!

    Richard
  • WaterGuyWaterGuy Posts: 414Member, Moderator
    edited August 2017

    @Richard strange said:
    @WaterGuy, they dont make money off us anyway I thought? That said, although we wont reach our forecast for obvious reasons, we would still be making reductions that help the grid. If all of us Solar folk did as @UkiwiS sugests, then none of our automatic devices would be turning off, that would all add up.

    Case in point, with HVAC runinng and two electric cars charging, I could easily be using 15 kWh that would otherwise be switched off.

    By us not participating we are essentially creating a double whammy :) not only are we being part of the problem by having low solar output, but we could also be consuming lots of power. Better at least to erradicate one of the problems?!

    Richard

    OhmConnect does make money on the positive portion of our reduction. If we're forecasted to use 1 kWh and our usage is -1 kWh, they're compensated for 1 kWh (though they pay us for a 2 kWh reduction). OhmConnect is paid based on the formula used by CAISO, and it doesn't separate generation from consumption. I suppose you might still be able to produce a net reduction if your forecast is based on HVAC running and 2 cars charging, but I'd be sort of surprised if that's the case for the 10 AM hour. OhmConnect certainly has more to lose than gain from solar users as a whole on the 21st, so it makes sense to me that they'd want to leave all solar folks out rather than pick through individuals who might still be able to reduce. In any case, you are aware of the hours when the grid will need your reductions most, so you can still shift your usage informally and help out. Regarding the smart plugs, there's actually a handy feature for that just below the filter settings:

  • UkiwiSUkiwiS San DiegoPosts: 1,493Member, Moderator

    @WaterGuy Are you certain that setting means what you think it means? I don't understand exactly what they're saying and without clarification I'd be hesitant to use it. I think you'd be included AND penalized for a 10am OhmHour if you went over your forecast with those settings.

  • WaterGuyWaterGuy Posts: 414Member, Moderator
    edited August 2017

    @UkiwiS said:
    @WaterGuy Are you certain that setting means what you think it means? I don't understand exactly what they're saying and without clarification I'd be hesitant to use it. I think you'd be included AND penalized for a 10am OhmHour if you went over your forecast with those settings.

    Hmm, thanks for pointing this out, @UkiwiS --I may be totally wrong on this one. I thought I recalled Kate describing the function of that feature several months back, in response to someone asking how they can help out the grid even when they don't want to participate and risk their streak, but her post didn't say what I thought it did. I still don't totally understand why anyone would use that feature if the purpose is simply to avoid receiving notifications during particular hours and carte blanche participate in everything--the practical benefit of being able to customize the time window you'll receive an email or text seems somewhat minor for the coding effort involved.

    @[email protected] or @curtistongue, can you confirm exactly what that feature does or doesn't do?

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