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Three Hour Ohm Hours in the Peak of Summer

Jill HarnessJill Harness Posts: 4Member
edited September 1 in General Discussion

Am I the only one who finds it absurd that you can't opt out of multi-hour Ohm Hours altogether in settings?

I am on a 14 hour long streak, earning an extra 70% and don't want to start from scratch, but I am pregnant and work from home so a three hour block where I can't use my computer and have to leave my AC off is totally not acceptable. It's been in the 100s in my area and while an hour, even two hours without A/C means my home temperature won't go past the mid-eighties, I can't be at home in 90 degree heat. And while I can use my laptop without it being plugged in for somewhere between one and two hours, it will run out of battery life before three hours ends -that means I'm literally out of a job if I want to stick with the Ohm Hour.

I know I'm not the only one who doesn't like the multi-hour sessions, so why is there no setting to turn them off? And is there a max number of hours at all? What's next 8 hours? Don't use electricity all day? All week?

Not cool Ohm Connect. Not cool.

Update: I didn't really want to have to include my entire life story just to suggest that it's not right for the company to push 3 hour long blocks on us, but since all the comments seem to be "use a fan" or "leave the house," I guess I will. First, I already run fans 24/7 and block out all my windows with blackout curtains. The windows are unfortunately poorly insulated and I cannot fix that since I am a renter so yes, I'm already doing what I can to keep the temperature in my home down and I need the A/C still -especially when it's 104 outside. In fact, the temperature has already gone up 4 degrees in my house in the 20 minutes since my linked thermostat turned off.

Next, no, I can't just leave the house to go somewhere else to do my work since I have a dog with severe separation anxiety (it's so bad he broke his jaw when he was last left in a crate). Either my husband or I have to be home with him or take him with us and since there's nowhere else we can go to work inside of air conditioning with our dog, no, leaving to do work somewhere else isn't an option.

As for the suggestion to use tokens to take advantage of the streak shield, I would love to do that -if it didn't cost 8500 tokens. I haven't used a single token and I still only have 754, so that isn't much of an option. Given that the most tokens I earn at one time is 40 for clicking on the Ohm Hour notification and then saying how I'm saving, that means I'd have to participate in over 200 Ohm hours to collect enough to use the streak shield -so essentially it's as unreal and fantastic as a unicorn to me at this point.

Best Answer

Answers

  • John KJohn K Lake Forest - Hikers and Bikers TeamPosts: 358Member

    @Jill Harness, any reason why you can't get things extra cool before the start of the 3 hours, then turn the temp up to your normal temp for the first hour of the OH and keep the computer powered up? Then, after an hour turn off the A/C or turn it up 5 degrees, and unplug the laptop. This should still net you a significant reduction to keep your streak alive, never lose the use of the computer, and not become unbearably hot. It doesn't have to be all or nothing.

  • AKPsi VinceAKPsi Vince Union CityPosts: 971Moderator
    edited September 1

    @jill harnesss First off, congratulations on your pregnancy! I know you want to keep your streak, which I'm sure you've worked very hard for, and it can be difficult at times especially when you need AC to combat triple digit temperatures. Assuming you're not on bed rest, have you considered leaving your house to go to a coffee house or the library? They have wifi, AC and I'm sure you can even plug in your laptop, so you can do your work in comfort.

    Since having a job is important and you need to be comfortable during pregnancy, you may just want to take your chances and do as much as you can to save, or just opt-out. No one expects you to suffer just to get points. While losing your streak is unfortunate, I guarantee you'll be okay and you'll be able to do it again.

    And don't forget - you can trade in your tokens for streak shield and opt-out cards to help protect your streak. So keep telling OC how you plan on saving energy and save up your tokens, so you can buy some OhmConnect insurance for your streaks.

  • Sabreena Sabreena Posts: 75Member
    edited September 1

    I agree they should have an option to opt out of 2 or 3 hour OHs in our settings. You should send them a suggestion via support. But as for this one, I assume you live where it is really hot like I do so your forecast is probably pretty high. Just turning off your AC should make you beat your forecast easily. Try closing all of your blinds or curtains and that will keep it from getting so hot during the 3 hours. Also, if you have one, point a box fan directly at you for the 3 hours. It's amazing how much cooler you feel with a fan pointed at you and they don't use much energy at all. Plus, charge your laptop if you need to, it doesn't take much energy to do so and you'll probably make way more money working than from the tiny bit of energy saved by not charging it during the OH. Hope that helped!

  • SrelazSrelaz FullertonPosts: 62Member
    > @John K said:
    > @Jill Harness, any reason why you can't get things extra cool before the start of the 3 hours, then turn the temp up to your normal temp for the first hour of the OH and keep the computer powered up? Then, after an hour turn off the A/C or turn it up 5 degrees, and unplug the laptop. This should still net you a significant reduction to keep your streak alive, never lose the use of the computer, and not become unbearably hot. It doesn't have to be all or nothing.

    I’ve got a two hour Ohmhour tonight and trying to run AC cooler prior to these extended events to keep it cooler for 2 hours when it’s 100+ outside doesn’t work. I’m planning on leaving.
  • IanEIanE Posts: 69Member

    go to Starbucks they have air conditioning :) or to a movie... as the grid is gonna be extra stressed today the rewards should be higher too....

  • John KJohn K Lake Forest - Hikers and Bikers TeamPosts: 358Member

    @Srelaz said:
    I’ve got a two hour Ohmhour tonight and trying to run AC cooler prior to these extended events to keep it cooler for 2 hours when it’s 100+ outside doesn’t work. I’m planning on leaving.

    Sorry, but you missed the whole point. The suggestion wasn't aimed at reducing the temperature for the entire multi-hour event without the A/C -- just to reduce energy usage enough to make sure the streak isn't broken. Of course, if nothing prevents you from leaving for 3 hrs as in the case of the OP's alert, great . . . not everybody can do that.

    @Jill Harness, @Sabreena , as you may be aware, at least in single-hour events, when OC allows a member to opt out of an event, OC is still held accountable by CAISO for the overage. Thus OC gets paid less and thus the money available for awards to participants is less. I could see disastrous results if this was allowed for multi-hour events, unless a dispensation were allowed by CAISO.

  • AKPsi VinceAKPsi Vince Union CityPosts: 971Moderator
    edited September 1
    @John K Great tips! Thanks for sharing.

    I also like the idea recently shared by another user of hanging wet clothes on an indoor clothes line stringed to the bottom part of a ceiling fan (you know the part that doesn't spin), instead of putting the newly washed load in the dryer which you shouldn't be doing during an OhmHour anyways. Then turn on the fan, play some sounds of the ocean, and feel the cool wet laundry breeze to help you pretend you're on somewhere else you'd rather be like on a beach in Hawaii! =)

    Ok back to reality: In essence you've created a low/no tech evaporative cooler. True story! Don't believe me? Search the forums for "evaporative cooler" to find the user who shared this tip.

    Now if only I could get him to share a picture...lol
  • Sabreena Sabreena Posts: 75Member

    @John K said:

    @Srelaz said:
    I’ve got a two hour Ohmhour tonight and trying to run AC cooler prior to these extended events to keep it cooler for 2 hours when it’s 100+ outside doesn’t work. I’m planning on leaving.

    Sorry, but you missed the whole point. The suggestion wasn't aimed at reducing the temperature for the entire multi-hour event without the A/C -- just to reduce energy usage enough to make sure the streak isn't broken. Of course, if nothing prevents you from leaving for 3 hrs as in the case of the OP's alert, great . . . not everybody can do that.

    @Jill Harness, @Sabreena , as you may be aware, at least in single-hour events, when OC allows a member to opt out of an event, OC is still held accountable by CAISO for the overage. Thus OC gets paid less and thus the money available for awards to participants is less. I could see disastrous results if this was allowed for multi-hour events, unless a dispensation were allowed by CAISO.

    I think if they made this an option in the settings to be able to opt out of 2 hour or 3 hour OHs always, kind of like they allow us to set our available hours, we would never be included in their data of available people to participate in the OHs so it wouldn't negatively affect the price, right?

  • Jill HarnessJill Harness Posts: 4Member

    @Sabreena said:

    @John K said:

    @Srelaz said:
    I’ve got a two hour Ohmhour tonight and trying to run AC cooler prior to these extended events to keep it cooler for 2 hours when it’s 100+ outside doesn’t work. I’m planning on leaving.

    Sorry, but you missed the whole point. The suggestion wasn't aimed at reducing the temperature for the entire multi-hour event without the A/C -- just to reduce energy usage enough to make sure the streak isn't broken. Of course, if nothing prevents you from leaving for 3 hrs as in the case of the OP's alert, great . . . not everybody can do that.

    @Jill Harness, @Sabreena , as you may be aware, at least in single-hour events, when OC allows a member to opt out of an event, OC is still held accountable by CAISO for the overage. Thus OC gets paid less and thus the money available for awards to participants is less. I could see disastrous results if this was allowed for multi-hour events, unless a dispensation were allowed by CAISO.

    I think if they made this an option in the settings to be able to opt out of 2 hour or 3 hour OHs always, kind of like they allow us to set our available hours, we would never be included in their data of available people to participate in the OHs so it wouldn't negatively affect the price, right?

    Yeah, that would be my assumption, they are selling CAISO the number of users participating in the hour. If they did this, people who opted out wouldn't be included in that number and thus, wouldn't hurt them. It's the same reason you can set the number of Ohm alerts you get per week -otherwise it would be mandatory to have four.

  • AKPsi VinceAKPsi Vince Union CityPosts: 971Moderator
    No, they don't bid based on the number of users. It's purely based on the amount of kilowatt-hour (kWh) energy savings these users produce. For residential, the assumption is that the more people they have participate, the more energy savings they have to meet the amount they committed to produce. (Though I'm not sure what happens if they actual produce more savings than promised. Do they get extra money?)

    As a matter of fact, if their business model includes energy savings from big businesses, they may be able to get all of the energy savings they need from one customer/user.

    Again, it's about the amount of energy saved, not the number of users.
  • UkiwiSUkiwiS San DiegoPosts: 692Member, Moderator

    @Jill Harness If you don't like the multi hour #OhmHours change your availability in settings so you don't participate between 4-8 PM. You won't be included, won't participate and won;t lose your streak. When it is convenient, change your settings back.

    I limit my availability to 5PM and later. I've had a few 2 hour ones, from 6-8 but no 3 hours events. Today, you'd think they'd give me 5-7 but no I have a single hour from 6pm. I limit my availability due to Solar but there's no reason why you cannot do it for other reasons. The downside of course is you'll earn less but that's life, right?

  • Jill HarnessJill Harness Posts: 4Member

    @AKPsi Vince said:
    No, they don't bid based on the number of users. It's purely based on the amount of kilowatt-hour (kWh) energy savings these users produce. For residential, the assumption is that the more people they have participate, the more energy savings they have to meet the amount they committed to produce. (Though I'm not sure what happens if they actual produce more savings than promised. Do they get extra money?)

    As a matter of fact, if their business model includes energy savings from big businesses, they may be able to get all of the energy savings they need from one customer/user.

    Again, it's about the amount of energy saved, not the number of users.

    But they base that on the number of users (including big companies participating). It's not like the people running the company just pull that number out of their butt. You even say that " the assumption is that the more people they have participate, the more energy savings they have to meet the amount" so even you're admitting that the number of people participating is a factor.

  • Jill HarnessJill Harness Posts: 4Member

    @UkiwiS said:
    @Jill Harness If you don't like the multi hour #OhmHours change your availability in settings so you don't participate between 4-8 PM. You won't be included, won't participate and won;t lose your streak. When it is convenient, change your settings back.

    I limit my availability to 5PM and later. I've had a few 2 hour ones, from 6-8 but no 3 hours events. Today, you'd think they'd give me 5-7 but no I have a single hour from 6pm. I limit my availability due to Solar but there's no reason why you cannot do it for other reasons. The downside of course is you'll earn less but that's life, right?

    I want to earn as many rewards as I can and have left mine on at all times for almost a full year and still never had a three hour streak until this point. I didn't even get a two hour one until about a month ago.

    Yes, it's my decision to choose between having more alerts and earning less money, but I still think there should just be an option to say how many hours you're willing to do at once. And I'm surprised how many users are against that idea like it would somehow affect them when they could opt to do as many hours as they wanted.

  • UkiwiSUkiwiS San DiegoPosts: 692Member, Moderator
    @Jill Harness I agree with you and I believe that's a good recommendation which they might even implement.
  • UkiwiSUkiwiS San DiegoPosts: 692Member, Moderator
    @fpadillajr79@gmail.com scroll up and read my 4:22 post. With the current format I believe it's a solution for you.
  • John KJohn K Lake Forest - Hikers and Bikers TeamPosts: 358Member

    @fpadillajr79@gmail.com said:
    Now my streak is going to end have points deducted cause I was only able to particate in 1 hour instead of 2!

    So, why is one hour of participation not sufficient to show a savings? It's not two separate hours, it's one two-hour event. You don't have to save in each one.

  • No Pain No GainNo Pain No Gain 93035Posts: 81Member

    With this heat wave, I'm surprised (and disappointed) I haven't gotten any OhmHours. My next OH will be my 21st and I'm looking forward to my first Platinum Bonus. Bring on the #OhmHours! :smiley:

  • jwdhomejwdhome Posts: 3Member
    Seems as if the number of points offered during ohmhours has dropped significantly sinse they've have cut the platinum multiplier in half. Interesting that we get an ohm hour from 7 to 8 pm now that it's cool but nothing in the middle of the 100+ degree heat this week. Disappointed to see 5 and 25 point rewards as of late.
  • SCECUSTOMERSCECUSTOMER Oak View, California, USAPosts: 52Member
    edited September 7

    @Watts Down said:
    Interesting that we get an ohm hour from 7 to 8 pm now that it's cool but nothing in the middle of the 100+ degree heat this week.

    Totally agree, we now have one from 9-10pm, but just one last week when it was historically hot.
    weird

  • AKPsi VinceAKPsi Vince Union CityPosts: 971Moderator
    Yeah, it all depends on the strain to the local parts of the grid that supplies each of us with energy as well as our utilities' ability to predict and acquire enough energy to meet demand everyday. 2 other factors are weather and times for sunrise and sunset, which affects solar production.

    As far as last week when it was super hot, my guess is that utilities were able to anticipate and acquire just enough energy for its customers and if they fell a little short, solar was able to make up the difference. Again, all just speculation.

    And I believe that OC doesn't have to call an OhmHour every time there may be a need for one. I think they just need to call enough to produce the savings they need to fulfill their contractual obligations. For instance, they may just skip some if they're ahead due to the need to do planned enhancements/maintenance to their programming or to fix a bug because it may cause a lot of issues if not resolved as soon as possible.

    There are probably a bunch of other reasons, but this is just what comes to mind at the moment.
  • WaterGuyWaterGuy Posts: 407Member, Moderator

    @Jill Harness, I personally think your suggestion is a good one, and it may well be something OC will consider in the future. If you haven't yet, I'd suggest sending the suggestion to help@ohmconnect.com to make sure someone on the development team actually sees it.

    Before getting too attached to the idea, though, I think it's important to keep in mind that OC's development efforts are, by necessity, primarily focused on issues that impact a large percentage of their users. The vast majority of users don't post anything in the forum, so I'd guess OC has a much better idea of their base's views on multi-hour events than what you and I have gleaned in various posts. You're right in your assessment that you aren't alone, but it seems to me I've seen just as many or more folks who are pleased with the multi-hour events and wish they had more. I personally fall into that latter category--because multi-hour events count as a single event for the status calculations, they really help me (a low-energy, solar user) maintain my Platinum status. Your personal situation is certainly complicated and unfortunate, but I'd venture to guess that most users aren't pregnant, renting, working from home AND required to stay home with a dog with separation anxiety. The reality is that some aspects of OhmConnect's system will be more difficult for some people than others, and catering to unique users' needs would be both expensive and and add undesired complexity to the user interface.

  • AKPsi VinceAKPsi Vince Union CityPosts: 971Moderator
    @WaterGuy Well said!
  • No Pain No GainNo Pain No Gain 93035Posts: 81Member
    edited September 10

    @SCECUSTOMER said:

    @Watts Down said:
    Interesting that we get an ohm hour from 7 to 8 pm now that it's cool but nothing in the middle of the 100+ degree heat this week.

    Totally agree, we now have one from 9-10pm, but just one last week when it was historically hot.
    weird

    There were NO OHs for me during that hellish hot week, but I will go with @AKPsi Vince 's logical explanation for what happened there. My OH from 9-10 on Sept. 6th yielded 94 points/kWh, the lowest since starting the program in June.
    Definitely a roller coaster ride!

  • CraigWCraigW Posts: 5Member

    Aren't two or three hour ohm hours easier to work? If you want to maximize points and maintain platinum status, no, however if you trying to maintain gold at 15% reduction, simply setting back your AC a few degrees will probably give you the buffer you need to get over the hump. At a minimum it should maintain any streak.

    I'm still struggling to get my first twenty ohm hours. My first one never updated from SCE, I currently have a 14 streak and getting two and three hour ohm hours. If yesterday's two hour ohmhour and today's three hour ohmhour counted as two and three, I'd hit my 20 and be a platinum status. Sadly, I'm sitting at silver and still have four more to go after today.

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