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Impossible Goals??

Hi OhmConnect,

I have just joined OhmConnect and since I have been on strike for 15 hours strait, but you are lowering limits to the extent that they are impossible to reach.

I was given goal of 0.159kWh. Only device that was on during this hour was refrigerator and it used 0.159kWh. This ended my streak at 15. This seems a bit silly.

What do you base your goals on?

Thanks..

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Comments

  • nguyenshanenguyenshane Posts: 1Member

    Right, I feel like this is not fair. I got an estimate of 0.18211, which is already insane!

  • UkiwiSUkiwiS San DiegoPosts: 1,600Member, Moderator
    edited January 2018

    @ravishet said:
    Hi OhmConnect,

    I have just joined OhmConnect and since I have been on strike for 15 hours strait, but you are lowering limits to the extent that they are impossible to reach.

    I was given goal of 0.159kWh. Only device that was on during this hour was refrigerator and it used 0.159kWh. This ended my streak at 15. This seems a bit silly.

    What do you base your goals on?

    ....this has been addressed MULTIPLE times and can be found with a simple search. YOUR forecast is based on YOUR usage. It's not a made-up number, YOU created it by your own usage patterns.

    Try this:
    https://faq.ohmconnect.com/participating-in-ohmhours/what-is-my-forecast-and-how-do-you-calculate-it

    And

    https://faq.ohmconnect.com/?q=forecast

  • ravishetravishet Posts: 3Member

    @nguyenshane said:
    Right, I feel like this is not fair. I got an estimate of 0.18211, which is already insane!

    I agree.

  • UkiwiSUkiwiS San DiegoPosts: 1,600Member, Moderator
    @ravishet

    It seems perfectly reasonable to me. Why do you think it's unfair that you have to beat your average usage?

    Or is it that you don't quite understand it?
    https://faq.ohmconnect.com/participating-in-ohmhours/why-does-the-estimated-forecast-in-my-ohmhour-email-not-match-my-final-forecast
  • ravishetravishet Posts: 3Member

    @UkiwiS said:
    @ravishet

    It seems perfectly reasonable to me. Why do you think it's unfair that you have to beat your average usage?

    Or is it that you don't quite understand it?
    https://faq.ohmconnect.com/participating-in-ohmhours/why-does-the-estimated-forecast-in-my-ohmhour-email-not-match-my-final-forecast

    What is up with all the aggression. Relax. I think expected limit is insane and that is my experience. No need to be aggressive.
    Your tone is not good for a Moderator, you need to moderate your tone.

  • UkiwiSUkiwiS San DiegoPosts: 1,600Member, Moderator

    .

    @ravishet said:

    @UkiwiS said:
    @ravishet

    It seems perfectly reasonable to me. Why do you think it's unfair that you have to beat your average usage?

    Or is it that you don't quite understand it?
    https://faq.ohmconnect.com/participating-in-ohmhours/why-does-the-estimated-forecast-in-my-ohmhour-email-not-match-my-final-forecast

    What is up with all the aggression. Relax. I think expected limit is insane and that is my experience. No need to be aggressive.
    Your tone is not good for a Moderator, you need to moderate your tone.

    I'm a little perplexed that anything I said in this thread could be taken as aggressive. I do say what I think but that's cultural and North America does tend to be very PC and a little passive/aggressive. If my tone has offended you,I apologize. I'm trying to help you understand.

    The forecast is based on your usage so I'm not sure why you think it's "insane". OhmHour days are excluded entirely from the calculation so the forecast is an average or "normal" days on which you are not going out of your way to do anything different. If you are already energy conscious and are unable to save consistently when there are #OhmHours then perhaps the program isn't for you. #CHILL

  • amiegillcristamiegillcrist Posts: 2Member

    It's a ridiculous method to gauge whether or not you get points. If I make the effort to turn off everything except essential items (refrigerator, router, etc) it drives my average usage down, which eventually makes it impossible to beat. I haven't been paid for a long time because it's almost impossible for me to get below my average now, after having made extreme efforts to use less energy. I don't even try anymore.

  • UkiwiSUkiwiS San DiegoPosts: 1,600Member, Moderator
    edited January 2018

    @amiegillcrist said:
    It's a ridiculous method to gauge whether or not you get points. If I make the effort to turn off everything except essential items (refrigerator, router, etc) it drives my average usage down, which eventually makes it impossible to beat. I haven't been paid for a long time because it's almost impossible for me to get below my average now, after having made extreme efforts to use less energy. I don't even try anymore.

    Think of it this way...you drive along the freeway with your cruise control set at 65. There is no traffic and you never hit the brakes. You do this for 10 straight days. Your average speed is 65. Now, you happen upon road works and you have to drop your speed to 50.

    You changed your behavior for that period of time ONLY. At other times you did nothing out of the ordinary and continued along minding your own business.

    An OhmHour is like road works and you CHANGE your behavior for that hour. If there is no OhmHour you continue doing whatever it is you do without worrying about saving. If you follow the logic and consciously make an effort ONLY when there is an OhmHour it should be easy to beat your forecast because you only actively try to save for that one hour block of time!

    If you are constantly making an effort to save 24 hours a day then the forecast will be very hard to beat.

    Does that make any sense?

  • jengoslejengosle Posts: 3Member
    It kind of seems like a catch 22. When I leave the house, I make sure as much as possible is unplugged/turned off just incase I get a text of an ohm hour while I am out. I am already reducing my energy just incase, but that brings my streaks to 0 because I was not wasting electricity on a regular basis? If you already shut things down, what more can you be expected to do?
  • Kate from OhmConnectKate from OhmConnect Posts: 1,049Administrator

    HI @jengosle it can be hard as a low energy user. I'm in this case, and I just made platinum. (Part of what helped was that our heat is electric.) I recommend doing an energy audit of your house to understand what you have that uses electricity to see what else you can reduce.

  • jengoslejengosle Posts: 3Member
    That’s the thing- I know what to reduce, that is how my forecast gets too low. But I turn everything off in anticipation of an ohm hour but that is no longer good enough to beat my forecast.
    I’m going to just stop reducing for a while since my streak is gone (bye bye 210% bonus) and let the numbers get high again.
  • UkiwiSUkiwiS San DiegoPosts: 1,600Member, Moderator

    @jengosle said:
    But I turn everything off in anticipation of an ohm hour

    This is where you are getting caught. If you "anticipate" an OhmHour and there isn't one, your forecast will get lower and lower and will match your usage when there is an OhmHour and you will have no margin for error. If you ONLY adjust your behavior when there is an OhmHour....your forecast will be higher so that when you are called upon to reduce you will easily beat your forecast. The key is to do things differently ONLY when there is an actual OhmHour.

  • leannbrooksleannbrooks Posts: 1Member

    I'm also a low energy user and joined both to save some money and to challenge myself to do better. My forecast typically is about .04KWH so I've only been able to beat it on the random day it's up close to .1. It does seem to be punishing the folks who are already saving so maybe the program isn't for folks like us. I would have to triple my power use for 10 days before an ohm hour to be able to beat the forecast by using my normal amount. (10 days is what they use for the forecast)

    It's similar to the water restrictions California has done the past few years, If you already conserve they set your goal lower and you get fined for using too much water. At least Ohm Connect doesn't fine us huh?

    I'm going to try setting my ohm hours for only the evening when I can actually do something about saving rather than during the day when I'm already low.

    Good luck.

  • Kate from OhmConnectKate from OhmConnect Posts: 1,049Administrator

    @leannbrooks this sounds like a smart idea!

  • KolchakKolchak FresnoPosts: 41Member

    I'm new and later today at 5pm I'll have my first #OhmHour. About two years ago I had several things done to my home to help save energy and I saw my PG&E bill drop a lot every month since then. And when I recently found out about OhmConnect I signed up and am looking forward to the challenge of saving even more, but my projected forecast goal for the 5pm hour is only 0.01. Not 0.10 but 0.01. I don't get why it would be that low considering I'm always home after 1pm and during the 5pm hour I usually have the tv on and several lights on while working on my computer or cooking dinner. I even have a very old refrigerator that I know is an energy hog.
    Will this program be able to tell I saved at least 15% of 0.01? If I unplug everything will that even make a difference to earn points?

    I think I'm going to need a lot of luck.

  • UkiwiSUkiwiS San DiegoPosts: 1,600Member, Moderator

    @Kolchak, The forecasts you receive before an event are an estimate only and they should not be relied upon because the complete data set is not available. Because your #OhmHour is on Sunday, the forecast is the average of your usage for that specified hour over the previous 4 weekend days. Obviously this includes 5-6pm yesterday, and that data is not yet available. By the time your #OhmHour scores, the data will be available and your forecast will be adjusted accordingly.

  • KolchakKolchak FresnoPosts: 41Member

    @UkiwiS, thank you for clearing that up. I even looked at my PG&E electrical usage and looked at my weekends between 5-6pm. The most recent weekend they have posted is Jan 6 and 7th in which I used 0.28 and 0.24, the weekend before that was 0.33 and 0.48. So I'm sure the 0.01 forecast is not accurate. My weekend usage on December 23 and 24th was 1.96 and 1.48 during the 5pm hour. I'm going to blame the family members that stayed with me that week on the high energy output. :)

  • darksplitdarksplit Posts: 1Member

    really hard for me to beat 0.102 kWh :/
    We barely use energy and that's the refrigerator while all the lights are off and now one is at home. What should I do then, turn off my refrigerator before I go to work?

  • UkiwiSUkiwiS San DiegoPosts: 1,600Member, Moderator
    > @darksplit said:
    > really hard for me to beat 0.102 kWh :/
    > We barely use energy and that's the refrigerator while all the lights are off and now one is at home. What should I do then, turn off my refrigerator before I go to work?

    It's tough for those who already have low usage. Probably the best thing you could do would be to invest in these....wait for them to go on sale...put one on the fridge.
    https://shop.ohmconnect.com/products/tp-link-wi-fi-smart-plug-mini-hs105
  • Maximus S (Rocky)Maximus S (Rocky) Posts: 2Member
    edited February 2018
    > @UkiwiS said:
    >
    > I'm a little perplexed that anything I said in this thread could be taken as aggressive. I do say what I think but that's cultural and North America does tend to be very PC and a little passive/aggressive. If my tone has offended you,I apologize. I'm trying to help you understand.
    >

    Are you REALLY perplexed? Forgive me for finding that extremely unlikely. Every post of yours in this thread is dripping with contempt for the people you're responding to. It's as if you view them as stupid people with your tone. Also, I'm not aware of where in North America where that behavior is cultural, but I sure hope I never wind up at the place where the "culture" is to be condescending and arrogant in basic conversation. Pretty shocked to see that from a moderator - you usually see that behavior from random posters who just troll forums...
  • UkiwiSUkiwiS San DiegoPosts: 1,600Member, Moderator
    edited February 2018

    @Maximus S (Rocky)

    Maybe you are right, I've asked OC to review this thread and provide feedback. If they think my tone is out of line I'll adapt. It probably comes from frustration with posting the same things over and over. The forum is not perfect and many users fail to read the FAQ before posting. In any case, hopefully you actually learned something from the thread.

  • Matt DMatt D Posts: 36Administrator

    Hi all - this is Matt, the CEO and co-founder of OhmConnect. @UkiwiS - thank you for alerting me to this thread.

    I know that OhmConnect needs to provide some more context for low baseline users - it seems hard to reduce when there is not a big baseline to work off of! I also am a low baseline user - you can see a screenshot of my dashboard below. I live in a small studio apartment so its hard to use too much energy.

    One of the things we are finding is that some of our most reliable users are baseline users. Several of our users that have streaks over 100 have baselines consistently less than 1 kWh. In our discussions with them, it is because as a low energy user, you can find out exactly what is on and make sure those are not on during an #OhmHour. One way to do that automatically is to increase the number of plugs that turn off automatically - I currently have four that are plugged into my fridge, my power strip, my wife's power strip and our electric heater (oh boy does that do a number for us on an #OhmHour). The fridge is the easiest. It is a guaranteed set of points for each #OhmHour.

    A couple of things to remember:

    • A lot of your energy usage is tied up in space heating and cooling. As we go into the spring, generally most people will see very low energy usage. For users with gas heating, you will see low energy usage in the winter as well. However, as soon as the summer hits, that is when things start rocking. Your baseline will go up (cause you are using more energy to cool the house - A/C or fans) and that is when you cash in your streaks. One of our best members @Kimberly McDermott once said that you need to save up during the winter to earn the most in the summer
    • Many times, we don't know what devices use the most energy. We have these TP Link smart plugs that you can get at our store and plug into the fridge. However, before you do that, go around the house and use the TP Link to learn how much energy you use at each outlet. You often will find that some of your devices use way more energy than you ever expected. I remember when I first did that, I was shocked to find that the energy used for my baby's lamp exceeded eight of my lights in the rest of the apartment. The lamp was one of those old filament bulbs that was extremely energy intensive.
    • Finally, no matter how little, in some events, even low baselines can create massive amounts of value. In August last year, I was in Gold and had a streak of 25 and earned 432 points across three events cause the value for the #OhmHour was so high
  • Sorry guys was on vacation with the family... matt that is so true our baseline is miniscule yet with our streaks we have earned $10 just in ohms this month now come summer I can't wait to see my ohm hours hit $15, $20 even $40
  • No Pain No GainNo Pain No Gain 93035Posts: 404Member

    @Kimberly McDermott Are those big summer OhmHours from forecasts that include use of air conditioning? My OhmHours tend to stay pretty constant since I don't have A/C. How much I earn also depends on the points/kWh we get for an OhmHour, which was higher last summer than it has been in fall/winter. I haven't been here a year yet, so I don't have that data to look back on. Do you track points/kWh? If so, can you see a pattern?

  • UkiwiSUkiwiS San DiegoPosts: 1,600Member, Moderator

    @No Pain No Gain

    Here's a simple graph of the 5 period moving average of the last year of data.

    The recent dip down was due to the lowest reading I've ever seen. I've had 10 so far this year and here's the base points per kWh...most recent at the bottom.

    186.98
    140.49
    159.16
    160.95
    162.13
    188.59
    157.75
    89.06
    80.67
    189.35

    Of course, take these numbers with a grain of salt as your base points per kWh are likely to be different. I'm located in downtown San Diego in ZIP 92101.

  • No Pain No GainNo Pain No Gain 93035Posts: 404Member

    @UkiwiS If the numbers you've posted are the points/kWh that OC uses to calculate your base points, then you have a much higher rate than my area. Maybe that's because I'm with SCE and you're with SDGE.
    You said the recent dip was due to the lowest reading you've ever seen, but there is a deeper dip around the end of July. So I think we may be talking about two different things. I'll just put my stats here in case anyone is interested. lol Yup, I know how to have fun on a Saturday night, right?

    Here are the stats for what I was "paid" per kWh for the amounts I saved:
    Since June 2017
    Highest = 224 Lowest = 81 Median = 143 Mode = 169 (4) Range = 144 Population = 55
    June - September (warmer months)
    Highest = 224 Lowest = 94 Median = 160 Range = 130 Population = 25
    October to February (cooler months)
    Highest = 198 Lowest = 81 Median = 113 Range = 118 Population = 30

    There's really not much of a pattern, except I've seen a slight drop in points/kWh since last summer. I was hoping to see a trend toward higher points/kWh on your graph, but that's not the case. My conclusion is that bigger payouts must come from having bigger forecasts.

  • UkiwiSUkiwiS San DiegoPosts: 1,600Member, Moderator
    edited February 2018

    @No Pain No Gain I'm not sure about your conclusion. I know others in nearby zip codes that have very similar base points per kWh but they have low forecasts. I think the differences are more than likely due to the different geographic locations or Zone. If you've ever looked at the CAISO real-time pricing map there can be massive price differences between nodes and I believe this plays a BIG part.

    Check out the pricing:
    http://www.caiso.com/PriceMap/Pages/default.aspx

    It's just after 5am and the LMP (Locational Marginal Price) is currently around $52 a mWh ( I think that's for a mWh) These numbers are currently fairly stable across the entire map. San Diego - San Franscisco and Inland.

    What part this plays exactly, I'm not sure, but in June when we had "Flex" alerts all over CA, these Real Time LMPs were over $1000.

  • No Pain No GainNo Pain No Gain 93035Posts: 404Member

    @UkiwiS I've never seen this price map, so thanks for posting it. Another interesting piece of the puzzle. :smile:

    If someone would've asked me a year ago my level of interest in energy, my answer would've been, "Meh. Energy smenergy. The bill comes and I pay it". I've come a long way since June!

  • craigdow1gcraigdow1g No CalPosts: 2Member

    Here's a real... "problem"?
    I have just installed batteries with solar (I know, poor me).
    But, I am still reducing every OhmHour. My house still uses power! But Ohmhours occur while I'm using stored energy.
    Problem is, I'm actually loosing points if the flow is not completely flat.
    I see no way this program can work for me.
    Suggestions?
    Thanks

    Forecasted use : TBD kWh
    Saturday, Feb 24, 7:00-8:00PM
    0
    points
    Your use: -0.006 kWh

    Forecasted use (Est.) : -0.009 kWh
    Tuesday, Feb 20, 5:00-6:00PM
    -1
    points
    Your use: 0.01 kWh

  • cwiedcwied San MateoPosts: 136Member

    @Juiced said:
    Here's a real... "problem"?
    I have just installed batteries with solar (I know, poor me).
    But, I am still reducing every OhmHour. My house still uses power! But Ohmhours occur while I'm using stored energy.
    Problem is, I'm actually loosing points if the flow is not completely flat.
    I see no way this program can work for me.
    Suggestions?
    Thanks

    I've been thinking about this problem too since I just got a Powerwall system. My conclusion is that you have to pick and choose between demand reduction and self consumption. Set your hours for the times when you don't plan to self-consume from your batteries. For me that would be all non-peak hours right now. Since I'm effectively putting partial-peak energy into the battery, it makes no sense to discharge at any time except peak. I'll set my OhmHour schedule to avoid those hours that I would prefer to self-consume (which may not be many while I'm grandfathered on the 1-7pm summer peak schedule).

    Bottom line: this is a demand-reduction incentive program. If you don't have any demand to reduce, you won't be able to qualify for the incentives.

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