OhmConnect Discriminates Against Responsible Consumers and New Parents

I've been using OhmConnect for six months now. I was initially lured in by that inane "This Company Will Pay You Up to $300 To Go Outside" ad on Facebook. Well, after all the troubles my wife and I have gone through of keeping track of "OhmHours" and trying to reduce our usage during them, my earnings for the past half year have been a whopping $17; I could make that amount by taking a leisurely crap at work, or in a matter of minutes on the stock market.

I don't know what's considered normal for average forecasted usage, but our average forecasted usage has been 1.1 kWh for the past six months, 0.47 kWh for the past quarter, and just 0.35 kWh since the new year.

I know that forecasted usages are based on historical data. Therefore, it appears we are being punished for having been frugal consumers of energy prior to joining OhmConnect.

To those who insist that, no matter how low our forecasted usages are, we should still be able to beat our forecasts by simply "going outside", well, my wife and I are new parents with a three-month-old baby, and "just going outside" isn't always an option, especially now that my wife works from home and has obligations that she cannot simply abandon during OhmHours. To top it off, we've also had a tenant during these past six months, whom we did not have living with us a year ago. So we have two additional people living in our household and yet are expected to consume less energy than we consumed when neither of them lived here.

I don't expect anyone to "make this right". I just want to vent because I am frustrated with how much time I've wasted on OhmConnect. I suppose if you were a gratuitous energy consumer before joining OhmConnect and have no plans of starting a family, OhmConnect could be a decent deal. But for lifelong frugal energy consumers and growing households, my experience has been that it's a waste of time.


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

    @Matt Schwartz Someone on a different thread has this same issue of not being able to save much more than they already are. I, too, am a low usage household, but I've been able to save during #OhmHours by turning off the refrigerators in the kitchen and garage. It's hard to get my kid to turn off his computer (which means modem and router are on, too), but he turns off his lights and non-essential power strips. I turn off the lighting in my front yard and anything else I can do without. I have 9 smart plugs to turn things off if I'm not home. I've built up my streak and get tokens for smart plugs, an instagram photo, and ... new... participating in the Buddy program. All without "going outside". It's great that you said something, but wish you would've done so before "wasting a year". People are happy to share tips on how to make the most of your #OhmHour. There are other ways, but this is long enough. Congrats on your little one and don't give up on this!

  • @Matt Schwartz I'm glad others have jumped in here. We never like to see unhappy "Ohmers." I posted in another place on the forum an energy audit. If you're not sure what's using the most electricity in your home, this might be a good exercise.

    Otherwise, as others have said, it's all about using smart plugs and generally being conscious about where your energy is coming from so you can unplug when the hour arrives.

  • Steve ESteve E Member, Moderator Posts: 329

    I would like to add my experience to this. I stay at home to be the caregiver for my 94 year old mother in law with dementia, and because of her condition there are certain things that I simply cannot turn off during an #OhmHour.

    There are however lots of ways I can save power during an #OhmHour to reduce our usage and easily beat our estimated usage. I too unplug my fridge during an #OhmHour as well as turn off any lights, TV etc... that are on to make sure we beat the target.

    We also have other things (in our case a pond) that consumes a sizable amount of energy and simply turning off one of the two pumps that run on it will result in considerable power savings.

    By using this program I have become a lot more energy aware in regards to what devices / appliances we use that contribute to our power usage and have over time made changes to reduce our overall energy consumption and save power on a daily basis. For example we have now installed LED bulbs throughout our house.

    Our overall energy usage and estimated use has decreased over time, but we are still easily able to reduce usage enough to reach our #OhmHour goals. Being aware of what is responsible for your power consumption aids a great deal in helping you meat your targets. Until reviewing our power usage during an #OhmHour and seeing the reduction we achieved I had no idea just how much power our old plasma TV used!

  • K CampK Camp Member Posts: 2

    Hrm. I've likely made about $300 in 18 months. Oh.. and we have 3 kids. 5, 3.5 and a little one who just turned 1, so.... it is possible. It takes time to work up your streak. Just cause it doesn't work out for some people doesn't mean it's a waste.

  • bjracegmbjracegm Member Posts: 13

    Matt, im with you, its frustrating. The mods will disagree but there are algorithms built in to this system to work against you. I dont care what anyone says; its true. Like the hour on Thanksgiving, or in the evening right at dinner time. If you get a really long streak, you WILL stop getting point earning Ohm Hours, or hours that reward 4 points for every KW reduced. Like everything else in this world Ohm Hour does NOT exist to make you money. It exists to make Ohm Hour, money. So just do the best you can, and dont stress over it. Or just quit. Weve earned a few hundred bucks so were still somewhat trying to keep up with it.

  • Steve ESteve E Member, Moderator Posts: 329

    @bjracegm - I too at times have been frustrated by #OhmConnect, and there have certainly been growing pains in the system and changes along the way to how rewards are calculated. It can be challenging and frustrating at times, but it truly is in their interest to retain users who are active and save power. Yes, they are a for profit business, but where do you think they would be without users? They need users who they can reliably count on to save power to be able to survive.

    The payout from #OhmHours varies based on what they receive from the utility companies for the #OhmHours, there is no fixed rate they are paid for all of the hours. It is based on supply and demand and as a result the price paid per kWh is variable.

    Your #OhmHours are based on your own usage history and once you understand where your power consumption comes from, it should be fairly easy to reach your target. There is at least one user that has a streak of 100 now and I personally am currently at 91. I am a fairly high power user due to certain circumstances, but for me it is easy to turn off certain power hungry devices for an hour that mean I will easily meet my goal. Obviously the lower overall power you use the more challenging it may be. But I will also say that since using the program I have become more aware of our overall energy usage and now consume less power than we previously did even outside of the scheduled #OhmHours. One thing we did was replace all bulbs in our house with LED's when they were on sale at our local Costco.

    With the exception of short notice #OhmHours it should be relatively easy to build and maintain a streak. Adding automation can greatly aid with this and even with the short notice #OhmHours. Personally, as I work from home I do not use automation.

  • mburton7mburton7 Member Posts: 2

    I haven't had any OhmHour since May 14th. My daily must be too low to be included in these MegaHours that other neighbors are getting 2-3 times a week.

  • UkiwiSUkiwiS San DiegoMember, Moderator Posts: 1,625

    @mburton7 said:
    I haven't had any OhmHour since May 14th. My daily must be too low to be included in these MegaHours that other neighbors are getting 2-3 times a week.

    Have you reached out to Support and have them check your account?

  • duffeywolvinduffeywolvin Member Posts: 18

    One thing I have not seen mentioned; I run my laundry and dishwasher around the ohm hour times Not anything crazy, but it I'm going to run a load I'll wait a couple fo hours and put it in the normal ohm hour range.`

  • jserramcjserramc Member Posts: 351

    I have a small house and footprint and am all electric and solar. I am not saving the huge amounts some are mentioning but my usual electric bills are also small. Although I set my hours for a small window (about 8-10 PM) sometimes a 2 hour event starts at 7 PM while I am still producing solar (or could be). So sometimes my ohm hour forecasts are close to zero. That said, I unplug my fridge and have met my goals 97 times. I do try to do some high energy usage things during those hours the days after an ohm hour so that my future forecasts might include this power use. It has been working ok for me (I had 3 mega OH and 2 were 2 hrs each in the last 10 days which made it hard but I still did ok).

  • Brad MooreBrad Moore Member Posts: 11

    Ohm Connect is a scam, and they do not care one bit about their users.

  • UkiwiSUkiwiS San DiegoMember, Moderator Posts: 1,625

    @Brad Moore said:
    Ohm Connect is a scam, and they do not care one bit about their users.

    I'm not sure why you'd say that but I'm guessing you don't fully understand how it works.

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