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For low energy users, what usage level makes this program worth while?

CraigWCraigW Posts: 42Member

I recently lost and streak bonus because I forgot about an ohm hour. Now courtesy of low usage and Solar

So here's the rub, my last ohm hour we reduced from 0.6 to 0.36 kwh. For 42 baseline points.

Sans having an EV or other easily delayed high consumption device, what level usage do people consider to be worthwhile. I also realize everyone is different, but at essentially 84 cents (last OH was still at platinum bonus) without, it's essentially 42 cents.

Due to my having solar, I foresee challenges with maintaining streak and gold status.

Best Answer

Answers

  • UkiwiSUkiwiS San DiegoPosts: 1,493Member, Moderator
    42 points doesnt sound like much but if you are platinum and on a streak of 100 your total points would be 294.

    1.5 Ohmhours a week would be almost 450 points per week or 23,400 a year and that's pretty much your worst case scenario, right?

    If you have AC running in the summer your savings will be significantly higjer.

    The key is to build your streak and keep it running so you can profit when you have higher forecasts.
  • Ohmconnect is not helping me because I am at a very low energy use so i want to drop out.

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

    @jerrysanger-gmail I'm so glad you've stopped here. I know it can be difficult. Have you tried a smart plug? I'm a low energy user as well and by adding smart plug to the things that use the most energy (such as the fridge) I've been able to beat my forecast.

  • pizzaman51pizzaman51 Posts: 6Member
    I'm in the same boat CraigW is in...I forgot about the last OhmHour until I was about 15 min into it, and by the time I remembered I had already exceeded my forecast, which coincidentally was a tad more than half of a usual forecast, and blew my streak (only 22...but it was a perfect record until then...) out of the water. I've been on for several months, and I just barely broke the $20 mark before this happened. My wife is getting fed up with sitting around in the dark too at less than $1 an hour reward. We have battery powered lights, and I even bought a couple wi-fi switches to shut off my refrigerators. I'd like to disenroll, but that information seems to either be buried or just non-existent. The only thing I've been able to determine is that it could take up to 2 weeks before it gets deactivated. You make it easy to enroll, then keep trying to persuade us to buy these ridiculously expensive smart switches (I paid just over $10 each for the 3 that I got, and they work just fine...and I'M the one who gets to control them...) from the store...seems like a convenient way to create a captive audience for your switches, etc.
    Anyway...rant over...just let me know how to shut this thing down.
  • UkiwiSUkiwiS San DiegoPosts: 1,493Member, Moderator
    @pizzaman

    Have you looked in settings and clicked the "disconnect" button next to Utility?
  • pizzaman51pizzaman51 Posts: 6Member
    > @UkiwiS said:
    > @pizzaman
    >
    > Have you looked in settings and clicked the "disconnect" button next to Utility?

    Thanks for the tip...I didn't find that before. (I did try looking in Settings, but didn't recognize that for what it is...)
    Done.
  • I have tried 3 times since enrolling in January to get disconnected from a conflicting program so that I can earn ohmconnect points. As of today, it STILL says I need to disconnect from SDG&E's Reduce Your Use. I'm missing out here and it's starting to tick me off!

  • The Little Ohmer TwinsThe Little Ohmer Twins Union CityPosts: 1,010Moderator
    @snowflaker0815-com Have you contacted your utility yet to find out why they have not disconnected you from a competing problem? Unfortunately, this is out of OC’s hands.
  • rsinclai1rsinclai1 Posts: 1Member

    New user, had a good streak going, but my forecasted use went from .688 to .2 something and I was unable to beat it (should have opted out I suppose). How do I make sure that my forecasted use is at a reasonable level? I don't have any money to buy gadgets to help. However, I've learned a LOT and have enjoyed the whole process, and want to continue, if I can figure out how to not have forecasted use get so drastically low. Thanks in advance for any advice or guidance.

  • UkiwiSUkiwiS San DiegoPosts: 1,493Member, Moderator
    @rsinclai1

    You need to shift your usage to the times when OhmHours are likely and limit your availability to those key times. Cook, use the dishwasher, do the laundry, use AC, charge your EV between 5 and 9 pm.

    Obviously, when there is an OhmHour you'll need to be on the ball and stop doing all of those things
  • CraigWCraigW Posts: 42Member

    rsincia1, that's the issue I was having, I just changed the hours of when I would take an OH to avoid them. If you've already done basic energy efficiency upgrades in your home for lights, newish (last 10 years or so) appliances. Not a lot you can do if you don't have an EV or other high use item consistently using energy. Modern refrigerators are pretty efficient. Mine uses about .08 kw during an ohm hour without a smart plug. At $15-20 for a smart plug and electricity at 25 cents per hour, that's 2 cents in savings per ohm hour. I'm not going to run around unplugging my fridge to try and save .08 kwh to beat a forecast of .4 kwh so I can keep a streak going and status and earn a whooping 60 points. And honestly, with targets that low, you're going to miss a streak sooner or later and you'll lose status.

    In all practical manner, you really need to determine when things like your AC consistently runs or group load doing the dishwasher, laundry etc to a consistent time and then restrict your OH's to that time window. Even that is a struggle, you just won't generate that much load every day.

    So with an EV car, the only thing you need to do is pause the charging. That'll be between 4-7 kwh savings.
    During the summer heat, just pausing your AC will do it (in a typical home). Probably around 1-2 kwh savings maybe more.
    Four 25 watt (150 watt equiv) CFL or LED lights in the Family room that's 0.1 kwh for sitting in the dark.
    The fridge unplugged, 0.08 kwh.
    Not microwaving something for 5 minutes, 0.05 kwh

  • The Little Ohmer TwinsThe Little Ohmer Twins Union CityPosts: 1,010Moderator

    @UkiwiS & @CraigW That's great advice! @rsinclai1 also check out this Link to the FAQs about how your forecast is calculated: https://faq.ohmconnect.com/?q=forecast. I think you'll find it very helpful as you try to stay under your forecast.

    Keep in mind that if you’re on a Time Of Use (TOU) electric rate, the times that other users suggest you use energy intensive appliances maybe the times of day when it’s more expensive to use energy, which may offset the amount of money you earn from beating your forecast during an OhmHour.

    But if you keep your streak up, it may make it worth it in the longer run due to the higher point multiples you receive.

  • Marilyn & DougMarilyn & Doug Posts: 3Member

    We are also low energy users. Our last forecast was for 0.18kwh, which is virtually impossible to meet. We used 0.21. Unfortunately, although we can disconnect from Ohm, we cannot reconnect to our utility's discount plans until next year, so it's a lose-lose for us. In two months, we've earned 190 points.

  • amiegillcristamiegillcrist Posts: 2Member

    They overhauled their point earning system months ago, making it very difficult to earn any, especially as a low energy user. I'm disconnecting.

  • Kimberly McDermottKimberly McDermott Posts: 74Member
    There is still one Sure Fire way to Earn points for a Low Energy User....Share your Referral/Invite link with Friends and Family...you all have figured out Ohm Connect works...seeing as you say you've earned something...now whar do you think others might earn who are not Low Energy Users? I have some Heavy Energy Using friends who average $8 to $10 earnings an ohm hour in the winter because they cut back during their ohm hour so they're happy...I only earn $1 to $3 during my ohm hours in the winter so I could choose to be discouraged or I could jump for Joy every time I earn $20 to $40 when someone one signs up with my link...so far I've had over 200 users successfully complete their account sign up with my link...So where as I would love to earn $10+ every ohm hour I'm just as Happy earnings through referrals
  • rolandmanganrolandmangan Posts: 3Member

    @Kimberly McDermott Unfortunately, what your are describing here is not so much an energy saving program as it is a pyramid scheme. I'm willing to give this try but I'm not willing to recommend it to others until I am convinced that is worthwhile for me.

  • UkiwiSUkiwiS San DiegoPosts: 1,493Member, Moderator

    @rolandmangan said:
    @Kimberly McDermott Unfortunately, what your are describing here is not so much an energy saving program as it is a pyramid scheme. I'm willing to give this try but I'm not willing to recommend it to others until I am convinced that is worthwhile for me.

    pyr·a·mid scheme
    a form of investment (illegal in the US and elsewhere) in which each paying participant recruits two further participants, with returns being given to early participants using money contributed by later ones.

    Sorry for butting in here but how is it a pyramid scheme? Did you pay anything to join or was it FREE?

  • rolandmanganrolandmangan Posts: 3Member
    edited May 2018

    Perhaps pyramid scheme is a bit harsh and not entirely accurate, however if the emphasis is on recruiting new users to gain credit rather than on actual energy savings, then it seems a bit disingenuous.

  • UkiwiSUkiwiS San DiegoPosts: 1,493Member, Moderator
    > @rolandmangan said:
    > Perhaps pyramid scheme is a bit harsh and not entirely accurate, however if the emphasis is on recruiting new users to gain credit rather than on actual energy savings, then it seems a bit disingenuous.

    That is not the emphasis although certain people have done incredibly well doing that. I do not know how they do it as I've tried to recruit people and have a total of 7 since Sept 2016. People just don't listen or they don't believe what they're being told. Anyway, in 2017, I earned $2800, all but $140 coming from savings. It takes time to get there and I use a lot so can save a lot.Your mileage will vary
  • Kimberly McDermottKimberly McDermott Posts: 74Member
    @UkiwiS thanks for budding in...I was cooking dinner...and we have limited useage and no solar so we do earn a very good amount on savings at least when compared to my actual bill...like im usually ableto save enough to cover my bill if not monthly than cummaltively for the year...and I'm the odd one who is able to get referrals but im happy because some of my best referrals end up becoming the biggest savers...so we all have our roles to play in this saving energy program...i dont truly know my personal impact as I never thought to start my own team...so the kwh savings i see is for our entire team...meaning the ones above me and below me...but I'd have to say I bet my impact has been pretty Huge since I have had 200 referrals reach silver and majority are still participating in the program...so where as I could shut my breakers off every tine and only save 1/2 kwh not much which since im a low user...just think of the impact that happens when the 200 people I referred participate plus all the ones they referred...So it truly is a win win for everyone and the environment
  • NatalieeebbyxNatalieeebbyx Posts: 1Member
    I don’t know how to reply to users but I am a “Low Energy User”. I started to make $80 a month by inviting one person a month & unplugging TVs, ACs, Microwave & turning off the lights. No smart plug yet.

    Sign up a family member or a friend. Post it on social media, don’t be embarrassed to make that extra free money & at the same time your doing a good deed.
    Anything counts.

    & a pyramid scheme, no I don’t think so. There is no membership fee, there is an online store but it’s only to benefit you in the long run. Regardless your going to make some money by just reviewing your forecast.
  • frodoscribefrodoscribe Posts: 2Member

    Your algorithm for adding and deleting points is seriously flawed. I am a very low usage user. When I exceed the goal, I am awarded a modest number of points. A couple of weeks ago, I used my small toaster over for about 20 minutes before I remembered that it was OhmHour. Even then, the overall usage was quite low for the hour, though over the predicted amount. I was penalized a massive number of points. This is nonsense. All you are accomplishing is disincentivising folks from using your system. It feels like a stacked deck. Would I recommend your game to others? Highly unlikely.

  • John KJohn K Lake Forest - Hikers and Bikers TeamPosts: 581Member

    @frodoscribe, I'm guessing you don't realize that your failure to meet your forecast caused a penalty in the payout by CAISO. If OC doesn't ask you to make up for the loss, it impacts the rest of the membership. I'm sure you would agree that wouldn't be fair.

  • Kimberly McDermottKimberly McDermott Posts: 74Member
    @Natalieeebbyx I couldn't agree more...keep saving and keep sharing. ..it all helps the environment and the community in the long run
  • Really happy to see everyone is already saving energy by having a low-base line. I know it may be more difficult to gain points from OhmConnect, but you are contributing to a bigger goal which is to reduce energy to save our planet! Here is an interesting blog post from OhmConnect about how real users who have low-base line save more energy and gain points with OhmConnect.

  • BreakersOffBreakersOff SacramentoPosts: 1Member

    Not sure what more to do and wanted to see if there are any ideas. Forecast was -1.399kWh, flipped the breakers for an hour and still ended up with -1.226kWh and zero points. There was a little cloud cover that day which accounted for lower solar output, but aside from being home to flip the switch, it seems that I need to also check the weather before deciding whether or not to opt out of an OhmHour. -1.399kWh is a rarity for our system at that time of day, but could have occurred in the past with perfect conditions and nobody home... Has anyone else seen unreasonable forecasts like this?

  • frankhacfrankhac Sunnyvale, CAPosts: 49Member

    I have solar and I limit my availability to 7:00 pm or later. I look at when sunset is in my area and try to have OhmHours no earlier than 2 hours before sunset.

    As others have mentioned, maintaining your streak makes a lot of difference in how many points you can get for each OhmHour. As an example, if you have a streak of 40, you’ll get double your base points for your streak. I basically want it to be under my control if I can beat my forecast. I can’t do that due to weather if I have an OhmHour when my solar is generating a lot.

  • UkiwiSUkiwiS San DiegoPosts: 1,493Member, Moderator

    @KilowattNegative first off, the forecast is simply the average of your "usage" for that block of time. For weekend days it's the average of the last 4 non event weekend days. It might appear to be "unreasonable" but it's not, it's simply what you've "used" previously, even though it's negative. If you download your data from your utility you can fact check the numbers and the math does work. OhmConnect uses those numbers for the entire user base to accurately predict how much they can save as a group and they then "bid" or sell this back to the market. The only way for you to use less than your forecast is if it's considerably sunnier than average or if you have significant consumption during the same time period that you can cut during the OhmHour. It becomes even more difficult after the solstice as the days become shorter so that also works against you.

    Secondly, the BEST thing you can do is follow what @frankhac says. Change your availability so you are only included for OhmHours after 6 or 7 pm. You will miss a few afternoon events which you won't even know about but you will maintain and grow your streak with little effort. My streak has been growing since Feb 2017 and is currently 108. It's fairly stress free as I know I can beat the forecast each and every time with little effort and I don't need to worry about clouds or fog!

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