Examples: Monday, today, last week, Mar 26, 3/26/04

Solar users caught between rock and a hard place

warren_wuwarren_wu Posts: 10Member

I've been actively doing OhmHours for a couple of years now, but at this time, points have dried up to nearly zero for me. I'm both a solar user as well as a low power user (efficient house, no A/C).

As the solar users know, we have a different criteria where you need to reduce 0.4 kwh for Gold and 0.8 kwh for Platinum - that's because the 15% and 40% reductions become weird when you get towards zero or negative consumption (net generation). I understood the point when many OhmHours were say around 4 or 5 pm (even though in my case, my solar is shaded completely after 3 pm).

But what has really caught solar in a double-whammy is the alternative Gold/Platinum criteria for solar (the rock), and the new trend towards late OhmHours (the hard place). EVERY OhmHour since spring has been 8-9 pm, except the one double OhmHour from 7-9 pm. For me, a low power user, my average consumption during 8-9 pm has been 0.7 kwh. Solar doesn't generate at 8 pm. To get Gold, I have to reduce 0.4, or 57%; to get Platinum, I have to reduce 0.8, or >100% - meaning not only use nothing, but actually generate 0.1 kwh in the dark!

In actuality, I've reduced my 0.7 kwh consumption by 25% over the last OhmHours, I should be well into Gold for the 50% bonus. I know as a low power user I only get a base $0.20-0.30 per OhmHour, only because of streak bonus and Gold/Platinum bonus does it get anywhere near $1 to make it emotionally worth it. I have a decent streak, but without any chance of a Gold/Platinum bonus, it doesn't seem worth it.

I didn't quit participating, but I changed my willing hours to exclude after 8 pm. Since then, I've gone from being invited to about 2 OhmHours a week, to literally zero invites in the last three weeks. So basically OhmConnect has abandoned me - I expect I pretty much won't get any more OhmHour invites going forward....

Comments

  • John KJohn K Lake Forest - Hikers and Bikers TeamPosts: 585Member
    edited August 2018

    @warren_wu, do you produce more energy than you consume? Especially if the answer is "yes", but even if the answer is "no", have you considered buying an EV? If yes, your fuel cost is close to zero and either way, with a flexible charging time, you can drastically increase your forecast usage.

    I'm not sure what you consider a "decent streak", but with a streak of 100 events (500%) the extra from gold or platinum status only adds an additional 50 or 100%. I think the real focus should be on the forecast and the streak.

    If your avg usage during the 8PM period is .7 kWh and you are only able to achieve an actual usage in the range of .5 kwh, I can't help but wonder whether you couldn't make further reductions. I certainly realize that some people have medical appliances that CAN"T be turned off, but most other things are a matter of choice. If you read most of the posts here, you'll see most people are achieving less than .1kWh. If you were reducing by .6 with a 90 pt/kWh payout, gold status, and a streak of 100, you'd be receiving about 350 pts. You won't retire on that but it is well over your indicated emotional minimum.

  • cwiedcwied San MateoPosts: 131Member

    Think of it this way: a streak of 10 is equivalent to the difference between Platinum and Gold. It's only going to take about 10 weeks to get to the point where you've compensated for your lower status. In the long term, the streak is much more important than status anyway, although it is frustrating that they disadvantage solar users so much in the status calculation. At least the double OhmHours don't count double for the baseline floor, so that should help you maintain Gold.

  • UkiwiSUkiwiS San DiegoPosts: 1,558Member, Moderator
    edited August 2018

    @warren_wu said:
    In actuality, I've reduced my 0.7 kwh consumption by 25% over the last OhmHours, I should be well into Gold for the 50% bonus. I know as a low power user I only get a base $0.20-0.30 per OhmHour, only because of streak bonus and Gold/Platinum bonus does it get anywhere near $1 to make it emotionally worth it. I have a decent streak, but without any chance of a Gold/Platinum bonus, it doesn't seem worth it.

    You should be able to achieve Gold status but the base points you are quoting is very very low. Are you sure that's right? The lowest I've ever seen in 2 years of usage has been 80 points per kWh and recently with the heat wave we're in it's been close to 200 points per kWh. Can you post a screenshot showing the detail of a recent OhmHour?

    I didn't quit participating, but I changed my willing hours to exclude after 8 pm. Since then, I've gone from being invited to about 2 OhmHours a week, to literally zero invites in the last three weeks. So basically OhmConnect has abandoned me - I expect I pretty much won't get any more OhmHour invites going forward....

    OhmConnect hasn't abandoned you, that's the time when the grid needs the support so if you add it back I think you'll start getting them again and your streak bonus will still be increasing, right? Why not move some of your other usage to that time spot? How about running the dishwasher at 8pm, or doing the laundry at that time? If you can do that a couple of times a week your forecast for that time period will increase.

  • John KJohn K Lake Forest - Hikers and Bikers TeamPosts: 585Member
    edited August 2018
    > @UkiwiS said:
    >
    > You should be able to achieve Gold status but the base points you are quoting is very very low. Are you sure that's right? The lowest I've ever seen in 2 years of usage has been 80 points per kWh and recently with the heat wave we're in it's been close to 200 points per kWh.
    >
    He says he gets 20-30 base pts per OH for saving 25% of .7 kWh. That’s about right.
  • CKWMCKWM Fremont, CAPosts: 232Member

    Laundry is a huge energy user if both washer and dryer are electric. We can afford to wait a lil bit to run 2 loads, and if you time it right like us - maybe you can have both the washer and dryer going at the same time during times when you anticipated OhmHours to occur.

    This is where our behavior starts to "more actively" change based on participation in OhmConnect. You need to do laundry anyway, might as well do it at a time that helps you with OhmConnect.

    Hope that help.

  • UkiwiSUkiwiS San DiegoPosts: 1,558Member, Moderator

    @John K said:
    > @UkiwiS said:
    > You should be able to achieve Gold status but the base points you are quoting is very very low. Are you sure that's right? The lowest I've ever seen in 2 years of usage has been 80 points per kWh and recently with the heat wave we're in it's been close to 200 points per kWh.

    He says he gets 20-30 base pts per OH for saving 25% of .7 kWh. That’s about right.

    Yes you are right. I thought he was implying he gets 20-30 points per kWh

  • frankhacfrankhac Sunnyvale, CAPosts: 49Member

    @warren_wu, as others have said the key for you is to shift your usage to when you think you'll be getting OH. As others have also mentioned, the streak is a lot more important then gold or platinum once you get a decent streak going.

    Since you are a low usage user, you need to determine if there are things that you leave on continuously and can turn off during an OH. Some examples would be the refrigerator, DVR, computers, TV. You need to be certain that you can reduce your usage below your forecast so that you maintain your streak.

    Setting your availability to certain hours will help. You want to be available only during the hours you can be certain you can beat your forecast. By shifting your usage to those hours will increase your chances of beating your forecast. You can cook, vacuum, and do laundry during those times. I'm not sure if you're on a Time of Use rate but in the winter the difference are not that big. In Summer the difference is bigger so until you get a good streak going, you may not be making much more from an OH by using electricity during peak time.

    I've have solar and set my hours right now to be after 7:00 pm. I only get about 3-4 OH a month but with a good streak and shifting my usage, I get pretty good points/OH. Since I shift my usage to mostly after 7:00 pm, it's fairly easy to beat my forecast.

  • c1courtneyc1courtney El Dorado Hills, CAPosts: 35Member

    It's definitely a balance, been considering shifting more of my usage, AC has been heavily used in the evenings recently. I do a 'forced' usage the night before an OhmHour during the slot, as a little booster since I know it's coming. Currently doing 6pm-10pm window. I've had 4 7-8pms and 1 6-7pm. Just as long as I'm not in the negative for the 6-7pm that's good, as I can normally produce a decent amount of Solar - Was crap on Monday because of the smoke from the fires, but still was a Net Producer by about 0.85kWh.

    Now I want an EV even more, but what I want isn't available yet. There are a couple coming out next year that would fit my needs, but I need to hit that $100,000 Summer Mega Sweepstakes ;-)

Sign In or Register to comment.