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Updates to streaks and status

Sophie, OhmConnectSophie, OhmConnect Posts: 10Member, Administrator
edited November 13 in Announcements

We started OhmConnect to show that when lots of people do just a little, it adds up to real and positive impact for the grid — and it's working! But the world of energy sharing is complicated (and new) and three years in, we need to better align how we pay you, our users, with how the grid pays us. And so, we're making some changes to streaks and status.

What’s changing?
Streak bonuses will now be capped at 20 #OhmHours. You’ll earn a 5% bonus for each successful #OhmHour you have in a row up, to 20 #OhmHours. At and above 20 #OhmHours, your streak count will continue to go up and you’ll continue to get a 100% bonus, but not more. If you break your streak above 20 #OhmHours, we’ll soften the blow and you’ll only fall back to a streak of 10, instead of 0. Read more about streak rewards here.

We’re also introducing a new status: Diamond 💎. Savvy Ohmers who save 80% or more on your forecast, will now receive a 2.5X multiplier. Read more about how status rewards work here.

We know some folks will be upset about these changes, and we want to hear from you! Our president, Cadir will be hosting an Ask Me Anything on Facebook Live tomorrow (Wednesday 11/14) at 4pm. We hope you'll join and ask questions! The more we hear from you all, the better we can support everyone who uses OhmConnect.

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Comments

  • SrelazSrelaz FullertonPosts: 115Member
    edited November 13


    There goes my 164 in a row streak bonus of 820%. Crap! That streak is 2 years old.

  • SrelazSrelaz FullertonPosts: 115Member

    Using my baseline boost tonight. SMH.

  • Steve ESteve E Posts: 303Member, Moderator

    Well there have been changes in the past and they didn't go down to well at the time and here we are again. My current streak is at 152 so that's going to take a huge cut.

    There have been discussions of the sustainability of the streaks for a long time and sadly they were not addressed until it seems the problem hit something of a critical mass. Initially this is obviously going to be a bitter pill to swallow, but to be honest I also never dreamed that I would get my electricity bill paid for several months of the year using this program. It is always hard to have something seemingly taken from you once you have worked to attain it, and at this moment it seems that is what's happening. I will wait and see what the new changes end up resulting in regarding points awarded to make my final judgement on these changes. There has always been a huge swing in the base points awarded during OhmHours that has greatly affected the total rewards paid out and I will hold my judgement until I have seen a few real OhmHours and not the lower winter ones.

    Hopefully there remains enough incentives for people to continue using the program and we should not get lost in the fact that we got somewhat spoiled with what at times if we are honest with ourselves extremely large payouts. Time will tell, but as hard as this is to take, I will wait and see what the future holds.

  • DarrenTDarrenT Posts: 52Member

    Not surprised. I said the same thing about streaks last year shortly after I started. Fortunately, I was able to at least take advantage of higher streaks during the summer to the point where it paid for my utility usage for the year and then some. Unfortunately, this change may be it for me. The lower points per kWh we were seeing earlier in the year and even now for those still lucky enough to get normal OhmHours instead of Prize OhmHours was only bearable because of the streak bonus. If the results under the new structure don't make a significant dent in my bill each month, I will likely move on.

    I do like the additional status level and have always thought it was odd that higher savers weren't rewarded more. However, it doesn't make up for my current streak, and I can see that being the case for many here.

    It would be nice to still get rewarded in some way for maintaining a large streak, even if it weren't direct compensation via a streak bonus. For example, extra tokens you can periodically use on a baseline boost (assuming this too won't be phased out in the near future as well).

    I guess we will see if this program is still worth the effort after these changes.

  • subliminsublimin Posts: 14Member
    Yes, we are upset. At least give us enough time to use our boosters with our current streaks!!😝no incentive left to participate without streaks, so it looks like it will be goodbye ohm for us.
  • SrelazSrelaz FullertonPosts: 115Member

    Going from 820% to 100% despite the multiplier being brought up to 2.5X isn't from 2X doesn't seem worth the kids not doing their homework, etc. It all boils down to opportunity cost. It was good while it lasted. I'll be at work at 4 PM tomorrow, I don't really care about the Facebook event.

  • shawn-kleinsmithshawn-kleinsmith Posts: 11Member

    With limit on streak bonus, there goes my incentive for zero energy use (breaker off) in the winter time. Summer may be different story, I will have to see. I need ohm connect hour to use my boost before Streak bonus goes away and my bonus gets cut to ~1/4 what it currently is.

  • SrelazSrelaz FullertonPosts: 115Member

    @dothemath said:
    Wow, ending the 5% bonus for streaks really makes me rethink my participation. I am not a huge energy user in the first place so my payouts were small to begin with. If I have Diamond Status and 20 in a row, there's no where to improve. And that amount of money (often less than $3 for an hour for me) is SO not worth turning everything off. Building my streak and the occasion big payout in the summer was the only thing keeping me going. My "big payout" was about $15. I consider $5 to be "worth it". Now, looking at my data from the summer, less that half of my Ohm hours this summer would be more than $5. I'm sure there are some big energy users who get much better payouts (especially with streaks). Maybe cap the maximum payout? That way those of us who don't use much to begin with can still work toward a higher goal? And stop the prizes that only benefit a couple people and use the money for payouts that everyone gets to benefit from (and where the harder you work the more you benefit instead of just luck of the draw.) I just wanted to throw in my two cents because it sounds like two cents is all I will get in payouts. :(

    @UkiwiS said:

    @Srelaz said:
    There goes my 164 in a row streak bonus of 820%. Crap!

    Bummer...

    You'll be Diamond though!

    So instead of a formula of BASE X (2 + 8.2) or BASE X 10.2 you are going to BASE X (2.5 + 1) or BASE X 3.5. That's a haircut of (1-(3.5/10.2))X100=65.6%

    For me it's a reduction of 59.4% and a #TOTALBUZZKILL

    65.6% reduction in payout. That's fantastic! Is it worth delaying kids from their homework now.....probably not.

  • Sabreena Sabreena Posts: 84Member

    Seriously disappointed. I worked over a year to get a 140 streak for a 700% bonus and now it's being reduced to 100% and no incentive to keep it going except to not get it knocked down to 50%? Wow. I know I didn't vote for that option and I can't imagine anyone else did. Clearly you are going to lose a lot of users if something isn't done. I know it isn't feasible to do 5% forever but how about 1%, that way we'd at least feel like we are getting something for extending our streak? Surely there has to be some way to cut costs and still take care of the people who are saving the company the most energy and keep them from leaving?

  • Steve ESteve E Posts: 303Member, Moderator

    @Sabreena said:
    Seriously disappointed. I worked over a year to get a 140 streak for a 700% bonus and now it's being reduced to 100% and no incentive to keep it going except to not get it knocked down to 50%? Wow. I know I didn't vote for that option and I can't imagine anyone else did. Clearly you are going to lose a lot of users if something isn't done. I know it isn't feasible to do 5% forever but how about 1%, that way we'd at least feel like we are getting something for extending our streak? Surely there has to be some way to cut costs and still take care of the people who are saving the company the most energy and keep them from leaving?

    I think one of the issues here is that it seems the utility companies don't really value consistent, long term savings and are only interested in mass savings on days of the highest load. So what they are really looking for is the ability to save a LOT of energy on very few days and as a result pay accordingly.

  • No Pain No GainNo Pain No Gain 93035Posts: 395Member

    @Steve E said:
    I think one of the issues here is that it seems the utility companies don't really value consistent, long term savings and are only interested in mass savings on days of the highest load. So what they are really looking for is the ability to save a LOT of energy on very few days and as a result pay accordingly.

    OC will lose their loyal user base, who were the ones always there "to save a LOT of energy" since there's no longer any incentive for us to build up our forecasts and flip our circuit breakers. OC HAD what the utility companies were looking for, but they will see over the next few months how apathetic the long term users will become. I looked at what I was making at 100% and with a good rate/kWh, I'm now looking at maybe 500 points if I flip my breakers. I see no point in loading my forecast or working hard to ... do what? I'm topped out at 99% and 20 OhmHours. The Prize OhmHours and all those other give-aways are nothing more than a smokescreen to reduce our points and hang onto the profits. OC needs to go back to being a serious company and stop with the FB comedy shows and silly gimmicks. That's not what the long-term users signed up for and a reason so many are complaining.

  • Jeff MellingerJeff Mellinger Lake ElsinorePosts: 10Member

    @No Pain No Gain said:

    @Steve E said:
    I think one of the issues here is that it seems the utility companies don't really value consistent, long term savings and are only interested in mass savings on days of the highest load. So what they are really looking for is the ability to save a LOT of energy on very few days and as a result pay accordingly.

    OC will lose their loyal user base, who were the ones always there "to save a LOT of energy" since there's no longer any incentive for us to build up our forecasts and flip our circuit breakers. OC HAD what the utility companies were looking for, but they will see over the next few months how apathetic the long term users will become. I looked at what I was making at 100% and with a good rate/kWh, I'm now looking at maybe 500 points if I flip my breakers. I see no point in loading my forecast or working hard to ... do what? I'm topped out at 99% and 20 OhmHours. The Prize OhmHours and all those other give-aways are nothing more than a smokescreen to reduce our points and hang onto the profits. OC needs to go back to being a serious company and stop with the FB comedy shows and silly gimmicks. That's not what the long-term users signed up for and a reason so many are complaining.

    I agree totally, the prizes are just gimmicks with long odds of winning. Prize hours are mostly funded by the savings of high streaks. $5000 in a prize or prizes instead of points is giving OhmConnect a bigger payout from the utility companies, I'm sure they're getting a boatload more than 5 grand. Did the CEO take a huge salary increase that we're funding? The dedicated saver reward? 2X to 2.5X, wow, gee thanks, you're too kind. Prize hours, what a joke, you might as well jump through the hoops of Publisher's Clearing House.

  • Selman1216Selman1216 Posts: 5Member
    Using OHMCONNECT for several years now have referred countless people... Until recently I've been faithful to you guys.... Always turning off my breaker always sharing info to users when you got rid of being able to cash out regardless of the fact that users were willing to pay for additional cash puts and totally declined any better ideas we had now you're taking away our user steaks too your literally stealing from us now by taking away all the hard work we built up there was about of sacrifice and dedication to get where we are and it's all for nothing ... I believe this will probably be it for me too. Tired of your dumb changes because you have bad leadership, tired of you taking weeks to answer a support email. Tired of not being paid the correct amount for sharing, or tokens, or buddy points, you literally have the worst response time and customer service of any company I deal with, tired of you saying you listen to your users.... You really don't, stop the dumb prizes and keep the valuable customers you have, stop them all....if you stand by and do nothing I'm done.
  • thetellesfthetellesf Posts: 12Member
    I to am rethinking my participation in this program. I also worked hard to achieve the streak and bonus I'm currently at. I agree that with the fires burning in Southern California, we should've had ohm hours. I personally would rather have the points instead of being entered into a prize drawing I have a 99% chance of not winning. I think I'm just going to cash out the rest of my points and withdraw from the program. It was fun while it lasted.
  • thetellesfthetellesf Posts: 12Member
    I really hope OhmConnect is reading these comments.
  • stormysbstormysb Posts: 44Member

    OHM had to know this would go over badly but we have to admit we all stayed because the money was good. And I loved the idea of thwarting the dirty grid and planet saving. I wish I knew about them a lot sooner than the year or so I joined. Their discovery of the dirty grid and utility companies profit on saving energy was a brilliant startup. Knowing you needed us to make the money start rolling in you gave us high incentives and we made some decent money as well. Here is what concerns me. #1You are losing sight of your original plan and greed is taking over. or #2 You are getting bad advice or allowing yourselves to be manipulated. or #3 The fires are making PG&E 's problems much bigger than data delays and the future of saving energy for profit is looking bleak.

    No matter what it is, I am sure you know this new plan is a game ender for a lot of your users.

  • DarrenTDarrenT Posts: 52Member

    @stormysb said:
    No matter what it is, I am sure you know this new plan is a game ender for a lot of your users.

    Not necessarily. Without the growth of the streaks, points per kWh may be higher now that streaks aren't growing out of control as the user base grows. That means those that weren't on crazy streaks may actually be seeing better payouts than they were previously. I do expect my own payouts to be much smaller as I was on a 92 streak and it's unlikely that the points per kWh will make up ~300%. But I'll reserve judgement until after I see what the results from this new structure look like. If I can still cut my bill significantly every month (ignoring the silly Prize OhmHours), then it would still be worth it to me, otherwise I will probably move on.

    One thing I will say is I am hoping for some more creativity to keep people interested and saving as much as possible. Loved the Mega OhmHours, Prize OhmHours are a big flop in my opinion, and obviously streaks being limited to 100% is a pretty big hit for many. Now the only way to drastically boost your earnings is with the baseline boost, which for some I would imagine isn't even a boost (like those that charge their EV's to bump up their forecast). I would expect more creative uses for tokens that allow users to get occasional boosts, but not be frequent enough to get into the same situation as we did with the streaks.

  • UkiwiSUkiwiS San DiegoPosts: 1,421Member, Moderator
    edited November 14

    This change is going to hurt a LOT. On a Steak of 133 it's a 60% reduction in points for me. It's taken me 18 months to get there so it makes me sad. I'm not a fan of Prize OhmHours where a person saving 10kWh is treated identically to a person saving 0.1 kWh. That just doesn't seem equitable to me. We get paid according to what we save but NOT with Prize OhmHours. The super-savers are subsidizing the others. Little things keep breaking and take an age to fix such as buddy tokens and rebate credit.

    What irks me the most is that the moderators told OC they had concerns about the viability of the program and the streak status over a year ago and nothing was done. They could have capped it or modified it without upsetting anyone but instead kicked the can down the road. Now they've opted for massive sweeping changes that impact their biggest "cheerleaders" the most.

    It's definitely the end of an era but I'll probably stick around and see how it plays out. It's still a free program and what other options are there? I'm with SDG&E and their competing program is called "Reduce your Use". Past experience with that program showed it was worth about $20-$50 a year for me. I'm not about to go back to SDG&E as I can still earn more with OC, right?

  • No Pain No GainNo Pain No Gain 93035Posts: 395Member

    @DarrenT I hope you're right about a better rate/kWh for OhmHours. During the summer, I had a lot that were just 80/kWh. If the rate doesn't go up, and OC doesn't try to keep earnings high enough to retain membership, I see a lot of people losing interest. Like you, though, I'll wait and see. If it takes me 3 months to collect enough to cash out with 1000 points, then there's not much point in staying. As @UkiwiS says, it's a free program, but look at the time you invest. My time is valuable. To get where I am, I kept a spreadsheet and watched trends so I could boost my forecast, which required timing my chores. I came into the forums, participated, and made some friends and kept in touch on the "outside". When I'm forced by SCE to go to TOU in January, I probably won't be able to load my forecast like I did in the summer. But... will wait and see how this plays out. Maybe with fewer users, our earnings will increase a little, too. Hopefully the Prize OhmHours and gimmicks will go away.

  • Daniel PoonDaniel Poon Posts: 7Member

    I am very disappointed about the cap on streaks. I started this year and my streak is 68. I'm still glad that it's a free program, and still pays me to save. I would rather have my points than participate in the Prize OhmHours, I'm going to cash out my points while I still can, in case there's a change to that as well.

  • apulaskiapulaski Posts: 1Member

    So, I am platinum with a streak of 53 ohm hours. I made 83 cents during the last ohm hour, and apparently I am making too much! Definitely time to cash out, no more trying from us!

  • Sophie, OhmConnectSophie, OhmConnect Posts: 10Member, Administrator
    edited November 14

    Hi all -- thank you so much for your comments on this! We know these changes are tough to swallow and we really appreciate your thoughts and feedback. Please join us this afternoon at 4pm on Facebook Live, where Cadir will be talking about all of this, and more.

  • UkiwiSUkiwiS San DiegoPosts: 1,421Member, Moderator
    edited November 14

    @Sophie, OhmConnect said:
    Hi all -- thank you so much for your comments on this! We know these changes are tough to swallow and we really appreciate your thoughts and feedback. Please join us thus afternoon at 4pm on Facebook Live, where Cadir will be talking about all of this, and more.

    @Sophie, OhmConnect Any chance the date/time of this can be changed? It was announced yesterday and approximately 24 hours later you're having a Q and A session when almost everyone will be working or commuting home at the end of the day. Wouldn't it be better to wait a few days, let the news sink in and host it at a time when more can participate??

  • Cadir_OhmConnectCadir_OhmConnect Posts: 4Member, Administrator, Moderator
    edited November 14
    @UkiwiS Since we already announced this event, we will keep it but if there is interest, I’ll be happy to have another session at a later date and at a later time. Thanks to all for these direct comments - I’ll be explaining the why behind these changes and will try to provide a response to some of this tough feedback. - Cadir @ OhmConnect
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