Examples: Monday, today, last week, Mar 26, 3/26/04
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OhmConnect Energy Challenge!

Kate from OhmConnectKate from OhmConnect Posts: 807Administrator
edited February 1 in General Discussion

How could I have used so much energy?

We get this question all the time: how is it possible I used so much energy? Your #OhmHour results come in and you were expecting to knock your forecast out of the park, but instead you used more energy.

We’ve written before about the best tips and tricks for beating your #OhmHour forecast and shared this resource to help you find the items in your home that are the biggest culprits of guzzling energy. The New York Times has also written about this.

So here’s the challenge: audit your home’s energy usage.

Whether you’ve got a one-bedroom apartment or five-bedroom home, look around for anything that uses electricity. Go room by room. What’s plugged in in the kitchen? Think. You’ve got your coffeemaker. Your fridge. Your toaster. Anything else? Is anything on a timer?

Bedroom. What’s plugged into the outlets? Lights, alarm clock, television? Again, anything on a timer? Anything with a remote?

Perhaps the most overlooked of all locations is outside. If you’ve got a pool heater, or outside lights on a timer, remember that these are using electricity!

Finally, make sure to include your cable box, modem, etc.

Now, Here’s Your Challenge
Make a list of all the items using electricity in every room. Let us know which item(s) you found that you were not expecting. Report your results below.


  • Lola & MaseLola & Mase Posts: 13Member
    Completely forgot about the sump pump, dvd player never use (guest room), cordless phone (MJ for faxes/printer etc)

    Don't forget to unplug:
    Air fresheners
    Cell, drill, battery chargers
    Floor fans
    Sewing machines
    Hair dryers/Styling apparatuses
    Security cams (if possible)
    ...just as few 'off' items

    Always have & continue to unplug kitchen coffee maker, micro, toaster & trash compactor. All lights off during OCH...

    Finally bought a Smart Plug, going to apply it to my fridge.

    Buy extra candles & make sure to hotspot off cell if laptop low
    Yeah, probably wise to make sure cell is fully charged too !
  • Kate from OhmConnectKate from OhmConnect Posts: 807Administrator

    This is fantastic, @Lola & Mase! Thanks so much for participating! There you have it--items that will catch you!

    So glad to hear you've purchased a smart plug; these have definitely helped me with beating my forecast.

  • Kate from OhmConnectKate from OhmConnect Posts: 807Administrator

    @Juli Bowman - I know you've done this activity as well. Would you care to share your results publicly?

  • Steve ReedSteve Reed Posts: 26Member
    edited February 14

    My son did a search for "Vampire" electronics project for school a few years ago.

    One of the bigger items we found was the video games systems. We have 4 game systems and they each used a fairly large amount even when off. We plugged them all into a single power strip, and that stays off unless someone is actually playing a game.

    Newer appliances seem to be much better when "off" , but older ones used quite a bit of power when not used. Cable Boxes were really high even when the TV was off. A Tivo we had, which never really went to sleep was 40W 24/7. Newer model Tivos can sleep when not in use,and even when used only take 12-14W.

    Modern TVs are much lower power than they used to be when on, and take very little power now when "off". Some have a deeper "off" mode that uses even less power, but take a little longer to wake up.

    We also have some outside lights that are on all night (photo sensor) and landscape lighting that on about 6 hours a night. Switching those to LED saved more than 2kWh per day!

  • Kate from OhmConnectKate from OhmConnect Posts: 807Administrator

    Hey @jasmine winch - would you be willing to do an audit of your home?

  • Leahperez12Leahperez12 Madera CaPosts: 9Member
    Whens the next energy challenge
  • KarenEKarenE Posts: 24Member

    On occasion Costco have sales on LED lightbulbs and several months ago when they had their last one we took advantage of it and converted every indoor light in the house to LED. We have recessed lighting in every room so this involved purchasing around 30 lightbulbs so the savings on purchase price was a big help.

    This snippet of info is taken from a website describing the cost savings of LED bulbs

  • Kate from OhmConnectKate from OhmConnect Posts: 807Administrator

    @Leahperez12 said:
    Whens the next energy challenge

    Now! Please add what you find here!

  • Kate from OhmConnectKate from OhmConnect Posts: 807Administrator

    @KarenE - great information! Super helpful!

  • 2uskiwis@gmail.com2uskiwis@gmail.com San DiegoPosts: 23Member

    What's the record amount of energy that anyone has saved for an OhmHour?
    Is there a leaderboard? That would be a cool feature.

  • That Son Of A BitzThat Son Of A Bitz Union CityPosts: 479Moderator
    There's a leaderboard that shows which users have earned the most points since they joined.

    But maybe it would be more motivating to see and easily compare how much users are saving during an OH compared to other users or even for lifetime energy savings. Although, when making any comparisons, you have to be careful about how you include and compare users who are already super low energy users. They have a lot less energy to save compared to high energy users such as people who live in the valley and run their AC often, have a pool pump and/or electric vehicle.

    Instead of, or in addition to, showing how people rank based on # of kWh saved, it would definitely be beneficial to show and rank people by the % saved compared to forecast because this number is relative to the individual user, so it doesn't matter if the user is a high or low energy user - it puts everyone on the same playing field for comparison. Or maybe it can show something like "Your kWh or % savings is more than x #/% of users that participated during this OH.

    What do others think? How about you @Kate from OhmConnect
  • Sarah StrangeSarah Strange Posts: 4Member

    @That Son Of A Bitz, I think doing this as a percentage saved against the 10 day rolling average is a great idea. Might get a bit skewed though by weather patterns for solar users. Also even with your example, of the high AC users and users charging EV's, they are going to do really well with the % if they have smart EV chargers and smart thermostats hooked up, and therefore they are going to have a skewed % number relative to low usage users.

  • jasmine winchjasmine winch Posts: 92Member
    @Kate from OhmConnect thanks for the tag! I will take a look around my house today and post my findings back on here.
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