Examples: Monday, today, last week, Mar 26, 3/26/04
Bronze #OhmHours have now been released! Anyone who has a status of Bronze must TELL US HOW YOU'RE SAVING in order for a chance to win prizes. You won't earn or lose points, but you've got to respond to your alerts! Read more in the post.

Fair compensation for low energy users

Like many who have expressed frustration with OC I am a low electricity user. My forecast usage is usually 0.07-0.1 KW/hr. At this rate I can never reach Gold or Platinum as there is no possibility of my achieving a 1 KW/hr reduction in power usage.

But I consistently achieve a 50% reduction in predicted power usage during the OhmHours (generally by turning off my refrigerator, all lights and all power strips). I feel that those of us that can do this should be more fairly compensated for our efforts - similar to those whose baseline usage is 2-10 fold of ours. Perhaps OC would consider using a percentage reduction in use rather than actual KW-hours for rewarding low energy users?

What does the community think? Would appreciate a thoughtful answer from OC.

Best Answers

  • friendlyfiregoddessfriendlyfiregoddess Posts: 2Member
    Accepted Answer

    The reason that I bring this up is that those that reduce their energy use (and carbon footprint) the most are the ones most likely to adopt programs like OhmConnect and be its biggest cheerleaders to help encourage those who live a more wasteful lifestyle to reduce their energy consumption.

Answers

  • That Son Of A BitzThat Son Of A Bitz Union CityPosts: 557Moderator
    Yes. And that's great!
  • cdhen12cdhen12 Posts: 1Member

    I was just thinking the same thing...that I will never level up based on saving 1kWh during OhmHour because my forecast usage is so low. I agree with changing this to a percentage saved. Reward your biggest cheerleaders and we'll continue to drive people to your site. How can we tell our friends you can make money when we're actually not able to?

  • Kate from OhmConnectKate from OhmConnect Posts: 906Administrator

    Thanks for your ideas, all. I'll bring this up with our product team to see what is realistically feasible.

  • jrhowreyjrhowrey Posts: 4Member

    Please do, im also in this same situation, my forecast is typically .2-.5 max, it feels counter productive for the people who were early adopters in green tech. my home is low power/smart everything so it idles at around 150w-200w. leaving me with terribly low forecasts

  • Kate from OhmConnectKate from OhmConnect Posts: 906Administrator

    We are looking into this for sure. I am personally quite happy that Streaks was launched to all user. Since there is NO upper limit, you can get a great number of points as a Silver user just by consistently reducing!

  • That Son Of A BitzThat Son Of A Bitz Union CityPosts: 557Moderator
    It's great that OC gives people an estimate of their forecast with OH email notifications. But there appears to be a bit of guesswork with determining if you're on track and doing enough to use less energy than your forecast. I think the missing gap is getting regular feedback about your actual energy use DURING an OH. For instance, at the beginning of an OH, your data indicates your energy use is exceeding your forecast. But because you know where you stand, you would go around turning off more stuff until the data shows you're actual usage is below your forecast.

    I think knowing your energy use during an OH would help you respond to it and increase the likelihood you would use less energy than your forecast, earn more points and increase everyone's OH streaks.

    What does everyone else think? Do you think that knowing how much energy you're using during an OH help you use less of it? Also, there are devices that can provide you with data during an OH for about $100. Would you consider buying one if it helped you perform consistently better during OHs?
  • Kate from OhmConnectKate from OhmConnect Posts: 906Administrator

    Good question and good point @That Son Of A Bitz. Most people don't have a sense of how much energy they are using before, during, an after the start of an #OhmHour. That's part of the reason for the Energy Challenge Part 1 and Part 2 that I posted. For users with SDGE, SCE and PGE (and likely other companies as well), you can Green Button to see your exact usage at at the interval scheduled by your meter.

    You can download/export your usage and see that at 1:59pm, for example, you were using 1.65kWh, at 2:15pm you were using .05kWh, and then at 3pm you were using 1.6kWh.

    How many folks here are familiar with Green Button Data?

  • That Son Of A BitzThat Son Of A Bitz Union CityPosts: 557Moderator
    The green button data is helpful to a certain extent. Unfortunately, it takes 1-2 days for that data to be available. And I don't know about other users, but unless I write down what I turned off during an OH (which prrobably won't do), it'll be hard to remember and make the connection between what was turned off and kept on to get the energy usage that the data shows I had after the fact.

    If only we could predict the future or travel back in time...
  • Kate from OhmConnectKate from OhmConnect Posts: 906Administrator

    True @That Son Of A Bitz -- As with GBD, OhmConnect is also behind two days in receiving data from the utilities!

  • JoeyJoey Posts: 9Member

    @That Son Of A Bitz and @Kate from OhmConnect There are devices that connect to your smart meter and give you real-time feedback on your energy consumption. My masters thesis was on household electricity consumption and for one experiment we utilized IHDs (in home devices). The device for the paper http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0360544215008865 was specially coded to include a social norm component, but they have consumer grade models available. Check with your utility as they need to be tested to be compatible with your smart meter. Mine is SDG&E and their compatible devices are here: http://www.sdge.com/residential/list-compatible-han-devices. The one we used for our paper was from rainforest automation. the screen looked like this: (keep in mind its modified from the consumer version, but the concept is the same).

  • UkiwiSUkiwiS San DiegoPosts: 71Member

    I have a Rainforest Eagle (with SDGE) and can check my usage in real time via an app on my phone of via the web. They call these HAN devices (Home Area Network). It updates every few seconds. Here's a screenshot showing my usage right now....it's blue and negative because I have a Solar PV array and energy is going back into the grid.

    When I have virtually everything turned on it looks like this...

  • That Son Of A BitzThat Son Of A Bitz Union CityPosts: 557Moderator
    I have the Rainforest Eagle too and I really like it compared to the other ones I tried that work with PG&E. Didn't know it works with solar. Only $100. Personally, I think it would be great for OC to sell it in their store.
  • Kate from OhmConnectKate from OhmConnect Posts: 906Administrator

    Love these devices @Joey and @UkiwiS - I don't have one myself but it's definitely something that can help users.

    @UkiwiS curious if you find the information worth the cost of the device?

  • UkiwiSUkiwiS San DiegoPosts: 71Member

    At only $100 I think it's worth it. I have Solar so I initially purchased it to confirm what I was seeing on my SDG&E bill. I joined OC to try and mitigate my remaining SDGE bill and another benefit is that I can watch my usage during an #OhmHour> @Kate from OhmConnect said:

    Love these devices @Joey and @UkiwiS - I don't have one myself but it's definitely something that can help users.

    @UkiwiS curious if you find the information worth the cost of the device?

    At only $100 I think it's worth it. I have Solar so I initially purchased it to confirm what I was seeing on my SDG&E bill. I joined OC to try and mitigate my remaining SDGE bill. Another benefit is that I can watch my usage during an #OhmHour and take action if I need to. I typically go on about my life and don't turn off the TV if I'm home. I don't want to lose that streak bonus so I watch it like an eagle...haha....did you see what I did there?

  • Kate from OhmConnectKate from OhmConnect Posts: 906Administrator

    That's awesome! Curious what actions you have taken during an #OhmHour?

  • UkiwiSUkiwiS San DiegoPosts: 71Member
    > @Kate from OhmConnect said:
    > That's awesome! Curious what actions you have taken during an #OhmHour?

    To be honest I don't do a lot. I have some "big loads" in the evening and simply move them around. For an #OhmHour I make sure the car is not charging, the dishwasher, washing machine, the AC and most of the lights are off. I keep watching TV. I also know what my forecast is.
  • That Son Of A BitzThat Son Of A Bitz Union CityPosts: 557Moderator
    Feedback is key during an OhmHour. And without a real-time energy monitor device, it's really hard to tell if you're doing enough or need to do more to get under your forecast / baseline, so you keep racking up the points and keep your streak going.

    It's like trying to bake chocolate chip cookies without a timer or a clock. You know they need to be in there for 20 minutes to be just right. But since you don't know how much time has passed, you may take them out too early and find that they're still gooey and raw inside or take them out too late and they're burnt and as hard as a rock. But with a timer or a clock, you know exactly when to take them out, so you can enjoy some chewy chocolatey goodness.

    I'd love to see OC sell one of these devices in their store.
  • curtistonguecurtistongue Posts: 21Administrator

    I usually just head into my garage so I can check my smart meter.

    Most have a digital display that rotates a few different values: current power consumption, total energy consumed during the current billing cycle, etc.

    That's the simplest way that I use to ensure I stay below my forecast.

    Does anyone else here do that?

  • Brooks BBrooks B Posts: 19Administrator

    @curtistongue I love that method! I usually turn things off in my apartment, then check the current power consumption shown on my meter at the start of the #OhmHour. If I stay at that same consumption level for one hour, my current consumption (shown in kW) will convert directly to my total kWh used for the hour. That way, I can determine whether I need to turn more things off in order to get substantially below my estimated forecast.

    For example, a constant current consumption of 0.1 kW for one hour adds up to 0.1 kWh used. If it's a two-hour event, I simply multiply by two to estimate my usage (in the above example, that would be 0.2 kWh used in total).

  • Steve ReedSteve Reed Posts: 41Member

    @UkiwiS said:
    I have a Rainforest Eagle (with SDGE) and can check my usage in real time via an app on my phone of via the web. They call these HAN devices (Home Area Network). It updates every few seconds. Here's a screenshot showing my usage right now....it's blue and negative because I have a Solar PV array and energy is going back into the grid.

    Since you have the Rainforest Eagle and solar, are you tried to PVoutput.org? It allows you to combine solar production monitoring with your meter reading to show actual usage (not just net like the Eagle). it's very handy in determining how much power you are really using.

  • UkiwiSUkiwiS San DiegoPosts: 71Member

    Yes, have that too, I'm all over it. Look me up, I'm Piwakawaka.

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