Tokens and Spins

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Answers

  • Steve ESteve E Member, Moderator Posts: 329
    edited October 2017

    @UkiwiS said:
    @DarrenT

    Great ideas! Thanks for sharing.

    I second this and @DarrenT thanks for taking the time and thought to do this

  • tpatten0tpatten0 Member Posts: 15

    Is it possible to ever win anything with spins?

  • The Bitz BoysThe Bitz Boys Union CityModerator Posts: 1,017
    @[email protected] Yes, but based on the comments, it seems rare and it takes a lot of tokens. Check out the comment @Summer posted on Oct 22 in this discussion about winning 15% off products in the OC store after spending 1,200 tokens and making 40 spins.

    Unless I’ve missed a comment on the forums, she is the only user that I’m aware of that has commented on winning something.

    Based on this info, would you spend any of your tokens to spin the wheel?
  • tpatten0tpatten0 Member Posts: 15

    When I'm bored I have been spinning while doing other things. I have gotten a million sweaters and aviator sunnies lol and always leave frustrated. No, I don't think I will spin anymore :)

  • WaterGuyWaterGuy Member, Moderator Posts: 414

    @DarrenT, I love that you're thinking about and proposing creative ideas for making OhmConnect better for users. One of the things I like about OC is that it's still pretty new, so the team seems willing to consider ideas like these.

    One important consideration (I think you alluded to this in your posts) is that any changes to the rewards system should probably be structured in such a way that it also reflects OC's business model (current or future). Your idea about bonus tokens awarded for saving over certain percentage levels during each event is attractive from a user's standpoint, but I'm not sure it makes a ton of sense for OC from a financial standpoint. Tokens have some monetary value (the exact value is difficult to pin down and varies by prize/time), so awarding them represents a future cost to OC. Awarding a fixed 250 tokens to people who save 90% off their forecast could be problematic, because OC makes money not based on percentages saved but on absolute savings. Based on my understanding, someone who saves 40% off a 5 kWh forecast earns OC more than ten people each saving 75% off of 0.2 kWh forecasts, though under your proposed system OC would award the lower earnings folks far more tokens. I'm sure there's value in having lots of small users, in terms of reduced risk of overages and the potential for a larger audience and more platform growth through referrals, but I'm not sure it's worth _that _ much more.

    The other challenge with percentage-based systems is the calculations for folks with solar panels. If my forecast is 1 kWh and my usage is -1 kWh, what is my percentage savings? How about a forecast of 0 kWh and a usage of -1 kWh? The potential for negative forecasts and usage can really mess with the percentages, making small absolute savings appear extremely large or even infinite. This issue came up when OC adopted a percentage-based calculation to determine users' status levels, and they now calculate solar users' status using a whole different system based on absolute savings. This is pure speculation, but I suspect OC might try to stay away from percentage-based savings rewards in the future to avoid the complications and reduce the coding effort needed to accommodate both solar and non-solar folks.

    (As an interesting sidenote, OC is currently only paid by utilities for the positive portion of solar users' savings, though OC compensates the solar users for all of their savings. I think they do so in the hope that the CAISO policy will change in the future, which they're also actively advocating for. This is an example of what I mean by structuring rewards for OC's future business model as well as the current model.)

  • DarrenTDarrenT Member Posts: 62

    @WaterGuy While tokens do have some monetary value, I would say it's marginal in comparison to the direct point compensation being given out. My aim for the percentage saved rewards was so those that don't make much per OhmHour (the people with low forecasts) could have a way to boost their earnings on a future event every now and then.

    I get what you're saying with respect to getting paid per kWh, not the percentage saved, but if I'm a low forecast user, what's my incentive to go the extra mile and shut more things down? The difference between saving 0.5kWh and 0.3kWh is only an extra 20-30 points based on recent points per kWh. Maybe missing the first quarter of the Laker game or the first few innings of the World Series isn't worth that extra 20-30 points.

    Ultimately I think the way to go is to simplify the point calculation to be based purely on what you save, that way everyone is on a level playing field in terms of what their energy savings per kWh is worth, and award tokens for achievements like streaks, status, etc. The accumulation of tokens will allow those that are consistent savers, high savers, or solar users to purchase boosts for a single OhmHour so they could periodically earn a little more than they normally would. I think the more complexity in the direct reward system (points), the harder time you're going to have trying to balance it among all participants without some feeling like they're getting shafted.

  • WaterGuyWaterGuy Member, Moderator Posts: 414

    @DarrenT said:
    @WaterGuy While tokens do have some monetary value, I would say it's marginal in comparison to the direct point compensation being given out. My aim for the percentage saved rewards was so those that don't make much per OhmHour (the people with low forecasts) could have a way to boost their earnings on a future event every now and then.

    I get what you're saying with respect to getting paid per kWh, not the percentage saved, but if I'm a low forecast user, what's my incentive to go the extra mile and shut more things down? The difference between saving 0.5kWh and 0.3kWh is only an extra 20-30 points based on recent points per kWh. Maybe missing the first quarter of the Laker game or the first few innings of the World Series isn't worth that extra 20-30 points.

    Ultimately I think the way to go is to simplify the point calculation to be based purely on what you save, that way everyone is on a level playing field in terms of what their energy savings per kWh is worth, and award tokens for achievements like streaks, status, etc. The accumulation of tokens will allow those that are consistent savers, high savers, or solar users to purchase boosts for a single OhmHour so they could periodically earn a little more than they normally would. I think the more complexity in the direct reward system (points), the harder time you're going to have trying to balance it among all participants without some feeling like they're getting shafted.

    I really like your suggestion in the last paragraph--that type of system makes a lot of sense to me. The one thing I would push back on a little bit is the unstated assumption that OC is highly motivated to incentivize low-energy users. I can't and don't speak for OC, of course, but I suspect that as a business working with a large and diverse user base, they occasionally have to prioritize who they're targeting with their incentive systems. I agree that folks who have been around for longer shouldn't earn a greater share of points based on that fact alone, but I'm not sure OC should go far out of their way to incentivize small users to save, say, an extra 0.2 kWh as you suggested. (Unless small users make up a very large portion of OC's user base, in which case it might be important.) It seems to me that OC can't be all things to all people, and there will be some people for whom the program just doesn't make sense. Maybe missing the first quarter of the game isn't worth the extra 20-30 points for you, and maybe it isn't worth OC's while to incentivize you further.

  • DarrenTDarrenT Member Posts: 62

    @WaterGuy said:
    The one thing I would push back on a little bit is the unstated assumption that OC is highly motivated to incentivize low-energy users. I can't and don't speak for OC, of course, but I suspect that as a business working with a large and diverse user base, they occasionally have to prioritize who they're targeting with their incentive systems.

    That's a valid point. Can't say for certain without seeing the makeup of their user base. But I would imagine the smaller users in more densely populated areas where you see a lot of apartment buildings and condos allow them to bid in markets they otherwise wouldn't. And for suburban markets, the smaller average user probably doesn't make much difference, so it's more important to have the larger users participating.

  • WaterGuyWaterGuy Member, Moderator Posts: 414

    @DarrenT said:

    Ultimately I think the way to go is to simplify the point calculation to be based purely on what you save, that way everyone is on a level playing field in terms of what their energy savings per kWh is worth, and award tokens for achievements like streaks, status, etc. The accumulation of tokens will allow those that are consistent savers, high savers, or solar users to purchase boosts for a single OhmHour so they could periodically earn a little more than they normally would. I think the more complexity in the direct reward system (points), the harder time you're going to have trying to balance it among all participants without some feeling like they're getting shafted.

    @DarrenT, I was just thinking about your proposed idea a bit more, and it isn't obvious to me whether it would actually help maintain a higher rate of base points/kWh. If streaks and status earn tokens and tokens can be redeemed for extra points on a regular basis (thus taking away from the fixed pot OC has available to work with in their incentive program), won't that continue to disproportionately benefit the older users? I want the math to work, because the idea seems nice, but can you help me understand how this isn't just renaming the awards while maintaining the status quo?

  • DarrenTDarrenT Member Posts: 62
    edited November 2017

    @WaterGuy said:
    If streaks and status earn tokens and tokens can be redeemed for extra points on a regular basis (thus taking away from the fixed pot OC has available to work with in their incentive program), won't that continue to disproportionately benefit the older users?

    You're correct in that the bonuses will still be contributing to lower base points, but the idea is those bonuses don't mean extra points every single OhmHour like they do now. I don't have an answer for exactly what the boosts should cost or how many tokens you get for streaks, status, etc. I imagine tokens for streaks to work more as a milestone bonus than a percentage that grows unbounded. For example, every 5 in a row you participate and save in earns you an extra 100 tokens for that OhmHour.

    I don't have a complete inventory of the ways you can earn tokens, but the ones I know about that are recurring are:

    1. Logging in (1)
    2. Clicking on an OhmHour notification (20)
    3. Posting what you will be doing during the OhmHour (20)

    Some that could be added:

    1. Save a certain percentage in an OhmHour (tokens vary based on how crazy you got about saving). Would need to figure out something reasonable for solar users, or have a different reward with similar value for solar users. Think status bonus.
    2. Consistent saver (after X number of OhmHours in a row where you save, you get Y tokens). So rather than having a bunch of users that are on high streaks and chewing up a large portion of the 80% pool in just bonuses, the consistent savers will be able to buy a boost more frequently than the casual savers that do it when they can, but don't go out of their way if timing is inconvenient. Think streak bonus.
    3. Solar saver. Tokens here could be rewarded in line with the highest reward of #1, or be tiered based on kWh saved / generated.

    Then you could also throw in one-time achievements, like:

    1. Participate and save in a 2-hour OhmHour.
    2. Participate and save in a 3-hour OhmHour.
    3. Reach 5kWh saved.
    4. Reach 10kWh saved.

    You still need to balance token rewards and tweak the token value of certain boosts, but I think even if it's not done perfectly, you won't have individuals eating into the points payout nearly as often or as much as the current system. The idea is to reward good habits. I guess you can say the more involved you are, the more often you can reward yourself with some extra points by spending tokens on boosts. My intent wasn't to make the economy such that everyone could buy boosts every single OhmHour. The value of a boost should roughly reflect how long it would take a user to reasonably earn that many tokens. I think in my example from a previous post, I threw out some numbers based on my current situation and how many OhmHour's I would need to save at a high rate in order to get the boost of all boosts (Baseline Boost).

  • Philip ChildsPhilip Childs Member Posts: 28
    edited November 2017
    Tokens are [Profanity removed by moderator]! I've got 2500 keep doing the same BS for 3-6 more years and I'll have 10,000. LOL useless!
  • WaterGuyWaterGuy Member, Moderator Posts: 414

    @Philip Childs said:
    Tokens are [Profanity removed by moderator]! I've got 2500 keep doing the same BS for 3-6 more years and I'll have 10,000. LOL useless!

    Hi Philip. If you aren't incentivized by the current token system, then you don't need to participate in the activities--venting about it in the forum probably isn't very helpful to anyone, though. The folks who have made thousands of dollars using the referral madness card would probably argue with your statement that the program is useless. I personally don't pay much attention to tokens these days, but they're slowly accumulating and I'm hoping more cards and rewards will be added to the Token Marketplace. Worst case, I'll end up with 10,000 in a year or so and cash it in then...

  • If he shouldn't vent about it on the forums, where should he? He's just saying what I'm guessing a vast majority of users are thinking. The people who "made thousands of dollars using the referral madness card" just pimped out their referral link and spammed enough people to get them to sign up. I think a lot of us who don't use the referral system don't do it because it comes off very poorly in any situation. It reads like spam and you know they're trying to make money off of you signing up for a program which also sets off alarm bells in peoples heads making them less likely to sign up.

    Just because an extreme minority of users gamed the referral system to make a decent chunk of change doesn't change that the token system, as it is, is really worthless due to the slow rate of token generation + high cost of any reward that benefits the user. I've spent all my coins on spins and have only won a 15% discount (useless, as even with the discount you can find all of the items at vastly cheaper prices in one google search) and about 30+ multiples of the cards for other junk items like the sunglasses (literal trash that will sit in a drawer or go right to the landfill for most people).

    I would think the forum, especially under "general discussion" would be the exact place to vent about the way the system works. Heck, the people who made decent money with the referral bonus aren't even getting their money from the actual saving of power, but by spamming friends, coworkers, neighbors etc. with referral links. I realize that equals more money for OhmConnect, but isn't it kind of against the spirit of the whole idea behind the program?

  • randybozrandyboz Member Posts: 2

    Kind of curious, is there a way to check if anyone has ever won something besides the 15% off?

  • The Bitz BoysThe Bitz Boys Union CityModerator Posts: 1,017
    Search the forums for keyword Thermostat or something like that. I know at least one person posted that he won a Thermostat. But almost everyone says they’ve only won the 15%. You’d think that people would at least be winning the sunglasses, but no one has mentioned winning it on the forums.
  • lil_kim2lil_kim2 Member Posts: 3
    edited October 2019
    Tokens makes little sense to me...I just keep earning several of the same ones...what is the purpose of having 65 of 1 item 50 of another then 0 of the 3rd item?????🤪
  • YouEnjoyMyOhmYouEnjoyMyOhm Member Posts: 3
    Came here to see if I was missing something, but I don’t think we are. We’re just randomly spinning trying to get all 3 to win a prize. Have no idea why they keep track of how many no more dirty powers we’ve landed on. Just makes us think it means something ??
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