Legit but disappointing. Here’s the deal: this company is an “energy aggregator” that makes money by helping customers respond to energy price swings. In the energy industry, they call this “Demand Response”. The aggregator (OhmConnect) makes money by helping the utility avoid turning on a power plant and then passes along some of the savings to you. Who knew? However, we were not impressed with the rewards given to the Ohm Connect members.
In April 2017, SDG&E inked a deal with OhmConnect to aggregate customer usage so as to produce 4.5MW of “nega-watts” from residential customers throughout Southern California. (Negawatts are a fancy regulatory term for electricity saved by reducing usage or being more efficient in your usage). So when OhmConnect connects with its members, asking for you to reduce your power, they are actually selling that unused power to SDG&E in exchange for real $ — that the company then shares with its members.
So if you’ve seen an ad that reads: “Looking for SCE, PG&G, and SDG&E users. Money Opportunity ” or got a referral from a friend via social media, it’s a real offer by an entrepreneurial company. Sign-up is pretty easy. Simply click on this OhmConnect link and the 5 minute process begins. It should be noted that to sign up Ohmconnect, you will need to provide them with your Utility companies online login credentials. This is necessary so that their system can obtain your historical power usage data. After signing up and synching your utility account you become eligible for incentive payments called “OhmHours”. There are some Ohmconnect cash out requirements, but they are pretty reasonable.
Then all you do is wait for the company text alerts. This usually happens when your utility declares a “peak hour event”. Once you receive one, you turn off some of your appliances during this peak hour event. This kind of event usually occurs during the summer months. We recommend that you set the notification time frame to 24 hours round with your phone, so you can always confirm participation whenever Ohmhour events become available.You then get paid $20.00 if you respond promptly to an Ohmhour event. Some tips to earns these savings includes:
- Keep your devices chaged. Unplug the devices and run your laptops, phones and pads on their battery power.
- Turn off large appliances during the event. Big ticket appliance items such as Washers and dryers, and Air Conditioning use up the most power. Make sure you do not wash your clothes or full blast your AC during the event. If you do, you will most likely find yourself over your projected amount. Your best bet may be to leave your house, grab a cup of coffee during the power saving event.
- Use Smart Home devices. Ohmconnect has the ability to “talk” to your smart home devices such as Nest or chargers for your electric vehicles. This connection automates your power saving process by turning off specific processes. If you do have the items that they offer, consider to connect the services to take full advantage of the automation. If you do not, consider investing in them may bring you long term monetary benefits.
We spent the better part of two years (2020-2022) with OhmConnect saving energy when directed and accumulated some 31,000 points….which ended up netting us about $35. Not impressive. While probably not a Ponzi scheme, the program appears to provide surprisingly little value to those customers who are doing their best to cut back their electric consumption. Consider us duly unimpressed with the OhmConnect program.