Blackouts happen when electricity demand is too high—and no one wants to lose power. As electricity customers, we can all pitch in to prevent blackouts.
OhmConnect is a demand response provider that pays California residential customers to decrease their electricity usage a few hours per week during “OhmHours.” It’s free to sign up and participate in their program, and you collect rewards based on the amount of energy you save. Your compensation multiplies with each smart device you connect, including smart thermostats.
During energy saving events, OhmConnect can automatically adjust customers’ thermostats or smart plugs to help them save energy. Customers are given 24 hours advance notice of an OhmHour and are able to decline to participate if they do not wish to do so for that event, or for a particular device.
So how does it help reduce blackouts? OhmConnect bundles this reduced demand and sells it into the California Independent System Operator’s (CAISO’s) energy markets. This type of program is called “demand response,” because it represents customers responding to heightened demand on the grid. In addition to helping improve grid reliability, demand response programs help reduce greenhouse gas emissions from electricity. Natural gas peaker plants have typically been utilized to help meet periods of peak demand; reducing load at this time through demand response reduces reliance on fossil fuels.
Yolo County is one of many California counties encouraging residents to save energy with OhmConnect. Because when all of us help, it helps all of us.