TMC is an independent, primarily volunteer organization that relies on ad revenue to cover its operating costs. Please consider whitelisting TMC on your ad blocker or making a Paypal contribution here: paypal.me/SupportTMC

Reducing my Carbon Footprint further with OhmConnect (California only)

Discussion in 'Energy, Environment, and Policy' started by liuping, Apr 3, 2016.

  1. liuping

    liuping Active Member

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2013
    Messages:
    1,858
    Location:
    San Diego
    #1 liuping, Apr 3, 2016
    Last edited: Apr 3, 2016
    I've been a fan of the OhmConnect.com ever since I heard of them. I absolutely love the concept of enabling people to reduce energy use when the CO2 and Pollution level from generation are highest.

    Before I signed up with OhmConnect, I already did quite a bit, including Solar Panels, LED lighting, high efficiency appliances, etc. OhmConnect lets me do even more during critical times, when the power companies have to switch to speaker planet for high demand. Supposedly we could reduce CO2 output from Power generation in California by 10% if we just reduce power page by just 1%, if that is at the right times. At my location in San Diego, the normal CO2 generated per kWh is about 0.67lbs per kWh, when the peaker plant come online it shoots way up, easily 3-4x as high.

    Sometimes the alerts happen at night when I (and many other EV owners) are charging. One triggered list night, which is what made me think of posting this today. It seems like a lot of members of TMC would be in the same frame of mind as I am about the environment, and since we all have EV's the more people join them more impact we can have when the grid is having trouble.

    Here's a picture of my electricity usage from earlier today. You can see when the OhmConnect notified my Tesla that the Grid was dirty at about 12:20, then when the hour was over, OhmConnect turned the Tesla charging back on and it finish normally. If I had kept charging during that time, I would have been contributing significantly more CO2 and pollution to the environment.

    ohmhour.jpg

    OhmConnect can also control many Smart thermostats, and some home automation systems to turn off various devices around the house during ohm hours. For people who don't have automatically controllable devices, they can still turn them off manual to help (OhmConnect can send you a text or email when the grid is dirty).

    OhmConnect pays the participants based on how much they reduced compared to their normal usage during that time period, and how much the utilities pay them for the reduced consumption during the alert. The utilizes want to reduce because the peaker plants are more expensive to run. They probably don't care about the pollution aspect, but it works out well for every one.

    Here is a good article from Wired Magazine explaining how OhmConnect works: The Internet of Anything: The System That Pays You to Use Less Electricity

    I highly recommend visiting 'http://www.ohmconnect.com' and signing up. It's one of the easiest ways to make a difference, and they actually pay you a little to help out.

    They also have a referral system, that will give both the refer and the referee $20 when they complete the signup and link their utility and participate in at least one OmmHour alert. My referral link is: "http://ohm.co/8b4e96". I would not post a referral link normally (because it makes it look like I'm doing this for the referral money), but the link gives the referee $20 and that is a good incentive to get some people to sign up. It's mostly important that people sign up. The more people, the more effect we can have.

    if you have any question about OhmConnect, just ask. I've been using them for a few years now.
     
    • Dislike x 1
  2. liuping

    liuping Active Member

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2013
    Messages:
    1,858
    Location:
    San Diego
    I have an idea about the referral.

    If you use my link, PM with the username you used to sign up. When I get a referral credit, I'll donate whatever the amount is (it's currently $20, but it could go back to $5) to TMC with their paypal donate link.
     
  3. omgwtfbyobbq

    omgwtfbyobbq Member

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2013
    Messages:
    456
    Location:
    Southern California
    Interesting! It looks like a 3rd party version of SCE's summer discount plan.
     
  4. liuping

    liuping Active Member

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2013
    Messages:
    1,858
    Location:
    San Diego
    SDG&E also had a program where they gave credits for reducing during certain times. Ohmconnect seems to have more frequent hours, and pays much better.

    They also have bonuses for having automated devices turn off (50 points per alert.).
     
  5. omgwtfbyobbq

    omgwtfbyobbq Member

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2013
    Messages:
    456
    Location:
    Southern California
    We get the same or more from the summer discount program than what ohmconnect seems to be offering, but it'd be nice to do both. That could be ~$300+ year in payments/credits.
     
  6. liuping

    liuping Active Member

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2013
    Messages:
    1,858
    Location:
    San Diego
    TMC member pchilds joined ohmconnect through my referal link, so I just sent $20 to paypal.me/SupportTMC :)
     
  7. thimel

    thimel Member

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2015
    Messages:
    270
    Wow, I'd never heard of this. Interesting. I just studied their website. Can you tell me how the Tesla automation works and whether you ever get ohmhours between 11:00 PM and 3:00 AM which is when my car is normally charging?
    I don't have air conditioning, so other than the car, I only have about a hundred Watts of optional lights on in the evening that I could turn off when requested. Is it worth it for that?
    How much to you get paid per kWh saved during an ohmhour?
     
  8. liuping

    liuping Active Member

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2013
    Messages:
    1,858
    Location:
    San Diego
    I get midnight alerts about once every 1-2 months. They are not common, and probably due to power plan maintained or something.

    I got $8.45 once for a midnight ohmhour alert. Last week it was only $2.4 since the alert did not start until 20 after the hour, and I was only charging at 7.5kW

    Ohmconnect talks directly to the Tesla, to turn off charging, then automatically resumes after the ohmhour is over. It works really well (as you can see in the energy graph)

    It not just lights, but aptops, winter heaters, ovens, washing machines and dishwasher are some thing that can be turned off/unplugged during ohmhour alerts. Even if you can only do the Tesla, it's worth it IMHO. I like knowing I' charging with the cleanest power I can be.
     
    • Love x 1
  9. Ampster

    Ampster Member

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2012
    Messages:
    614
    Location:
    Hermosa Beach CA USA
    I have been with Ohmconnect for six months but just signed up my new Tesla. What a great program that just gets better. I am now trying to figure out how to do my water heater. It is a GeoSpring that I now control with an app and have it on a cycle to take advantage of TOU rates.
     
  10. liuping

    liuping Active Member

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2013
    Messages:
    1,858
    Location:
    San Diego
    Check with Ohmconnect support. They are always looking for devices to add to the automation control. I worked with them to get the Lennox wifi thermostat added, since I could not use Nest due to my AC having zone control.
     
  11. BrokerDon

    BrokerDon Member

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2014
    Messages:
    198
    Location:
    Newport Coast, CA
    I've used OhmConnect for 8 months now and love it. They automatically turn off our P85D's charging during #OhmHour. This has worked flawlessly after one initial glitch on their server when the program had just started... which OhmConnect resolved in 2 days.

    ! earned over $90 in OhmConnect credits (9,000+ OhmConnect points) in our first 6 months signing up and cycling our appliances off during each #OhmHour. I took my OhmConnect credit and bought 6 Schneider Electric Wiser Smart Plugs and a Wiser Coordinator (Z-wave) from OhmConnect and plugged in our highest energy consumption devices into them and added them to OhmConnect. Now OhmConnect automatically turns these off along with our Tesla during each #OhmHour and back on again when the #OhmHour has ended. These Wiser Smart Plugs also let us turn them on/off manually via a button on each Smart Plug AND the OhmConnect iOS app. Amazing to reduce CO2 emissions during dirty "peaker" power plant operation AND make money too! OhmConnect also lets you double your OhmHour points if you acknowledge your OhmHour participation and post a message to Facebook, Twitter, etc.

    Here's what our current Wiser Smart Plugs control:
    • Rancilio Miss Silvia espresso maker
    • patio Viking beer refrigerator
    • patio Kenmore beverage refrigerator
    • patio Denon high power receiver / amp
    • hot water heater recirculating pump
    • 1 amp 12V trickle charger connected to our Jeep
    • home office power strip (including 17" MacBook Pro 85W laptop doesn't power down since it's got its own battery)
    • master bath heated seat bidet
    ... and I'm planning on adding another 6 Wiser Smart Plugs for OhmConnect & iOS app control using my current 6,000+ OhmConnect credits to cut our SCE bill further:
    • Sub Zero 642 side-by-side refrigerator / freezer
    • 13" MacBook Pro 65W laptop AC adapter
    • iOS & USB chargers
    • garage workbench tool battery chargers
    • Panasonic plasma HDTV & home theater system in our exercise room
    However, our OhmConnect savings are much smaller than TMC member luiping savings above since:

    1. We aggressively minimized our power usage with LEDs, additional attic insulation, and scheduled as much of our household power usage during SCE's TOU-D-B "Super Off Peak" and "Off Peak" hours BEFORE we joined OhmConnect

    2. I enrolled our Tesla in SCE's PEV Pilot Program" (Plug-in Electric Vehicle Pilot) which got us an (almost completely) FREE eMotorWerks WattBox 200 "digital" submeter for our Tesla High Power Wall Charger circuit. This enabled us to put our Tesla charging on SCE's EV-1 ("Electric Vehicle") rate plan which gave us MUCH longer & earlier "Off Peak" charging window (9:00 PM to 12:00 noon).. and let's me know EXACTLY how much electricity our Tesla is using... and EXACTLY how much its costing. Unfortunately SCE isn't accepting additional customers into their PEV Pilot Program" and eMotorWerks has stopped selling the WattBox 200 "digital submeter"... So OhmConnect is an awesome alternative!

    3. We're on SCE's Summer Discount Plan ("SDP") which is actually a "competitor" to OhmConnect. SDP saved us $425 in 4 months last summer cutting our SCE bills 50% to 75% those months. These SDP savings are significantly more than we would have saved with OhmConnect. However most people wouldn't enroll in SDP which lets SCE shut off their AC compressor(s) for up to 6 hours a day during SCE Power Events. We don't mind since we live near the coast and only use our AC 6-10 days a year... and SCE Power Events have only been on a couple of those days.​

    Our power bills average $175 a month for 1,100 kWh most of the year... and $50 to $75 for 1,100 kWh during SDP months. Saving another $100 more a year with OhmConnect is "icing on the cake" for us... but our OhmConnect savings would probably be a LOT more for non-SDP users. All combined we're saving about $500 off $2,100 annual SCE bills... Yes 24%... via OhmConnect and SDP... with more savings planned (6.2kWh solar system???)

    Bottom line... I HIGHLY RECOMMEND OhmConnect to earn $$$ reducing CO2 emissions. WIN / WIN

    Here's my OhmConnect referral link: #OhmHour in effect until 8:00AM. Save energy to earn!

    ... and my OhmConnect Team Name is Tesla Earn $$$
     
    • Informative x 1
  12. Ampster

    Ampster Member

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2012
    Messages:
    614
    Location:
    Hermosa Beach CA USA
    I signed up for the Wattbox SCE pilot at the same time that you did. I already have solar and that program is not compatible with solar because you will lose the benefit of Net Metering for that second meter. That experiment cost me $45 in two months. You may wish to cancel that separate meter Pilot when you install your solar. When you get your NEM agreement you will also have to pick a TOU rate which will give you many of the low rate benefits of the EV1 rate. You will pay more for your AC loads during the day, but you have that mitigated with you SDP plan. In addition when you install solar you will be credited for your production at those high rates.
    I agree with everything else you say above and I am going to integrate some of those Schneider Wiser devices.
     
  13. chipmunk

    chipmunk Member

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2016
    Messages:
    150
    Location:
    Orange County, CA
    I'm glad you posted this. I've long wanted submetering to avoid penalties for going over the baseline allocation because of EV usage and a second utility meter wasn't practical. I researched and it turns out SCE has started a Phase 2 of the EV Submeter Pilot Program that is open for enrollment through April 2017! It looks like Ohmconnect is also involved in the pilot. I'll be looking into this more. Thanks!
     
    • Informative x 1
  14. BrokerDon

    BrokerDon Member

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2014
    Messages:
    198
    Location:
    Newport Coast, CA
    The only limitations using Smart Plugs through OhmConnect is there's currently no way to relate & institute on /off Schedules for your Smart Plugs... Which Schneider Electric provides but gets lost when OhmConnect takes control of your Wiser Coordinator. OhmConnect is aware of this limitation and supposedly working on a fix.
     
  15. liuping

    liuping Active Member

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2013
    Messages:
    1,858
    Location:
    San Diego
    TMC member chipmunk signed up with my link, so I sent another $20 to the TMC donation link.
     
  16. liuping

    liuping Active Member

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2013
    Messages:
    1,858
    Location:
    San Diego
    I use INSTEON switches and outlets, and control them with a Universal Devices ISY944izw home automation hub. It can monitor ohmhour alerts and run relatively complex programs/sequences when they start and when the end.

    For example, when he ohmhour starts, it turns off the landscape lights, fountain pump, wine fridge, etc. Then when the hour is over it turns on the wine fridge, but only turns the fountain pump or landscape lighting if they are supposed to be on at that time of day.
     
  17. Ampster

    Ampster Member

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2012
    Messages:
    614
    Location:
    Hermosa Beach CA USA
    Maybe I will work with OhmConnect to get my Lutron RadioRA system working. That is how I control my charge timing using a relay for the 240v.
     
    • Love x 1
  18. liuping

    liuping Active Member

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2013
    Messages:
    1,858
    Location:
    San Diego
    You might be able to do something using IFTTT or Zapier. Ohmconnect sends a email at the beginning and end of the ohmhour that can be a trigger.

    Also, there is a URL (on the bottom of your Ohmconnect settings page) you can monitor. The XML flag turns from false to true during ohmhours.
     
  19. Ampster

    Ampster Member

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2012
    Messages:
    614
    Location:
    Hermosa Beach CA USA
    Thanks, I will start playing with IFTTT some more. I am using it to control my GeoSpring water heater instead of the relays. I now do it by changing temps and it avoids those surprises I used to have when relay was off and the hot water ran out. I think I can get the WH to drop the temp during an Ohmhour.
     
  20. liuping

    liuping Active Member

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2013
    Messages:
    1,858
    Location:
    San Diego
    It's actually a ISY994iZW hub. It's too late to edit the original message, but I wanted to include the correct model number.
     

Share This Page