OhmConnect, the leading residential customer response energy program, in partnership with Google, has announced a plan to help prevent blackouts in California this summer. The plan will incentivize energy-efficient behavior through the use of Google’s Nest thermostats, which will reduce energy consumption during peak hours across thousands of California homes. With Nest thermostats, OhmConnect users will make their homes more grid-responsive, which will help the environment while earning them cash and prizes from OhmConnect.
OhmConnect is a free service provided to residential customers of Pacific Gas & Electric, Southern California Edison, and San Diego Gas & Electric. OhmConnect pays customers to conserve power during times of peak demand; sells the collective energy savings back to the grid; and then passes their earnings onto their users in the form of cash and prizes.
“Forty percent of OhmConnect customers are low-to-moderate income families, and our partnership with Google will allow us to provide Nest thermostats in the homes of hundreds of thousands of Californians,” says Cisco DeVries, CEO, OhmConnect. “Last summer, OhmConnect customers played a critical role in reducing blackouts by saving energy, and by arming more families with smart thermostats, we hope to see this impact grow exponentially in the coming weeks.”
According to a recent study by UCLA’s Luskin Center for Innovation, participating in OhmConnect measurably reduced grid stress and earned users over $1 million in rewards. These rewards were in addition to the money users saved on their utility bills by consuming less energy during peak hours. The widespread use of Nest thermostats will scale these benefits by improving customer access and engagement across California, ultimately helping keep the lights on during extreme weather events, like the blackouts experienced last summer.
“OhmConnect’s customers’ efforts helped to prevent blackouts during the recent heat waves,” says Michael Colvin, director regulatory and legislative affairs, California Energy Program, Environmental Defense Fund. “These customers responded at unprecedented levels and their actions prevented the August 2020 blackouts from being longer and more severe.”
Independent studies showed that Nest thermostats saved people an average of 10 to 12 percent on heating and 15 percent on cooling. Based on typical energy costs, Google estimated average savings of $131 to $145 a year.
California residents can sign up for OhmConnect here, and discounted Nest thermostats will be available to OhmConnect users beginning April 27, 2021.
For more information, visit ohmconnect.com.