OAKLAND, Calif., April 27, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — OhmConnect, the leading residential customer response energy program, in partnership with Google, today 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.
“40% 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,” said 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,” said 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% on heating and 15% on cooling. Based on typical energy costs, Google estimated average savings of $131 to $145 a year.
“Google is excited to expand our partnership with OhmConnect and its innovative platform,” said Jeff Hamel, Director of Industry Partnerships, Google. “We are thrilled that Nest can help energy-conscious Californians protect the grid and avoid reliance on fossil fuel-emitting peaker plants. Nest thermostats helped customers save over 17 billion kWh of energy in 2019. Imagine the impact – for users, for the grid, and for our environment as Nest thermostats across California work with OhmConnect.”
California residents can sign up for OhmConnect here, and discounted Nest thermostats will be available to OhmConnect users beginning April 27, 2021.
OhmConnect was founded in 2014 with the vision of becoming the world’s largest supplier of clean energy. It has a mission to improve the lives of people and the health of the planet by reimagining the way energy is (collectively) used. Today, OhmConnect enables hundreds of thousands of customers to reimagine how they use energy, to choose clean energy over dirty energy when required, and to be rewarded for timely, smarter, home energy use. OhmConnect makes it possible for customers to use clean energy without buying expensive solar-powered systems or changing energy providers. The company pays its users for saving energy when the grid is at risk of using dirty power. Customers of the three major California energy suppliers – Pacific Gas and Electric (PG&E), Southern California Edison and San Diego Gas & Electric – can sign up with OhmConnect for free at ohmconnect.com. Follow OhmConnect on Twitter @OhmConnect, see the OhmConnect blog or check it out on Facebook and LinkedIn.