It’s an expensive double whammy. First, you’re probably staying home more to social distance. Second, we’ve got hot summer temperatures. With that combination, many of us are getting hit with skyrocketing power bills.
Experts are predicting that most consumers’ energy bills will rise by at least 10 percent, putting a strain on household budgets.
But in California, we found a program that’ll pay you $300 a year (or more!) for turning out the lights and shutting off your appliances for an hour.
If you have a utility account with PG&E, SDG&E or Southern California Edison, which cover nearly every single county in California, listen up.
OhmConnect is a free tool that will pay you to help save energy when the grid gets stretched. These earning periods are called “OhmHours” and during this time, your job is to simply use less power.
Go outside and take the dog for a walk or take the kids to the park. Or stay inside and break out some playing cards or a puzzle or board game. If you can successfully reduce your energy usage, OhmConnect will send you a check!
Here’s how to get a check from OhmConnect:
- Sign up for a free OhmConnect account here.
- Sync it with your online utility account through PG&E, SDG&E or Southern California Edison. You must have an online account with one of these electric companies to qualify for OhmConnect.
- Receive energy usage notifications during “#OhmHours” — high-energy-consumption hours that trigger non-green power plants to activate in order to support the overtaxed grid.
- Head outside or at least turn the TV off until the #OhmHour is up. Heck, you can even play games on your phone during this hour — just resist plugging in any electronics.
- Profit! OhmConnect rewards you with cash.
This all works because the California electricity market pays OhmConnect to help power companies avoid turning on expensive, dirty power plants. Your company then passes the savings on to you.
More than half a million California residents have already signed up, earning more than $10 million.
#OhmHours only occur a couple of times a week, and in addition to earning money, you might see a reduction in your power bill each month, too — not to mention the benefits of getting some sunshine!
How to Maximize Your Earnings
Your earnings are based on how much power you save. The more you save, the higher your “status,” which helps you earn even more.
- Platinum status requires an average savings of 40% or more beneath your forecasts for at least 10 OhmHours. You’ll receive the 2x multiplier on your payout.
- Gold status requires an average savings of 15% or more for the past 10 OhmHours. You’ll receive the 1.5x multiplier on your payout.
Once you’ve earned rewards, you can choose to cash out or donate directly to your favorite charity.
Like we mentioned, this cool program only works for Californians for now, and you have to have an online account with one of the electric companies mentioned above.
Before you leave, be sure to read about how one San Diego resident made up to $487 a month by saving energy through OhmConnect.
This was originally published on The Penny Hoarder, a personal finance website that empowers millions of readers nationwide to make smart decisions with their money through actionable and inspirational advice, and resources about how to make, save and manage money.
This was originally published on The Penny Hoarder, which helps millions of readers worldwide earn and save money by sharing unique job opportunities, personal stories, freebies and more. The Inc. 5000 ranked The Penny Hoarder as the fastest-growing private media company in the U.S. in 2017.