Is it really as simple as it sounds--to make money by saving energy with OhmConnect?
Or is OhmConnect a scam in one way or another that is just going to be a waste of your time? After all--making money simply by saving power sounds a bit unusual to say the least.
I'm sure we've all heard the stories--about people like this stay at home mom who earned $1,700 with OC in a year--and others who have earned some pretty good chunks of money as well.
It all sounds so strange to be able to make money this way, but the company does have a pretty good reputation overall, and is accredited with the BBB with an A+ rating (not that this is a determinant factor)...
But anyways--let's get straight to the point here--NO OhmConnect is not a scam. HOWEVER, it likely is not the great money-making opportunity that it is often portrayed as being.
In this review we will be breaking it down for you and showing you how things work, how they can actually pay you for saving energy (power), how much money you might realistically be able to make, and more.
Overview of OhmConnect
OhmConnect started out in 2013 in San Francisco, California as a way to help reduce energy consumption for environmental reasons--and helps do so by incentivizing people to use less energy by paying them to do so.
It's pretty simple--those who are eligible to participate simply lower the amount of energy they are using at certain times--by not running their dishwasher, washing machine, pool pump, etc.--and earn points which can then be cashed out via PayPal.
So in a nutshell--you sign up--you save energy--you earn money that you can cash out via PayPal.
Who Can Participate?
Residents in certain areas have programs where their local energy suppliers will pay them to reduce their energy consumption--and these bills most people either don't know about or don't know how to take advantage of.
OhmConnect works with energy authorities in different areas so that you can sell your energy reductions back--they basically work as a middleman and deal with all the work of getting paid for the reductions, then passing along some of that money to you, the consumer.
Those eligible to make money with OhmConnect include...
- California users with PG&E (Pacific Gas & Electric), SDG&E (San Diego Gas & Electric) or SCE (Southern California Edison)
- Texas users with Smart Meter Texas
- Ontario users with Toronto Hydro
*In the future the available regions will likely expand.
Users without the utility providers listed above can still participate but will only be able to earn tokens, which can be used to win prizes like smart thermostats, electric car leases and more--the reason being because OhmConnect can't verify your meter data and can't give out points that are redeemable for cash.
How It Works
First you sign up, which is free. Then it all starts out when you receive a notification, which will be via text message or email.
You will receive a notification for what is called an #OhmHour--and it is during these times that you are going to want to power down.
You don't simply save energy whenever you feel like it and get paid for it--only during #OhmHours are they going to pay--although it would still be a good idea to save energy whenever you have the opportunity because this will save you money on your utility bill.
Once you sign up for OhmConnect You have access to your dashboard which will give you an overview of your performance, showing you visually how much power you saved on certain days and the points you earn from it (as well as if you lost points by consuming more power than normal) and so on...
*Note: You earn points which can later be cashed out for cold hard cash via PayPal.
In the picture above you can see that one of these days simply has a star symbol instead of a point number--this is called a 'Prize #OhmHour', which works the same way as a normal #OhmHour but instead of getting points for conserving energy you get entered into a prize drawing that happens every two weeks if you meet the energy reduction goal they give you.
*Usually the prize drawings are for things like gift cards.
While this may seem like a fun little way to earn money (in the form of gift cards and such), many users are against it--due to the fact that winning one of these prize drawings seems to be nearly impossible because of the high amounts of people entered into them.
Many people would just rather receive points and do away with the whole prize thing--it is probably just a "fun" and sneaky way for OhmConnect to pay out less to users.
They also send out notifications for what are called 'Mega #OhmHours' which are were they really need as many users as possible to participate, and there is a bonus for such (will be stated in your notification).
These are more common during the hotter months.
What's The Point of All This?
The point isn't just energy reduction, but also to keep inefficient "peaker plants" from being turned on.
You see, during times of strain on the energy grid, there are 'fast acting power plants' that are turned on to increase the energy supply to meet the demand. But it is better for everyone if these power plants are not turned on in the first place--due to their inefficiency (high cost and high amounts of carbon emission)--according to OhmConnect, they put off 2-3x the amount of carbon emissions--bad for the planet.
When they predict that there's going to be a high amount of energy consumption and the energy grid might be strained so much where these plants have to kick on--they send out notifications for #OhmHours to keep the energy demand lower--eliminating the need for such peaker plants.
Here you can see a diagram of how this works: There is a predicted surge in energy demand coming up so OhmConnect puts an #OhmHour (green) right before that peak in predicted energy consumption, keeping the actual demand much lower...
Automating The Process
If you want to go all-in with the OhmConnect opportunity, then you may want to look into purchasing some of the smart devices that they sell, such as smart plugs (around $35) and smart thermostats--which will power down your home automatically when there are #OhmHours--making the process automated.
How Much Money Can You Actually Make?
How much money you can make is going to depend on your lifestyle. For example, if you are working all the time and your home isn't consuming much energy to begin with, then you aren't going to be saving much more energy than normal if you do power down during an #OhmHour.
On the flip-side, if you are a mother of 4 (like the stay at home mom who made $1,700 in a year) then you are likely going to have more profit potential.
They say that you can expect 1-2 #OhmHours per week, but this is going to vary depending on where you live and a bunch of factors.
They also state on their website that users can earn an average of anywhere from $100 to $300 per year, which breaks down to $8.33 - $25 per month. So for the first year, if you purchase the smart plugs, smart thermostat, etc. that OhmConnect sells you will probably be able to pay them off with the money you make--and have a bit left over. Then after that it will be like free money--although not that much.
As mentioned at the beginning, there is an article on The Penny Hoarder about a woman that made $1,700 in a year--and there are also others making around $1k/yr--but these are outliers and you probably shouldn't expect to earn anywhere close to that amount.
#OhmHours can be at any time, including when your favorite TV show is playing and you really don't want to miss out on the relaxation that comes with watching it in the cool A/C--or when you are hosting a family dinner party.
That said, you will get a 24-hour notice so it is not like it's going to be an unexpected surprise when your home powers down (automatically if you have smart plugs and such)
Won't Make Much
We all hear the amazing stories of the few people who have made some pretty decent passive income with OhmConnect, but of course you always hear the best stories--and you probably should not expect much.
Prize #OhmHours Are Worthless
There are many complaints about the Prize #OhmHours, which may seem like fun at first until you realize that they are pretty much worthless because you likely will never win any prizes. And since it is either one or the other (#OhmHour or Prize #OhmHour), if you have a Prize #OhmHour that means you've missed out on a regular one.
The unpredictable nature of OhmConnect can also be said to be a downside. You never really know what you're going to get. Are you going to get normal #OhmHours? or Prize #OhmHours? how many people are going to be participating in the drawings?
They also seem to change up how they do things a bit often, which veteran users complain about because it apparently is not as lucrative as it once was for users.
Is It Really Helping Save The Planet?
Unfortunately the positive impact that OhmConnect is having might not be as great as it seems. When it is time to power down your house, this doesn't mean hop in your car, blast the A/C and head off to consume a bunch of electricity somewhere else--which is what many end up doing.
Scam or Not?
OhmConnect is absolutely not a scam. We understand that some people have had bad experiences with this program, such as from there being some sort of error and not receiving credit for energy reductions (usually a problem with the utility provider paying as they should), but these people are few.
While it might not be the amazing income opportunity that many people promote it as being, it is not a scam by any means.
Pros v Cons
- Free to join
- No equipment to install
- Passive income potential (if you have smart plugs, etc.--still super easy if you don't)
- Can feel good about doing something positive for the planet
- Probably won't make much
- Might ruin your family get-together (#OhmHours can be whenever)
- Not available in many areas (for full participation)
Conclusion - Is It Worth Your Time?
If you live in one of the eligible areas then why not give it a try? OhmConnect is completely free to sign up for and you don't have anything to lose.
Join and test out the waters--see how you like it and then go from there.
Just don't expect much and certainly don't count on a specific amount of income--because it can be unpredictable.
By participating you not only get the chance to earn a bit of extra money, but you also save money on your utility bill by conserving energy in the first place--and on top of that it is good for the environment.
What do you think about OhmConnect? Have you been a member? What has your experience been like? We are always more than happy to hear from our readers and would appreciate it if you left any comments or questions down below 🙂