Incentive programme pays utility customers $300,000 during heatwave


In just one day, California-based clean energy programme OhmConnect paid out over $300,000 in incentives to users who responded to California Independent System Operator’s (CAISO) ‘Flex Alert’ to reduce power on Friday, 14 August.

Nearly 2 million California residents had their power shut off in recent days, with soaring temperatures and extreme demand for electricity across the state overwhelming the energy grid, and causing the first rolling blackouts in the state since 2001. 

OhmConnect is free to PG&E, Southern California Edison (SCE) and San Diego Gas & Electric customers in California.

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During periods of peak energy demand, OhmConnect pays its more than 150,000 active California customers to reduce their home energy use for short periods of time. Users receive alerts indicating when to power down in order to save electricity, and if they use less energy than forecasted, they get paid by OhmConnect. Participating OhmConnect users earn cash rewards, save on their monthly utility bills, and help balance California’s brittle energy grid.

“California does not need to experience rolling blackouts,” said Cisco DeVries, CEO, OhmConnect. “Instead of turning off power across entire regions, proven technology allows us to pay customers to reduce when needed. This is exactly the crisis that OhmConnect was built to solve. As the state issues Flex Alerts to reduce energy use, hundreds of thousands of OhmConnect customers can enjoy cash rewards for doing the right thing and playing their part in responding to this unprecedented energy challenge.”

Because of the record-breaking heat, California’s statewide Flex Alert was extended until Wednesday, 19 August.