This Company Sends People Cash for Using the Grill Instead of the Oven 

A man and wife battle over a raw piece of meat to place on their grill in their backyard.
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It’s time to cook dinner, and you’ve got a decision to make: Do you use the stove, or do you go outside and cook on the grill?

What if someone paid you to choose the grill? Would that make a difference?

Here’s the thing: You’re not the only person in your area cooking dinner. And all those appliances running at the same time stretches the power grid thin. If you live in California, a company called OhmConnect will pay you to skip the oven at dinner time and give the grid a break.

OhmConnect will send you a text when a lot of people in your area are using power, and it will pay you to cut back for an hour — whether that means going outside to grill, turning off your lights or A/C or even turning off your breaker. The more you do, the more money you can make.

Here’s How to Get Cash from OhmConnect:

  1. Sign up for a free OhmConnect account here.
  2. Sync it with your online utility account through PG&E, SDG&E or Southern California Edison, or connect as a guest.
  3. Receive energy usage notifications during “OhmHours” and “AutoOhms” — high-energy-consumption times that trigger non-green power plants to activate in order to support the overtaxed grid.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.

We talked to one woman, Tanya Williams, who recently earned an extra $1,700 in one year with OhmConnect — more than $140 a month. A few evenings each week, the 45-year-old stay-at-home mom shut down her home’s electrical panel and took the kids to the pool, or just played board games. Talk about easy money.

Enter your ZIP code here to open a free OhmConnect account, then sync it with your online utility account to start earning cash. Plus, who doesn’t love to grill?

Mike Brassfield ([email protected]) is a senior writer at The Penny Hoarder. He’s a dad, so he loves to grill.