This Company Will Pay You Up to $300/Year to Go Outside. Yes, Really.

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Honest Abe

Disclosure:

Some of the links in this post are from our sponsors. We’re letting you know because it’s what Honest Abe would do. After all, he is on our favorite coin.

Listen up, California: It’s time to go outside and reduce your energy usage. And we found a company willing to pay you for it…

OhmConnect is a free app that syncs to the major utility companies in California. When the energy grid gets stretched, OhmConnect sends you an earning alert called an “#OhmHour.”

During this time, your job is to simply get outside.

Take the dog for a walk or the kids to the park, because if you can successfully reduce your energy usage, OhmConnect will send you a check!

Since OhmConnect users agree to reduce energy during high-load hours, the California electricity market (or California ISO) avoids turning on an expensive, dirty power plant… and pays OhmConnect instead. The company then passes the savings on to you.

#OhmHours only occur a couple of times a week, and in addition to earning money, it’s likely you’ll see a reduction in your power bill each month, too. Not to mention the benefits of getting some sunshine!

Here’s how to try OhmConnect:

  1. Sign up for OhmConnect and 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. This needs to be done when you sign up, so have your utility info handy.
  2. 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.
  3. Head outside or at least turn the TVoff until the #OhmHour is up. Heck, you can even play cell phone games during this hour — just resist plugging in any new electronics. 
  4. Profit! OhmConnect rewards you with cash for not contributing to the high demand that prompts unclean power sources to turn on.

How to Get Paid for Saving Energy

Your earnings are based on how much power you save. The more you save, the higher your “status,” which helps you earn even more.

For example:

  • Platinum status requires an average savings of 40% or more beneath your forecasts = 4x earnings multiplier
  • Gold status requires an average savings of 20% or more = 2x earnings multiplier
  • Silver status requires an average savings of less than 20% = normal earnings

Once you’ve earned rewards, you can choose to cash out or donate directly to your favorite charity.

You can also directly connect OhmConnect with any smart energy devices you already have in your home, like the Nest thermostat.

The downside?

Like we mentioned, this cool program only works for you Californians for now, and you have to have an online account with one of the electric companies mentioned above.

I’m hoping OhmConnect will be able to expand soon as it continues to catch on!

Jamie Cattanach (@jamiecattanach) is a junior writer at The Penny Hoarder. She also writes other stuff, like wine reviews and poems.

Honest Abe

Disclosure:

Some of the links in this post are from our sponsors. We’re letting you know because it’s what Honest Abe would do. After all, he is on our favorite coin.