Before you dive in: As of May 2019, OhmConnect is only available in:
- California: PG&E, SDG&E or Southern California Edison
- Texas: Smart Meter Texas
- Ontario: Toronto Hydro
OhmConnect pays users to reduce electricity usage during peak hours when cleaner energy is less available. To date, the community of ~500,000 has abated 1.4 million pounds of CO2.
Integrating with HomeAssistant
To configure it, you'll need your API key. Go to the OhmConnect settings page and scroll all the way to the bottom - you'll find a link to
If you're curious: the XML response looks like this:
<ohmhour> <address>Your address</address> <active>None</active> <!--or True--> </ohmhour>
Copy & paste your personal API key at the end of the URL into your HomeAssistant configuration:
sensor: - platform: ohmconnect id: YOUR-API-KEY-HERE - platform: yr
Note: HomeAssistant comes preconfigured with a
yr sensor – so make sure you don't accidentally create two
sensor: sections or the OhmConnect sensor won't appear!
You can use HomeAssistant's automation editor, or a configuration file, to turn devices off/on at the start/end OhmHours:
- id: '1234567890123' alias: Turn off devices during OhmHour trigger: - entity_id: binary_sensor.ohmconnect from: 'off' platform: state to: 'on' condition:  action: - data: entity_id: groups.everything service: homeassistant.turn_on
Prioritize adding smart plugs to the largest appliances and electrics first (but make sure they're rated to handle the high power load):
- TV / Entertainment System
Additionally, put off these activities for an hour (you could use a specific lamp to indicate an OhmHour is underway):
- Running the Dishwasher
Rewards (and Realistic Expectations)
For me, OhmConnect is an awesome way to leverage your home automation hobby for a greater good. The initiative has encouraged half a million people to be more energy conscious through gamification and cutting edge technology - that's amazing!
As a bonus, you're paid for your participation based on your reduction. My advice: don't get too caught up with the payouts. Some get disappointed and lose interest in the program because payouts are proportional with reductions. Meaning: you'll earn less over time - and if you're already an energy conscious household, you might not earn much at all.
So keep in mind: smarter energy habits mean saving money on your energy bill and saving the planet.
You can get $10 for your first OhmHour by signing up here.