During this record-breaking fire season in California, OhmConnect and its community of energy savers have stepped up to help prevent blackouts in Northern California.
During the Bootleg Fire in southern Oregon, parts of the California - Oregon Intertie (Path 66), a vital electric line corridor that delivers large amounts of electricity from the Pacific Northwest to California, were taken offline in mid-July, and a statewide "Flex Alert" was issued.
In response, OhmConnect asked its Northern Californian community to participate in OhmHours across the region, reducing grid stress until transmission lines could be brought back online. Over 166,000 OhmConnect users heeded the call to reduce electricity consumption, ultimately taking 61.7K energy-hogging appliances off the grid and powering down for a total of 231,000 hours.
"When we learned of the threat to the grid, we immediately alerted our users, and they really stepped up to the plate," said Cisco DeVries, CEO of OhmConnect. "They made a tangible impact on power consumption that helped keep the grid online and prevent blackouts."
With the help of OhmConnect's community, electricity demand remained below CAISO's day-ahead prediction. Voluntary reductions will continue to be a vital resource in stabilizing California's power grid during extreme weather events or supply shortages.
In recognition of the role played by its customers, OhmConnect is donating $5,000 in their name to the California Fire Foundation, which provides emotional and financial assistance to the families of firefighters and the communities they protect.
"This is a small token of our gratitude to the OhmConnect community," said Devries. "They continue to inspire us with what is possible when we work together to keep our environment – and each other – safe."