Proving the Business Case for the Internet of Things

OhmConnect shows how smart homes can generate revenue

Steve Rogerson
October 20, 2015
San Francisco-based smart home energy firm OhmConnect has developed a method for enabling smart home devices, such as Wifi thermostats, smart plugs, home automation systems and electric vehicle chargers, to generate recurring revenue streams by intelligently controlling devices' charging and operating schedules. Specifically, Wifi thermostat owners can directly recoup their device's cost within one to three years using OhmConnect.
The free home automation platform makes secure PayPal or Venmo payments to users who respond to alerts by reducing their energy use during key timeframes, called OhmHours. Recent data show OhmConnect users with connected smart home devices and EVs are earning up to $200 using the app.
The platform seamlessly syncs with smart thermostats from Nest, EcoBee, Honeywell and others, smart wall plugs from the Schneider Electric Wiser lines and Belkin Wemo, as well as electric vehicle chargers.
"By making a few small changes, I've earned about $220 through my participation," said Steve Reed, a video programmer in San Diego who had already invested in an automated home prior to using OhmConnect. "What's even more impactful is that on top of these earnings, my home has reduced the CO2 produced on our behalf, with very little impact on our daily lives."
OhmConnect user payments are made possible because California's electricity grid operators prefer to pay users to reduce their energy consumption rather than pay power plants to generate additional energy. By coordinating OhmHours during times when the grid would otherwise rely on energy from more costly and environmentally damaging power plants, OhmConnect redirects energy grid payments from power plants to its users, while at the same time reducing the grid's environmental impact.
"OhmConnect represents the opportunity for millions of people to use smart home devices that not only pay for themselves, but deliver continual payments directly to them," said Curtis Tongue, OhmConnect's co-founder and CMO. “When integrated with the wide array of connected smart home devices, OhmConnect offers an immediate and sustainable revenue-generating opportunity for using energy more intelligently.”
Since 2014, OhmConnect has worked to simplify home energy consumption through behavioural energy use reductions and smart device automation. It enables thousands of California utility customers with the opportunity to earn monthly and annual PayPal payment rewards for timely, smarter home energy consumption. Anyone who uses any of the three major California energy suppliers – Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E), Southern California Edison and San Diego Gas & Electric – can sign up for free.