Get paid to use less electricity? Sign us up! Companies that offer you “reduce your use perks” give you tips and tools to conserve, and pay you when you do so!
What are Reduce Your Use Perks?
Reduce Your Use Perks is our name for residential demand response programs in Texas. You get paid to cut your electricity usage when asked to do so.
You can reduce your electricity usage any number of ways, like not running your dishwasher or washing machine. It’s also a way to make money with smart home technology you’ve invested in.
If you can turn off appliances and lights with a smart plug, that’s one approach. But you’ll have the biggest impact on your electricity usage when you can control your thermostat from your smart phone.
Texas Electricity Companies That Pay You to Conserve Energy
There are two companies in Texas that pay you to conserve electricity, OhmConnect Energy and Energy Texas.
- OhmConnect Energy – OhmConnect is all about helping the Texas grid keep running. If you cut your usage when asked to do so, you’ll earn “Watts” that you can redeem for cash or apply toward your bill. You can also integrate your smart devices with OhmConnect’s app, and let them adjust things for you for maximum savings (always with the opportunity to override the changes.)
- Energy Texas – Peak Perks is Energy Texas conservation rewards program. Enroll, sign up for Peak Perks and watch for a conservation alert. Then do your best to cut your electricity usage. Cut your electricity usage by 10% when asked to do so, get 10% off your next electricity bill.
Below you’ll find the rates for electricity plans that pay you to conserve energy at certain times. These rates are for the Oncor Market (Dallas/Fort Worth). Just click details or enter your zip to see plans in your area.
Electricity Plans that Pay You to Conserve Energy
|Energy Texas||36 Inflation Fix||36||14.0 ¢||Details|
|OhmConnect Energy||TexasConnect 36||36||15.0 ¢||Details|
|Energy Texas||Bigger Than Texas 24||24||16.3 ¢||Details|
|OhmConnect Energy||TexasConnect 24||24||16.3 ¢||Details|
|Energy Texas||Come and Take It 12||12||17.1 ¢||Details|
|Energy Texas||The Gruene 18||18||17.7 ¢||Details|
|Energy Texas||Energy Texas Monthly||1||20.1 ¢||Details|
Shop "Reduce Your Use Perks" Plans Near You
And in case you’re wondering? These rates are not any higher because of the perks they pay you. In fact, they are some of the most competitive rates around. Check basic fixed rate electricity plans to see competitive rates.
How do Energy Companies Make Money Paying You to Conserve?
Want to get into the nitty gritty of how this works? You asked for it! Your REP is going to make money off your conservation efforts. That’s how they pay you. The mechanics of this are two different options: Getting paid to reduce use, or Selling power back to the grid.
ERCOT has a program called LAAR, “Load Acting As A Resource.” Usage is considered a load on the system. Resources are typically generation assets, like power plants.
But hen power demand is soaring and ERCOT needs to reduce demand, they will pay companies to cut their power use. That’s when a Load turns into a Resource. Because when there are no more power plants to turn on, cutting usage dramatically helps ERCOT balance the grid.
Large companies that have back-up generation usually are the target for LAAR programs. But a retail electricity provider can group their residential customers that have agreed to reduce usage. Then they can “bid in” those customers to the ERCOT system.
By participating in a Reduce Your Use Perks program, you are raising your hand to cut your power. Your REP then estimates how much power you can cut when asked to do so, by running some fancy math and scenarios. They bid that in to ERCOT. And when you cut your usage? The REP gets paid by ERCOT. And then they pay you.
Your REP may also make money selling power back in to the market. After all, when demand is high, so are prices. So when you cut your usage, they can take advantage of the wholesale market in ERCOT. And they can also take the power they contracted for and sell it into the market to the highest bidder.
Sound crazy? Maybe so, but this approach has been around since the beginning of deregulation. It’s only recently, with smart homes and the internet of things, that consumers can easily control their home setting remotely. Smart devices like smart thermostats make it possible for homes to participate in demand response.