Fresno competes in energy savings challenge

OhmConnect is a company trying to help the state save energy and prevent blackouts by helping people reduce their energy use
FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- Temperatures are heating up in the Central Valley, increasing the chance of stressing the power grid.

Last year, California saw a major crisis with blackouts throughout much of the state.

"In order to keep the grid stable, we had to turn the power off. For neighborhoods and communities, we want to keep that from happening this year. And OhmConnect is one of the best ways the state has to keep the lights on for everybody to keep the power on for everybody, but to reduce energy use," said Cisco DeVries, CEO of OhmConnect.

OhmConnect is a company trying to help the state save energy and prevent blackouts by helping people reduce their energy use. It also pays people to save during times called Ohm hours.

Now it's launched a competition between Oakland, San Jose, Bakersfield and Fresno to give out 25,000 smart thermostats.

"We all understand the high temperatures that we get here in Fresno, so it's a benefit to the people who live here. They get savings on their energy bill. We have a potential to get ten $5,000 scholarships for our youth," said Fresno Mayor Jerry Dyer.



Dyer says he is up for the friendly competition and earning the title of Energy Saving Superhero.

About 5% of people in Fresno already use the technology.

"Make sure that Fresno gets put on the map in terms of our clean energy and being energy efficient," Dyer said.

Ohm will give people who contact them smart thermostats free of charge.

People can make everyday choices to reduce energy and use appliances during off-peak times.

Last year OhmConnect paid $89,000 to Fresno residents who saved energy on August 14.

Experts say we can all help save energy in big and small ways. The competition is from now until September 30.
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