Company paying Fresnans to save energy

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- It's lights off at Christina Garcia's northwest Fresno home.

She's just one of 60,000 Fresno residents who's using OhmConnect, a web site, to get paid for saving electricity.

"So I'll shut off my breaker. Unplug everything and we'll just go to my aunt's house or go to the park," said Garcia.

Garcia has earned money weekly, but recently her choices turned into big cash for her.

She won energy for life.

News the mother of two was thankful for after having some challenging times.

"I was like oh my gosh what am I going to do. Christmas is coming, how am I going to buy my kids' Christmas gifts so I was like this money is going to go towards my kids' Christmas gifts. Saving energy and the money is going towards my kids," Garcia said.

OhmConnect co-founder Curtis Tongue says about 600,000 people in California use the website.

He says it's free to sign up at ohmconnect.com and connect your utility account.

"Every time you receive a text message that's called an Ohm Hour. In an Ohm Hour we ask people to save as much energy as possible. If you hit that goal in that Ohm Hour we will send you a payment," Tongue said.

If you participate consistently, you can earn $5 an Ohm Hour.

OhmConnect is affiliated with PG&E.

"There's a finite amount of clean energy that's online. we want to use that energy first before we have to go to less clean sources. the more energy that customers save, helps with that," said PG&E spokesperson Denny Boyles.

PG&E says people can save by setting a thermostat or using smart appliances.

The Central Valley is an ideal place for saving with its hot summer months.

To date, Fresnans have earned one million dollars in payouts from Ohm.

So far 60,000 in Fresno are using the web site. OhmConnect hopes more people will log on, save energy and earn money.
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