How Homeowners Benefit from SunPower’s California Virtual Power Plant with OhmConnect


May 11, 2023


Over the past century, our energy needs have changed drastically, and with it, how we power our world has shifted too. As more homes transition to more sustainable, all-electric solutions, demand for electricity continues to soar. Affordable renewable energy sources like solar power are meeting the demand head-on to help foster a better, cleaner planet. 

SunPower is working with OhmConnect to make living a sustainable lifestyle easier (and more rewarding) for homeowners like you. 

OhmConnect rewards users for sharing their excess solar energy with their local power grid. California residents with SunPower’s solar battery systems can use their mySunPower® app to join the SunPower Virtual Power Plant (VPP) powered by OhmConnect. 

Understanding the electrical grid 

First things first, there are a few things you should know about the electrical grid. Most of the time, utility providers are pretty good at accurately predicting the amount of energy needed to power a particular region. But sometimes, when the required energy exceeds the amount available, the power grid must turn on a peaking power plant to ensure enough electricity is available to meet demand.

These on-demand plants are fast-acting and effective at providing additional power to our communities. Unfortunately, though, they can produce nearly three times as many carbon emissions as a traditional power plant. And on top of that, they're more expensive to run. 

What is OhmConnect, and how does it work? 

As a member of OhmConnect’s free SunPower virtual power plant (VPP), you'll receive an alert, either by text or email from OhmConnect, letting you know when these peak usage times are approaching. Then, you can choose when to power down and save. 

These energy-saving events, called OhmHours, are typically an hour in length, and by taking part, OhmConnect members can help avoid turning on peaking power plants in their neighborhood.

The best part is the folks running the electrical grid would rather pay you to use less electricity than turn on these additional power plants. Because of this, OhmConnect can sell the energy you save back to the grid and share those profits with you.  

That's right; you can get rewarded just for powering down and saving electricity at home. When you participate in an OhmHour, you can earn Watts that can be cashed in for gift cards, smart home technology, weekly prizes and money right back in your wallet.

Using your solar battery system with OhmConnect 

SunPower’s SunVault solar battery storage system can help homeowners make the most of their energy-saving efforts. 

Through the mySunPower app, you can use your SunVault reserves to help reduce demand in your area and earn easy rewards in the process. Through the easy-to-use interface, homeowners can control when they’d like to use their excess stored energy to help supply the power grid. 

Not an OhmConnect member yet, but keen to get started? If you’re a California resident with SunVault, you can sign-up on OhmConnect’s website or log into your mySunPower app to join. For those outside of the current service area, you’re in luck. SunPower has plans for additional VPP programs in the near future.