If you’re into environmental causes – and even if you’re not – you’ve probably heard at least a little bit about renewable energy. Energy sources like solar, wind and water power can sometimes be better for the environment than typical coal, nuclear and other energy sources.
However, renewable energy sources aren’t always readily available in all areas. Solar energy involves the purchase and installation of expensive solar panels. Wind energy needs turbines to harness the wind.
Not everyone has the budget for those types of purchases. Not to mention that not all energy users can use solar or other renewable sources. For example, apartment and condominium dwellers can’t just place solar panels on the roof or balcony and route their energy sources separately from the rest of the building.
Even in single family homes, solar and other renewable energy production isn’t always feasible.
However, you may have an option for contributing to renewable energy no matter what your living situation or financial situation: Arcadia Power.
Arcadia Power Review
Product Name: Arcadia Power
Product Description: Arcadia Power offers you a way to contribute to clean energy sources and find ways to save money. No commitment or cancellation fees.
Ease of Use
What is Arcadia Power?
Arcadia Power started in 2014 as a way to help provide you with a simple, free option to choose renewable energy. It helps you be able to contribute to an increased use in renewable energy resources. In addition, Arcadia can help you save money on your own personal energy bills.
Arcadia is an accredited member of the Better Business Bureau. They’ve been accredited since their inception of 2014 and currently have a B rating with the BBB.
I did some research on the BBB complaints and how they were handled. Of the 18 complaints on the BBB site, all were marked answered or resolved. Most of the complaints revolved around misunderstanding of the service or coordinating products available for sale.
In addition, Arcadia Power is a member of the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Community Solar Partnership. This partnership exists for the purpose of helping expand solar energy opportunities.
Today Arcadia has members across all 50 U.S. states. When you sign up to be a member, you get instant access to renewable energy sources to help power your home.
And it only takes a few clicks of your mouse. No need to install expensive equipment or change utility companies. Also, Arcadia Energy works for both homeowners and renters. And you can use it with all of your homes if you’re a multi-homeowner.
Arcadia gives you control over energy sources by piggybacking onto your utility company. When you give them access to your utility bill information, they help you take a part in increasing renewable energy.
Here’s a bit more information on how Arcadia Power works.
How Does Arcadia Power Work?
You might be wondering how Arcadia allows you to contribute to renewable energy just by you giving them access to your utility company. In order to answer that question, we’ll start by explaining a bit about how energy supply works.
So, in the U.S. we get our energy power from many different sources. Some examples include:
- Natural gas
And other sources as well. After the electricity is generated through the various sources, it gets sent to the national power grid.
From there, the energy is sent to homes via power lines. Once the energy enters the power grid, there’s no way to differentiate the source of the energy.
Coal energy, nuclear energy, solar energy and the rest are all thrown into one big pot, so to speak. This means unless you’re creating the energy you use yourself – such as via a solar-powered home – you don’t know what the source of your energy truly is.
Renewable Energy Certificates
Enter, Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs). RECs are kind of like a currency. An REC is created each time 1 megawatt hour of renewable energy, like wind energy, is created. To put that into perspective, 1 megawatt of energy will power the average home for roughly 1 month.
So, as renewable energy sources are created and put into the power grid, RECs follow. Each time the renewable energy that’s sent to the grid reaches 1 megawatt hour of energy, an REC is issued. The REC is proof that the hour of renewable energy was created.
If a company owns an REC, it has one megawatt hour of renewable energy. It can then sell that REC to power companies. The RECs help government and energy providers get an idea of how much renewable energy is being created. They also help track demand for renewable energy sources.
So, when you buy electricity from a renewable energy source, you’re buying the power and the REC that comes with it.
Note: RECs are different than offsets. While RECs represent the generation of renewable energy, offsets represent a metric ton of emissions avoided or reduced.
Conversely, if you had your own solar panel farm on your property, you could sell what’s called an SREC (Solar Renewable Energy Certificate).
So, you’d get an SREC for every 1 megawatt hour your solar panel farm created, and you could sell that SREC to energy companies, etc. SRECs, depending on the region, sell from under $50 each to as much as $300 each.
But obviously, it costs a lot of money to install a solar farm on your property. It would take years to make up what you spent on the project by selling SRECs.
However, you can still be a part of the renewable energy movement. Here’s how.
How Can Arcadia Power Help Me Save Energy?
So, when you sign up to be a member of Arcadia Power (it’s free), you’re simply connecting your local utility account to Arcadia Power’s renewable energy resources. Arcadia buys power from renewable sources. Think wind and solar farms.
Then they sell that renewable power to big utility companies.
When you sign up with Arcadia, you’re ensured that at least half of your energy usage will attributed to renewable resources.
What this means is that the energy you use personally will still be the same. It will still come from the same sources your power company uses. However, the equivalent of the energy you use will be added to the power grid via renewable resources.
The goal? To drive demand for and usage of renewable energy sources instead of non-renewable energy sources.
And sign up is easy: It takes less than one minute to sign up. All you have to do to see if Arcadia is available in your area is to go to their website and enter your location information.
Although Arcadia does operate in all 50 states, not all areas of each state can use Arcadia. It depends on whether or not your power company itself is partnered with Arcadia.
After you’ve signed up, Arcadia does all of the work of ensuring the equivalent of the energy you use is added to the national power grid from renewable sources.
The Arcadia Power dashboard helps put energy usage and numbers into a clear format for you.
When you visit your Arcadia Power dashboard, you can see how much energy you’re using and how much of that is clean energy usage. Knowing how much energy you’re using can help you be more efficient with your energy usage.
Arcadia also helps you save energy in other ways. Here are some other ways Arcadia can help you save energy – and money.
Once you sign up with Arcadia, they’ll send you price alerts when available. The price alerts notify you that Arcadia has found a lower-cost electricity rate than what you are currently paying. And they put you on the lower rate automatically – no work on your part.
Note that the price alert feature only works if your state or area offers multiple utility company choices. If you only have one company to choose from, the Price Alerts feature won’t apply.
In addition, Arcadia enables you to subscribe to remote or local community solar projects. When you do that, you can save money on your power bill from the production of the project share.
Arcadia Power also notifies you of deals on energy-saving products such as thermostats. In addition, they offer $0 down payment plans on those products if you choose to buy.
Also, Arcadia shares money-saving tips on their site as well, such as how to run appliances more efficiently and save on heating bills.
For instance, did you know that if you turn your heat down (or air up) by 8 degrees for 8 hours a day, you can save up to $180 a year on your utility bills? Who doesn’t want to save money on your air conditioning bill or heating bill?
Visit the Arcadia Power blog for more information on energy savings in your home.
Most utility companies charge a fee for bill pay services. However, Arcadia Power will let you pay your bill online for free. Since you pay Arcadia and Arcadia pays your bill, you can avoid any bill pay fee your power company charges.
Note that some users have reported that their energy bill gets paid earlier than usual. If you are a meticulous budgeter or keep the bare minimum in your checking account, this is important to note.
Arcadia’s energy dashboard is a great way to help you save money too. The energy dashboard lets you see your own hour-by-hour energy usage so that you can make money-saving changes in energy usage where need be.
If you’ve ever looked at your energy provider’s dashboard, you’ve probably seen that there’s some useful information on there.
Arcadia takes it one step further with a more detailed energy dashboard. Their dashboard shares information such as:
- Past power usage
- Your energy usage impact
- Your personal energy power sources
The energy dashboard can help you to better understand your own energy usage and how it impacts the planet.
What Does Arcadia Power Cost?
So, what will you pay to be able to help increase renewable energy resources? Arcadia Power has two plans: the Free Plan and the Premium Plan. Here’s a little big about how each of the available plans works.
Arcadia’s Free Plan
The Free Plan costs you nothing. Zero dollars and zero cents. When you sign up for the Free Plan, you get:
- 50% of your energy usage equivalent in renewable energy to the power grid
- Price alerts
- Discounts on energy products
- A personalized energy dashboard
So, basically you get access to renewable energy contributions and more for free.
Arcadia’s Premium Plan
The Premium Plan with Arcadia works a bit differently. With the Premium Plan you’ll pay 1.5 cents for each kilowatt (kWh) your home uses. In exchange for that fee, you’ll get:
- 100% of your energy usage equivalent in renewable energy to the power grid
- Price alerts
- Discounts on energy products
- A personalized energy dashboard.
So, basically, your options are to get the equivalent of up to half your energy in renewable sources for free, or to get the equivalent of all of your energy in renewable sources for a small fee.
The 1.5 cents per kilowatt Arcadia charges to put 100% of your energy usage into renewable sources should have a minimal impact on your power bill. To put it into perspective cost-wise, the average home in the U.S. pays 12 cents per kilowatt of power.
And each month you’ll receive an REC for the renewable energy you contributed to during the month prior.
What Else Should I Know?
There are a few other things you should know about Arcadia Power. First, there are no startup or cancellation costs. And you can start or stop using the service any time, as there are no contracts to sign.
Second, Arcadia Power’s site is secure. They use bank-level security for your payments, using PCI-DSS compliance for your payments. This is the most stringent level of certification available in the industry.
They even take over bill pay for you. You pay Arcadia directly, and they send your payment to your utility company. And there’s no surcharge for them to do this. It’s simply offered as a convenience for Arcadia customers.
In addition, Arcadia has a dedicated customer service team available Monday through Friday. They can answer any questions you have or help you with any issues.
I feel like I should reiterate that when you sign up with Arcadia, you are not getting to choose the energy source that comes directly to your home. The only way you could do that is by installing solar or other renewable resources yourself and getting your renewable energy directly.
Instead, when you sign up with Arcadia, you are helping them provide renewable energy to the national power grid as a whole. This helps the environment on a big picture level.
If Arcadia can help increase the demand for renewable energy sources, utility companies and other sources will work harder to provide those sources as opposed to the current, primarily used non-renewable sources.
By signing up with Arcadia Power, you help them help renewable energy production gain more momentum.
Is Arcadia Power for Me?
Arcadia Power might be a good match for you if you care about one or more of two things:
- Contributing to renewable energy resources
- Potentially saving money on your utility bills
By teaming up with Arcadia, you can help them get more renewable energy resources on the power grid. This means you’re helping the environment as a whole. And that helps you too.
Also, since Arcadia has so many resources for energy savings, they could help you save money on your own power bill. If you take advantage of the money saving tips they share, you could lower your monthly utility bill.
If you don’t care much about the renewable energy issue, or if you’re not interested in trying to save on your energy bill, you could do without Arcadia. However, given that it has the free plan available, you may want to consider trying it for a month or two.
The earth and its well-being is everyone’s responsibility. We each need to do what we feel is best to help it become a better place. “Best” is defined by us as individuals. For me that might mean being intentional about recycling. For you that might mean biking to work.
Supporting renewable energy generation is another way to help the world become a better place. Arcadia Power offers you a way to contribute to clean energy sources and find ways to save money. No commitment or cancellation fees.
If you want more power (no pun intended) over the nation’s energy usage, take control of your energy by connecting your power bill to Arcadia Power.
It won’t cost you a dime to help contribute to the country’s renewable energy resources. And at the same time, you can learn to avoid costly homeowner mistakes when it comes to your house’s energy usage and bills.
Have you ever used Arcadia Power as a way to help the environment and your own energy usage? What do you think of the idea?
In what ways are you passionate about helping the environment be healthier and greener? Feel free to leave your thoughts in our comments section.