Whether it's biking to work, turning the air conditioner off for a while, or filling the washing machine before running it, we all make little decisions here and there to save on our electricity bill. You may not even notice that while you're trying to save a few bucks, you're also creating a positive environmental impact. It feels good to know that, doesn't it?
Now imagine if you could continue to use less energy, and 50% of the energy used comes from renewable energy sources. I bet it would feel even better. The problem is, most people don't have any idea how to source renewable energy or don't have the money (or permission) to install things like solar panels.
Thanks to Arcadia, most homeowners can get 50% renewable energy without any big installation fees. And, your monthly power bill remains the same. You can contribute to the move in climate change without it costing you more.
We know this may sound too good to be true. Is it possible Arcadia is a scam? Are there any extra hooks? In this article, we'll go into depth about what Arcadia is and if it's really worth it.
The problem with electricity in the US
Imagine blending your soup ingredients in the blender then drinking it as a smoothie.
Power in the US is the same way. Power gets generated from various sources — coal, solar, nuclear, hydroelectric, wind, etc. Once it's generated, it gets sent to the national power grid, which then gets sent to our homes via power lines.
The truth is, there's no way of telling the different types of energy. It all gets mushed together when it enters the power grid. So, when it comes to your home, you can't know what kind of power you're using.
However, if you've ever received Renewable Energy Certificates, it means at least some of your energy has come from a renewable energy source.
The fault in receiving RECs is when your bill comes, you end up paying 2 things: the electricity and the REC.
Purchasing REC's help in some way, but I'd say it's to a minimal. If you want more security that your power is renewable, Arcadia may be the right fit for you.
How Arcadia Power works
Arcadia Power sends renewable energy to your home directly through existing power lines. They will buy RECs on your behalf, which means at least 50% of your energy will come from a renewable power source.
You may be thinking this may be a lot of work for you. Well, it's not really. You do not need to change your electricity provider. Arcadia will take care of getting their electricity in your powerlines for you. All you need to do is set up your account.
The best part about having Arcadia Power (other than using good energy) is the fact that your electricity bill will stay exactly the same.
Your electric bill will be directed to Arcadia Power. Arcadia Power will then pay your electricity company for you. This allows them to have better control and see where the energy is coming from. Don't get ahead of yourself though, you will have to pay them back.
Arcadia Power offers 2 plans:
1. Free: 50% wind energy, $0/kWh
On top of this plan being free, you'll get features like a personalized energy dashboard, price alerts, no contract to tie you down, and great customer support.
2. Premium: 100% wind energy, $0.015/kWh
This plan has the same features as the free plan, plus discounts on home efficiency projects and special rates on community solar. To put the extra cost into perspective, it should only cost an additional $5-$10 per month for an average-sized home.
When you pick your plan (free or premium), you'll be directed to link your current electric utility account with Arcadia Power and you can choose if you want to pay your bill with a credit card or bank withdrawal.
Note: Paying with your credit card is free so we highly recommend collecting those rewards while paying your electric bill.
But keep in mind that you're essentially setting up an autopay. This means Arcadia will automatically take money from your account every month on a specific day. Make sure you're ready for that payment so it doesn't bounce.
Arcadia Power's plans come with a few key features. Here's an overview:
Did you know some states have open energy markets where you can shop around for different energy prices? Sounds really cool. However, these markets are riddled with hidden rates, complicated contracts, and inaccurate information. Arcadia Power will find lower rates for you, make sure everything is legit, then send an alert your way.
Personalized energy dashboard
When you sign up for Arcadia Power, you'll have access to a dashboard that displays important data and diagrams.
First of all, you'll be able to see an energy usage chart where you can determine your green usage, your dirty usage, and your total usage.
Secondly, you can see exactly which energy sources your power is coming from.
I don't know how Arcadia determines exactly how much energy is coming from where. I'm assuming they calculate an average or something along those lines. But, you can be sure you're getting the promised amount of renewable energy (50% with free plan and 100% with the premium plan) because you'll receive RECs at the end of each month as proof.
Final key takeaways
If you're interested in supporting renewable energy, signing up for Arcadia Power is a no-brainer. The free plan won't change your current electric bill so you'll be able to improve your carbon footprint for free.
One thing to keep in mind is you're paying Arcadia directly, so your electricity payments will come out a bit earlier than usual. If you're someone who likes to pay on the same day every month, make sure the new payment date works with your schedule. However, if the change of dates was a problem, Arcadia recently added a “delay payment” option so you can pay when you're ready.
The only major disadvantage of Arcadia Power is that it's not available everywhere and the features might differ from state to state. While Arcadia Power claims it's available in all 50 states, availability depends on your zip code. Make sure you check by entering your zip code on the website.
All in all, Arcadia Power is a cost-effective way to minimize your carbon footprint. It's easy to set up, you'll get access to an impressive dashboard, and you'll be a part of the green energy movement.