When it comes to being environmentally friendly, we try to do as much as we can within reason. We recycle, we drive our hybrid vehicles sparingly and avoid relying too heavily on our heating and cooling systems throughout the year.
When I was researching electricity suppliers, which is a great way to save money on your utility bills, one of the suppliers offered 10% clean wind-generated electricity for free.
What if I told you that you could get 50% green energy absolutely free?
That's where Arcadia Power steps in.
How Arcadia Power Works
When you sign up for Arcadia Power, they work between you and your utility to help manage your account.
They have two tiers of service:
- Free: You get 50% clean energy, Arcadia Power will buy clean energy offsets for 50% of your usage.
- Premium: This costs 1.5 cents her kilowatt hour but gets you 100% clean energy.
In all this, you get a dashboard that gives you a report on your energy usage. It includes energy saving tips, like running appliances at night when power is less expensive, as well as other useful pieces of information.
When it comes time to pay your bill, you pay through Arcadia and they pay your utility. One nice benefit is that Arcadia accepts credit cards. If your current utility doesn't, as many don't, doing so can earn you rewards that you aren't otherwise getting. That could offset some of the premium service's fee or is a net benefit if you go with their free tier.
Who is Arcadia Power?
Founded in 2014, Arcadia Power helps you find cheaper electricity while supporting renewable energy production like wind and solar farms.
Here is a brief marketing video that does a good job summarizing what they offer:
Here's a peek at the dashboard:
How Arcadia Saves You Money
First, if you hook up a utility to their service they'll give you a $20 Amazon gift card. It's free and no contracts, so it seems like a no brainer to test drive.
But more importantly, Arcadia Power monitors the energy market and if you live in a state with deregulated electricity markets (i.e. you can change electricity suppliers), they will help you switch so you get the lowest price. They don't lock you into contracts so you can switch anytime.
We signed up for an electric supplier a year ago for a three-year deal that gave us a $100 gift card. That was the best deal at the time and we locked in a fixed price for 36-months. Electricity prices change and while we've been paying lower rates this entire time, it's possible for rates to fall. If so, we're still locked into higher rates unless we can to pay a $150 cancellation fee (effectively $50 after the gift card).
Arcadia looks for the lowest rates available plus, as more users sign up, negotiate special rates with providers. They can also save you the hassle of switching. This is great because the worst case scenario in terms of price is whatever your utility is already charging you.
How Arcadia Helps You Go Green
There are a few ways that Arcadia helps you go green if you don't go with the premium 100% clean energy option.
50% Wind Power Match
They have partnerships with wind farms across the country and will purchase wind energy that matches 50% of your energy use. It's completely free, they're just buying the certificates to offset 50% of your existing energy use.
I've seen some electricity suppliers offer 10% wind power for free but I've never seen 50%.
Support Local Solar
We've looked into solar panels on our house but given its location, we wouldn't get enough sun for it to be worth it. They have a national program as well as a local one for Washington D.C., Maryland, New York and Rhode Island. Arcadia has relationships with local solar farms and if you have one nearby, you can sign up with a click.
If there aren't local solar programs, you can sign up for national programs as well.
Can You Do This Yourself?
Sure – nothing stops you from finding a green energy supplier and sending them money. 🙂
How Does Arcadia Make Money
Up until now, it doesn't look like Arcadia charges you, the customer, any money.
So how do they make money?
Arcadia makes money from the electric suppliers when they connect you to clean energy. They only switch you when the rate you pay is lower so presumably, the supplier has enough margin to pay Arcadia a fee as well.
Arcadia's only premium offering, which you pay extra for, is the 100% wind program. The price of this is just 1.5 cents per kilowatt hour with a $5 minimum. Everything else is free. The website mentions “billing” a lot because you can set it up so that you pay Arcadia, and you can pay with a credit card without fees, and they pay your utility.
It feels like a no brainer unless I'm missing something?
Here's what reader Whitney shared about her experience:
Sometimes it's nice just to help out!