Renewable Energy for Homeowners, Renters and Businesses: Arcadia Power

Surreal Winmills Landscape, by GDJ, openclipart.org

Surreal Winmills Landscape, by GDJ, openclipart.org

One of the challenges of transitioning to renewable energy is that many people assume it's too expensive. And for renters, it's not even an option. Or, is it? That's what I thought until I discovered Arcadia Power, an affordable renewable energy solution for homeowners, renters and businesses. In fact, by choosing 50 percent renewable energy, your electricity costs remain the same. And there's no equipment to install. It's one easy way to vote for a cleaner future!

Last updated October 1, 2017

But first things first: I'm not affiliated with Arcadia Power in any way, other than my status as a customer. They do, however, offer an incentive program for signing up friends and family members. If you do choose one of Arcadia Power's energy plans, you might consider the financial benefits of spreading the word. (Hint: lower monthly energy costs. Please see their website for details.) To avoid any conflicts of interest, though, I don't participate in this program.

The reason I'm promoting Arcadia Power is because I'm deeply troubled by increasing global temperatures. Climate change is already happening. But we still have time, hopefully, to prevent the most catastrophic changes. And renewable energy is one piece to solving the climate change puzzle. Besides, the process of signing up with Arcadia Power is seamless, and you can take action immediately, rather than wait for communities to develop local projects. 

Renewable energy: beyond politics

Another point I'd like to make is that even though some of you possibly voted for our current president, you may disagree with his environmental policies. By switching to at least 50 percent renewable energy, you're doing your part for the environment, no matter what our representatives and administration decide. In addition, Arcadia Power doesn't rely on government subsidies. So, politically speaking, it's a win-win situation — a positive step toward 100 percent clean energy, regardless of political affiliations.

Arcadia Power: How does it work?

Arcadia Power is available in most areas of the U.S. and matches your monthly energy usage with renewable energy certificates. This certifies that the amount of energy you use each month is added to the grid, sourced from wind farms across the country. In order to stay within our family budget, I chose the free 50 percent renewable home energy plan—at first.

I'm not suggesting you'll receive free energy as in zero charges. To put it simply, your monthly electricity charges remain the same. But with Arcadia's free plan, half your electricity use supports wind farms with no additional costs.

For the premium plan, which utilizes 100 percent wind energy, there's a fee. But I don't think it's much. After I've been on the free plan a few months, I'll contact them to see how much my monthly bill is likely to increase by upgrading to premium. Then, I'll update this post to let you know. Update: I did make the change, and my monthly bill increased by only US$15.

One of the best ways to understand renewable energy certificates, also called RECs, is to watch this two minute video sponsored by the EPA.

Electricity production is responsible for the majority of Carbon dioxide emissions.

According to this page on the Arcadia Power website and this article in the guardian, electricity production is responsible for most of our carbon dioxide emissions. The utility company that services our area gets approximately 30 percent of its energy from renewable sources. Check out your utility company's website to learn what percentage of their energy mix is renewable. One hundred percent renewable energy is possible for every household in America, but more people need to support these programs.

So, how do you sign up with Arcadia Power?

First, create an account on the Arcadia Power website. They don't require any equipment, and Arcadia's contract-free service begins with your next utility bill. Yet, they'll notify your utility company of the service change, saving you valuable time. And there's no need to worry about interrupted service or who to call during a power outage because your local utility company continues providing physical service. Also, I appreciate how local charges and RECs are conveniently combined into one bill. They even include gas charges to further streamline billing. After your service begins, Arcadia monitors kilowatt usage and matches that with either 50 percent or 100 percent wind energy, depending on the plan you choose.

Additional benefits

You can track your energy usage and learn about supporting wind farms from your account dashboard. But they also offer even more benefits, such as discounts on energy saving products and a discount for referring friends, family and colleagues to the Arcadia Power program.

A community solar program

One additional part of their program is the opportunity to purchase solar panels, which you don't need to install on your roof. Instead, the solar panels reside on rooftops across the country. This is an optional plan, where savings on your monthly bill offset the costs of the solar panels. Because of that, your plan travels with you, since the panels aren't actually on your roof, but elsewhere. Explore the Arcadia Power website, or contact their support team for questions about solar energy.

Arcadia power for businesses, too

Small and mid-sized businesses can participate in Arcadia Power's renewable energy programs too! This is an excellent way to support clean energy while fostering a sustainable brand. For more information, take a look at Arcadia Power's business page, here.

The choice is ours—I hope.

Did you know insurance companies are already planning for climate change? Even the U.S. military considers climate change a national security issue. It's here, and there's more to come. The extent and speed at which climate change happens is up to us, individually, and governments across the world. I can't find a better way to illustrate this point than this article in the guardian. Ice melting in the Arctic is happening so fast that it could cause runaway climate change with severe consequences around the world. We need to act quickly, and this renewable energy program through Arcadia Power is one way to do that.

Beyond climate change

I understand that some people don't believe climate scientists' statistics. But you're still helping the environment by signing up with Arcadia Power because we all benefit from clean air and water. And our children benefit the most; they are the most vulnerable. Here's some interesting reading from the EPA on how fossil fuels pollute our air and water.

I don't mean to sound overbearing, but I'm scared—to say the least— especially since the 2016 presidential election. Take a look at this piece from the United Nations University written in 2011, before the Paris Agreement.

Now, it's your turn. Instead of feeling helpless, sign up with Arcadia Power, unless you already have a renewable energy provider. And spread the word. Future generations are counting on us.

Oh, and if you found this post helpful, spread the word. If more people switch to renewable energy, we'll be better prepared to stop runaway climate change.

Laura

Please note: I can't guarantee Arcadia Power is available in your area, but the odds are in your favor. I checked every place I've lived—almost. Please go to their website, and enter your zip code to verify.