Arcadia Power Reviews: Can Arcadia help you conserve money on your electric bill? Is the company legit? And can you get clean energy cheaper than the price you’re paying today? As someone who cares about the environment (and who also cares about saving money), the concept behind Arcadia piqued my interest.
What’s not to like? But of course, I had questions. So, I set up an open account to see what Arcadia had to offer and put together this Arcadia Power review to explain my own (and readers’) common questions.
What Is Arcadia?
Arcadia (formerly known as “Arcadia Power”) is an organization that gives consumers throughout the country the option to support clean, renewable energy sources — such as those provided by solar panels and wind farms. Arcadia needs to link you up with renewable energy without impacting your bottom line (or while at least keeping any cost increases as minimal as possible).
To do that, the company offers consumers the opportunity to pay slightly more for renewable energy on a per-kilowatt-hour basis, while also lowering their net utility costs through the use of better software and automated comparison shopping.
Where Does Arcadia’s Electricity Come From?
Arcadia does not carry renewable power to your home. Instead, it provides you the ability to increase the overall demand for clean energy through the use of something called Renewable Energy Credits. We’ll touch on those in a minute. But first, it’s essential to understand why the company doesn’t physically supply you with clean energy. Easily put, there’s no way for them to do so.
That’s because all causes of power — whether from coal, nuclear, wind, solar, or natural gas — eventually end up mixed in the same place: the national energy grid. This energy may be obtained from different sources, but it all looks and functions the same — there’s no way to tell the difference between wind energy and coal energy. Once energy is pumped into the grid, it gets assigned to individual homes and businesses through power lines.
How Does Arcadia Make Money?
Like several companies, Arcadia has a freemium type of business model. That kind of model is expected in the software field, but not in the utility industry. So while you’re free to join whichever order you want, Arcadia’s ultimate goal is to get you onto the paid list.
While they’re a private company and don’t release the specific details of the financial statements, it’s presumed that their primary source of profit is the difference between what they pay for RECs and what they sell them to their buyer for. But that’s not the only way they earn. They also make money by:
- Taking a tiny percentage of the savings when they find you a better deal with Smart Rate.
- Making money by connecting you to community solar power projects.
- Sales of goods they partner with like, like the Nest thermostat.
Arcadia Pros and Cons: Arcadia Power Reviews
Like any additional service, there are good things and not-so-good things about Arcadia.
- Can help you get a lower energy rate if you’re located within a state that offers Smart Rate. Several people still don’t understand that they can shop for a better energy rate, much the same way they would shop for insurance. This is an excellent feature for people who want to check out their money-saving options while supporting clean energy.
- Increases demand for renewable energy. Many people would like to support renewable energy, but don’t know how to do so. This provides them an easy way to help protect the environment that doesn’t take up their time or cost a fortune. All that’s involved is a quick sign-up process.
- It’s a cheap way to make a difference compared to buying your solar power panels. You’ll reduce your carbon footprint for almost no cost.
- The free plan provides you to offset 50% of your energy usage with renewables. That gives you the chance to make a respectable difference without paying more per kWh.
- It gives you an easy-to-see dashboard. The devices are light years ahead of those provided by most local utility companies. If you’re an online type of person who likes using cutting-edge tools, this will be a great perk for you.
- It can save you on credit card transaction fees. A lot of utility companies charge fees to customers who pay their bills with credit cards. That can be a nuisance for somebody who likes the ease of paying with credit cards. If you have a cash-back credit card or are trying to earn a credit card bonus, you can make money back for paying your power bill with your card every month. That can assist offset the extra 1.5 cents per kWh if you go with the premium plan.
- It’s free to cancel: You won’t be locked into a long-term contract or have to pay a fee if you change your mind about the membership.
- Plans will change based on where you live. Not everyone will qualify for the program they want.
- The premium plan may have you spending slightly more. Your bottom rate per kWh will go up a little. That’s only a con if you are evaluating in terms of dollars and cents — not if you’re thinking about the overall good that you’re doing for the planet.
- The company’s aim is to up-sell you to the premium plan. You oughtn’t to sign up for that one, of course. But keep in mind that’s what they’re after.
- They only offer auto-pay options. If you’re casting it close on having enough in your bank account to pay your gas and electricity bills, you can delay your auto payment with a three-day grace period. The bad thing is that you have to take more steps to do so.
I’m a big fan of the theory behind Arcadia and appreciate the opportunity to support wind power and solar projects over fossil fuels. But at the end of the day, I decided not to sign up for a paid option, which was the only plan available to me. Share your valuable thoughts and suggestions in the comment box section below.