Can Arcadia Power help you save money? Is Arcadia Power legit? 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 Power piqued my interest.
What’s not to like? But of course I had questions.
So, I signed up and put together this Arcadia Power review to answer my own (and readers’) common questions.
Let’s dive in.
Arcadia Power Review
What is Arcadia Power?
Arcadia Power is a company that gives consumers throughout the country the option to choose and use clean, renewable energy sources — such as those provided by solar panels and wind farms. Arcadia Power wants 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 use better software to manage their utilities.
Where does our electricity come from?
All sources of power eventually end up in the same place — the national energy grid. All that power gets mixed together. Right now, approximately 13 percent of total energy that goes into the grid comes from renewable sources. Arcadia Power’s goal is to increase that.
On its end, Arcadia Power purchases energy from clean power sources such as wind energy farms, or through the company’s community solar program. When buying that clean energy, Arcadia Power earns Renewable Energy Credits (RECs) — also known as renewable energy certificates — which is a designation given to green energy sources. And then those RECs are sold by Arcadia to their customers.
So how does Arcadia get that clean energy to you?
The most transparent answer is that they don’t. You’ll still be using the same power source you were using before you signed up with Arcadia Power. But those RECs allow you to cancel out your carbon footprint from buying not-as-clean or non-renewable energy from your local utility provider
Those RECs help increase the demand for clean energy sources, which puts more clean energy into the grid. And if you’re concerned as a consumer about that 13 percent of renewable energy being too low, this is a good way for you to do your part to increase that figure.
Arcadia Power gives ordinary citizens a solution if they want to make a positive environmental impact without having to take more drastic steps like installing solar panels.
Arcadia Power membership options
Anybody can sign up for Arcadia Power membership. But which plans you are eligible for depends on your location. Even if you don’t qualify for any other membership plans, you can still get the Evergreen membership.
Here are your choices:
- 50 percent renewable energy (the free plan)
- 100 percent renewable energy (the premium plan)
- Evergreen plan
Is Arcadia Power more expensive?
It depends. This answer can be “yes” and “no.”
You won’t see a change on the free plan. But with the premium plan, you’ll pay 1.5 cents more per kWh. Your energy will be slightly more expensive, but if it’s important for you to use renewable resources, you might decide that’s fine.
Can Arcadia Power save you money?
Arcadia Power can save you money. With the free plan, you get access to the Arcadia Power Dashboard and services like price alerts.
Price alerts are a valuable tool because they can help you find a lower energy rate plan in your area. That’s not always easy to find on your own, because local utility companies are often monopolies and don’t provide the best possible customer experience.
The price alerts tool is available in states that have deregulated energy industries. This program checks out the energy market where you live and finds the lowest rate available. Once that rate is located, you’ll be notified via email.
What Arcadia Power is trying to do is replace a lot of the software tools customers need to save money on their utility bills. That will help put you in the driver’s seat when it comes to your utility bill.
The goal with the premium plan is to save you money, even though you’ll be paying a slightly higher rate for energy.
- Related: How To Save Money On Utilities
How does Arcadia Power make money?
Like many companies, Arcadia Power has a freemium type of business model. That kind of model is common in the software field, but not in the utility industry.
So while you’re free to join whichever plan you want, Arcadia Power’s ultimate goal is to get you onto the 100-percent plan.
But that’s not the only way they earn. They also make money by:
- Taking a small percentage of the savings when they find you a better provider with price alerts
- Earning commissions on renewal energy credits
- Earning money by connecting you to a community solar power project
- Sales of products they partner with like, like the Nest thermostat
Arcadia Power pros and cons
Like any other service, there are good things and not-so-good things about Arcadia Power.
- Can help you find a lower energy rate if you’re located within a state that offers price alerts. Many people still don’t understand that they can shop for a better energy rate, much the same way they would with insurance. This is a great 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 gives them an easy way to help protect the environment that doesn’t take up their time. All that’s involved is a quick sign-up process.
- It’s a cheap way to make a difference compared to solar power panels. You’ll reduce your carbon footprint for almost no cost.
- The free plan allows for 50 percent of your energy sources to be renewable. That gives you the chance to make a respectable difference without paying more per kWh.
- It gives you an easy-to-see dashboard. The tools are light years ahead of the those provided by most local utility companies. If you’re an online type of person who loves 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 bill with credit cards. That can be a nuisance for people who like 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 earn money back for paying your power bill with your card every month. That can help 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 in to 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 plan they want.
- The premium plan may have you paying slightly more. Your base rate per kWh will go up a little. That’s only a con if you are thinking 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 goal is to up-sell you to the premium plan. You don’t have 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 cutting 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 extra steps to do so.
Is Arcadia Power legit?
If you’re worried about doing business with a fly-by-night company, you can relax. Arcadia Power is a legit company, with a solid 9.1/10 rating on TrustPilot. They have over 175,000 members and do business in each of the 50 states.
So, the big question is, should you switch?
That depends on you and your personal values.
That decision can only be made by looking at what’s important to you.
- If clean energy is important to you, make the switch to at least to 50 percent renewable. Look to see if the premium plan is right for you. If not, you can still feel good about the part you’re taking in popularizing clean energy.
- If saving money is more important, there’s no reason to check out the premium plan. However, consider the free plan if you like the dashboard.
Even if you don’t switch, still consider shopping for your electricity or gas provider.
It’s an easy way to save money. There’s no reason you should just blindly take the deal your local power company offers you without making a few quick phone calls to check out your options.
Here’s a list of states that have deregulated their electricity markets:
- District of Colombia
- New Hampshire
- New Jersey
- New York
- Rhode Island
Here are the states that have deregulated their gas market:
- District of Colombia
- New Hampshire
- New Jersey
- New Mexico
- New York
- Rhode Island
- South Dakota
- West Virginia
At the end of the day, I decided not to join the Evergreen option, which was the only plan available to me.
If the free plan was available, I would have signed up in a heartbeat. It’s a win-win for both my finances and for making an environmental impact.