Go 50% Wind-Powered at Home, at No Extra Cost, With Arcadia Power

CC BY 2.0. Tony Webster

Clean up your home electricity use in minutes. No turbine required.

One of the stickier points of moving to a renewable energy future is the difficulty of directly powering our homes with solar or wind energy if we fail to meet certain criteria. If we don't own our own roof and can't afford a solar array, or if we don't have an easy option through our local utility company to purchase renewable electricity, we have limited options. Community solar programs can be one solution, as we can buy in to a share of the output of a solar plant (sometimes called a solar garden or shared solar project), but this also comes at a cost that may be above what we can afford at the moment.

However, there is a way that you can cover half of your home's electricity use with clean wind energy, at no additional cost, thanks to a unique offering from Arcadia Power. This program is available across 450 utilities, in all 50 US states, is for renters and homeowners alike, doesn't require a contract, and you don't have to have any extra equipment installed at your home to take advantage of it.

For obvious reasons, the electricity entering your home won't come directly from a wind turbine, because you won't have a turbine outside your home, nor will you get a dedicated transmission line just for wind energy, but the program will offset your home's electricity use with wind energy through something called Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs).

"With Arcadia Power, you have a choice to ensure you’re using clean energy. We do this by buying Green-e Energy certified renewable energy certificates (RECs) from wind farms to match your exact monthly usage. This certifies that that when energy that you consume at home is matched with RECs, you are using clean, wind energy." - Arcadia Power

Arcadia Power is able to offer its free plan, which covers 50% of a home's electrical consumption, thanks to a recent $3.5 million funding round led by BoxGroup and Wonder Ventures, but if you'd like to go 100% renewable energy through Arcadia, the company also offers a Premium plan. This plan has a small additional cost of $0.015 per kWh (kilowatt hour), except for in Washington and Oregon, which costs $0.01 per kWh, and in Virginia, which has a cost of $0.012 per kWh.

Both plans are free from any contracts, so you can opt out at any time if you change your mind. Participants also get access to a "personal energy dashboard" that allows them to track their electricity usage, their bills, and the positive environmental impact of their renewable energy choice.

"Only 20 percent of households in the U.S. are eligible for solar and less than one percent have solar. We’re providing a clean energy choice for the 80 percent of Americans who can’t afford solar, have a bad roof, or live in an apartment." - Kiran Bhatraju, co­founder and CEO of Arcadia Power

Here's a very quick explainer video about how it works:

Arcadia Power also offers a community solar program, where customers can "subscribe to solar panels" at one of the company's community solar projects, although it looks as if there aren't any openings in that program at the moment.