EPISODE 40 ~ SAVE MORE: Go Green: News flash! Clean Electricity is Now Cheaper Than Traditional

People in 30 out of 50 states have the option of switching their gas provider, electric provider or both.  That can save you green and be more green because there may be an alternative supplier that costs less and does more for the environment.  A startup called Arcadia Power has created software that tracks the power companies in many areas and helps you find a better deal.  My guest is Kiran BhaTRAju, CEO of Arcadia Power.  Kiran, welcome to Easy Money.

The majority of states now have some level of deregulated power, which means you can switch providers and potentially save big money.   I’m going to list off the states real quick so people will know their options.  First, states with deregulated gas AND electric:

• California*

• Connecticut

• Illinois

• Maine

• Maryland

• Massachusetts

• Michigan*

• New Hampshire

• New Jersey

• New York

• Ohio

• Pennsylvania

• Rhode Island

• Virginia

• Washington, D.C.

Those are the states that you work primarily with, right?  Now states with deregulated electric only:

• Delaware

• Oregon

• Texas

And, finally states with deregulated gas only:

• Colorado

• Florida

• Georgia

• Indiana

• Iowa

• Kentucky

• Montana

• Nebraska

• New Mexico

• South Dakota

• West Virginia

• Wyoming

Arcadia can help you find an alternative in the 15 states with deregulated gas AND electric and I know you’re always looking to expand.  Meanwhile, if a listener does not live in one of the deregulated states, does Arcadia Power still have options to help them save money and save the planet?

• Yes! Absolutely. By connecting your local utility account to Arcadia Power, you are automatically supporting clean energy, for free.

• We also offer efficiency tips on our dashboard that can help anyone save on their monthly bills.

• Everyone can also sign-up for our community solar program, and sign-up to get home efficiency products – such as a Nest Thermostat – through us at no upfront cost

for consumers to tap into what Arcadia Power offers, they need to become Arcadia members.  Is there a cost for that?

• Not at all. Signing-up for Arcadia Power is completely free.

• Anyone can connect their local utility account to our online energy platform to get free access to clean energy, improve their home efficiency and find ways to save.

You’re called Arcadia Power, but are you a power company?  A utility yourselves?

• Great question, we are neither.

• We integrate directly with utilities, but Arcadia Power is an online energy platform, not a power provider.

• We built Arcadia Power to bring homeowners and renters across the U.S. a cleaner, better and more affordable energy experience.

 Once somebody joins Arcadia Power, they can sign up for your Price Alert software.  What does this software do for them?

•  Prices for renewable, clean energy has been dropping for years, but utilities still rely mostly on fossil fuels.

• With Price Alerts, we monitor the energy market in your area for the best rates for clean energy. Companies like Google and Amazon have been benefitting from these declining costs for year. Now we are able to pass those lower rates onto consumers.  

• When your contract is up with your current provider, we will have already looked to see if there is a new, lower rate available for you. If we have find one, we’ll switch you to it.  We do give people a chance to opt out, but most people want the new plan that will save them money.   

• The coolest part about Price Alerts is that as more and more people connect their utility accounts to Arcadia Power, the amount of savings for everyone will go up.

• We use the collective purchasing power of all of our members in a given state to negotiate and find them lower prices for power in the market.  

I know green energy is Arcadia’s goal.  But will Arcadia tell its members about a cheaper power option, even if it’s not greener?

• We only work with power providers who we trust, and who we know use renewable resources.

• We make sure that everyone who has an Arcadia Power account is automatically supporting renewable energy – regardless of what plan they are on.

 Does Arcadia continue to monitor power prices for members and re-switch them again if necessary?

• Absolutely. The process is continual, as long as you are connected to the Arcadia Power energy platform.

• Once a contract that you are on runs out, we will let you know if we have found you another, lower clean energy rate.

Once Arcadia switches me to a different power company, do I get my power bills from that company or from Arcadia?

• From the moment your sign-up for Arcadia Power, you will start receiving a monthly clean energy statement from us and will no longer pay your power bill through your utility company.

• We manage your utility account for you, so that we can provide you with a better energy experience.  

What kind of savings are most Arcadia members seeing thanks to your Price Alert software?  Give it to me in percentages and dollars!

• Right now, average homeowner savings with Price Alerts is 5-10% a year, but some people have saved as much as 30 percent. And as more people connect their utility accounts in your area, that savings will continue to go up.

How does helping customers save money on power further Arcadia’s goal of promoting green power?

• “Green” or clean power is cheaper than fossil fuels and has been for a while. Large companies have been benefitting from these declining costs for years.

• Our mission is to make these lower costs accessible for the everyday person.

• By saving people money on their energy bills, we hope to make it easier for them to support clean energy. Lower monthly costs and cleaner energy should go hand in hand.

Speaking of investing in clean energy, let’s talk about your wind power project. Arcadia gives clients a way of investing in wind power without putting a windmill in their backyard.  Is this project meant to save people money or more to save the planet?

•  Our wind plan is not a savings plan, but it’s the only nationwide free way that homeowners and renters can access clean energy.

• Again, in the same way that companies like Amazon and Google have been “purchasing” clean energy, we are able to purchase clean wind power for our Arcadia Power members.

• We do this so that anyone, whether they rent or own, or live in an apartment or house, can know that their monthly electricity bill is supporting renewable energy.  

You are trying to help customers save power and money any way you can. Tell me about your on-bill financing idea.

• Our on-bill financing will allow anyone to purchase energy-efficient products, such as smart thermostats and LED lighting, at no upfront cost.

• These efficiency products will help you save on your monthly energy costs, and we want to make it as easy as possible for anyone to purchase them for their home.

OK, important question I ask of all companies I interview: How does Arcadia make money?

•  We have a shared savings model, meaning that every time we connect a member to a lower-cost clean energy plan we make a profit.

• Those profits are what enable us to provide free clean energy for anyone.

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