In the United States, like in most countries in the world, electricity generation is the primary source of greenhouse emissions – a lot more than transportation or industry. But while other countries have taken huge leaps towards mitigating global warming and greenhouse gas emissions, in the US, progress is painfully slow.
Only 2% of the country’s energy demand is met by renewable energy sources (mostly wind and geothermal, with only a touch of solar) !
Some citizens have taken matters into their our hands. In Germany for example, half of all renewable energy is owned by individuals, and rooftop solar panels are usually the way to go – you generate your own clean energy and save a lot of money in the long term. But for most people, the initial investment is simply too expensive or time consuming.
Luckily, there is a quick and easy way to power your home on 100% renewable energy without installing solar panels, wind turbines or any complicated technology.This fix is called offsetting.
From a physical point of view, energy is just energy, it doesn’t matter where it comes from; it can come from a coal plant, a nuclear station or a solar panel, it’s still energy. But here’s the kicker: even when your electricity comes from a fossil fuels, you can opt to use energy from a renewable source, even if that energy is generated thousands of miles away. Sounds a bit strange? Well, here’s an example.
Scenario: You have a contract with a utility in Louisville, and most of your energy comes from the local coal plant. You register with a third-party that buys Renewable Energy Certificates (REC), like Arcadia Power, and all your energy needs will here on be delivered by renewables! They offset your energy use and transfer it to solar energy.
Here’s how Arcadia works
You sign up on their website and provide your utility account and banking information. Every month, Arcadia receives and pays your energy bill. Then, they send the bill to you, plus a surcharge of 1.5 cents on every kilowatt hour of electricity you use to cover the cost of buying RECs from the renewable energy source. Basically for every kilowatt you spend, they make sure a renewable kilowatt is generated. Here’s how that works:
In 2013, the average annual electricity consumption for a U.S. residential utility customer was 10,908 kilowatt-hours (kWh), an average of 909 kWh per month. Louisiana had the highest annual consumption at 15,270 kWh, and Hawaii had the lowest at 6,176 kWh.
So, for an average 900 kWh monthly energy consumption, you’d pay an extra $13.5 for your energy bill, but:
- you will be effectively running your home with zero emissions! You can actually see how many tonnes of CO2 and other greenhouse gases you stopped emitting since you switched when you log into your Arcadia Power dashboard;
- you will be encouraging the development of renewable energy sources;
- as renewables energy sources become more prevailent, your energy bill will actually go down. For 30 million Americans, solar energy is cheaper than the grid already!
- you get exclusive discounts and rewards from Arcadia partners like Emmy’s or Naturebox.
Arcadia Power is available in all states in the US and sign-up only takes 3 minutes. Because we actually believe in the Arcadia Power mission, we at ZME Science have partnered with them and managed to get you 20USD off your next energy bill – exclusively for ZME Science readers! Just sign-up using the link below.