Save Money and the Environment? This Brooklyn Woman Found an Easy Way

Rebecca Rindler poses in front of brownstones in her Brooklyn, NY neighborhood.
Rebecca Rindler of Brooklyn, New York is saving money on her power bill and helping fund renewable energy sources through Arcadia Power. Sharon Steinmann/The Penny Hoarder

Your life is full of choices, and that’s a good thing. Cable, satellite or streaming? How about your phone — iPhone or Android? Which carrier do you like best?

Having all these choices helps you pick what’s right for you and your life. But that hasn’t always been true for your home electricity provider. Depending on where you live, you simply get what you get.

For Rebecca Rindler, a financial services worker living in Brooklyn, New York, that wasn’t good enough. She wanted to be able to choose where her power came from and know that she was helping promote clean, renewable energy.

Then she found a solution. Her cousin’s husband is one of the founders of renewable energy company Arcadia Power, which helps people support clean energy, no matter which company provides their power.

Plus, Arcadia allows Rindler to save on her electric bill — while fueling her passion for the environment by funding clean energy sources.

With a baby on the way, these things are even more important to her than ever.

At First, It Was About the Environment

Rebecca Rindler poses in front of Her apartment building in her Brooklyn, NY neighborhood.
Rindler got an email from Arcadia Power a year ago saying the company was going to sign her up for a free program that compares rates and gives price alerts. Sharon Steinmann/The Penny Hoarder

Rindler signed up with Arcadia a few years ago, because it seemed like a good fit for her.

“I really liked Arcadia, because they use renewable energy sources, so they’re a way to improve sustainability,” she says. “That’s something that matters to me.”

By signing up with Arcadia, Rindler was able to offset her monthly energy consumption with 100% renewable sources in about two minutes.

Arcadia matches each kilowatt-hour of power you use with a kilowatt-hour of wind energy. Basically, the company purchases certified renewable energy certificates in your name, so others can take advantage of clean energy in their areas.

Rindler says having this ability to help the environment was an important factor in her decision to sign up.

“If you are a person who is interested in using renewable energy sources and reducing fossil-fuel consumption, Arcadia’s system really puts them over the top over other providers,” she says.

Surprise! You’ll Save Money on Your Power Bill, Too

Rebecca Rindler works on her laptop in her Brooklyn apartment.
Rindler saved money during an especially cold New York winter without having to lift a finger. Sharon Steinmann/The Penny Hoarder

Here’s where things got really interesting for Rindler. While she was feeling good about helping to fund renewable energy sources, she was about to get more good news from Arcadia.

“About a year ago, I got an email they were signing me up for their new Price Alerts,” she says. “It was simple and easy to understand.”

Arcadia’s Price Alerts program searched for providers that could supply her power at a lower cost. When they found one, they signed her up, and Rindler started paying less for her electricity.

“Basically, I did nothing,” she says. “I got this email, and then a few months later, I got another email that said, ‘Good news! We found a better rate.’”

Living in Brooklyn, rent isn’t the only thing that is expensive. Power bills during the coldest months of winter can skyrocket, and the winter of 2017 and 2018 was a cold one. But for Rindler, those bills were going down.

“It was really cold,” she says. “We used a lot of electricity and spent a lot of money on heating bills. I feel relieved and happy that Arcadia was able to save me money on my heating bills during a particularly cold winter. ”

With Arcadia’s online dashboard, Rindler was able to keep an eye on her account, see just how much she was saving and also see how much money she was sending to renewable energy sources. She estimates she saved about $120 on her electric bills over the past year. The savings were biggest when the weather was coldest.

“It makes it easier for us to manage our overall electricity bills,” she says. “It makes me worry less going into the winter about the cost of having another very cold winter.”

For an expectant mom, an extra $120 is enough money to buy a nice bassinet, a stroller or about three months’ worth of disposable diapers. That’s a big plus for a growing family.

Your Power Bill and Your Choice

Rebecca Rindler of Brooklyn, New York uses her laptop to look at her energy usage report from Arcadia Power.
Rindler looks at her energy usage report from Arcadia Power. Sharon Steinmann/The Penny Hoarder

For decades, consumers have been told who provides power to their area. In recent years, 13 states have deregulated power, allowing consumers to shop for energy providers just like they would television or internet companies. In these states, Arcadia helps people find cheaper options.

When you sign up for Price Alerts, Arcadia will shop energy sources near you and find a lower rate for your power bill. You pay less, and you support clean wind or solar energy. It’s a win-win.

You don’t have to do anything. Arcadia just finds the better rate and lets you know that you’ll be saving — you’re not responsible for any commitments or cancellation fees. Cha-ching.

Even in states where power hasn’t been deregulated, Arcadia can help you support clean energy. And, because you’re such a good person, the company will throw in a free $20 Amazon gift card.

You can sign up to qualify for your free gift card in about two minutes. To get started:

  1. Find out if Arcadia is available in your area.
  2. Create an account, providing your local utility information and payment information.
  3. Arcadia will automatically pay your utility bill each month, purchasing renewable energy credits to offset your energy usage.
  4. When you sign up your home or apartment (yep, renters are eligible, too!) to save money and help save the environment, you’ll get your $20 Amazon gift card.

For Rindler, it was an easy choice. With a baby on the way, supporting clean energy for the future and saving money on the side are high priorities.

As a money-saving move,” she says, “it was probably the least effort I’ve ever had to do.”

Tyler Omoth is a senior writer at The Penny Hoarder who loves soaking up the sun and finding creative ways to help others. Catch him on Twitter at @Tyomoth.

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