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Make your home more energy-efficient for $5 a month

Arcadia says it can make a massive difference in renewable energy for less than the cost of a cup of coffee a month.

Getty/Paul Taylor
This story is part of Tech for a Better World, stories about the diverse teams creating products, apps and services to improve our lives and society.

Maybe you want to take steps toward more sustainable living in your home, but don't know where to start? On Thursday, consumer technology company Arcadia launched a $5-a-month subscription service that lets you power your home with renewable energy from wind and solar farms. 


Your payment goes toward renewable energy certificates, which track renewable energy in the power grid. When a wind, solar, hydro or geothermal power plan produces 1 megawatt-hour of electricity, it creates one renewable energy certificate. The service aims to get people to invest more in community solar energy projects and increase clean energy sources in the grid. 

Read more: Climate change: 9 ways you can make a difference

With a subscription, you'll get monthly reports on your energy usage. If you choose to connect your utility to the service, you'll get exact energy usage calculations, and Arcadia will purchase renewable energy certificates to match that usage exactly -- so your home will be officially powered by renewable energy. If you don't connect your utility, the company will take the average monthly energy usage for customers from that utility and match that with certificates for you. 

Either way, you'll be able to see how much CO2 you've avoided by month and by year. In certain areas, you can sign up for community solar power through Arcadia, which lets you route a portion of your energy bill to support a local solar farm. 


Track your energy usage in Arcadia's app.


Arcadia's $5 membership is available in all 50 states. 

"By connecting your utility account with us, you are able to make an impact and support renewable energy, reduce reliance on fossil fuels and have a simple way to take action against climate change without changing your lifestyle," Sanjiv Sanghavi, Arcadia's chief product officer, told CNET. 

Businesses can also take advantage of Arcadia's resources to operate in a more energy-efficient way, with a product released earlier this year that connects workplaces in any state with 100% clean energy for their employees' homes.

"Companies can also choose to subsidize monthly bills for their team through the platform to relieve teleworking costs," Sanghavi said. "We developed this as everyone is working from home right now, and energy usage has skyrocketed with no signs of slowing down." 

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