Why isn't Mercedes sponsoring wind farms? The branding is right there!

If you are like Yr Wonkette, you probably wonder "What can I, the individual American consumer, do about global warming?" Satisfying though it might be to stuff a snowball down a climate denying politician's pants, that wouldn't accomplish anything and is illegal in most jurisdictions. It's also not terribly practical to mount a wind turbine atop your 1973 Chevy, either.

Don't try this at home!

But what about making your own personal energy purchases from a wind farm? That sounds pretty nifty, and many parts of the country are generating power from renewable sources (Yay!). Still, even in places like the hydro-power heavy Northwest, there's a high likelihood some of your local utility's electricity comes from fossil fuel plants (boo, hiss). But it's actually possible to make sure your energy dollars are going straight to clean power producers through Arcadia Power, U.S. America's first nationwide renewable energy company. When you sign up with Arcadia Power, for every kilowatt hour (kWh) of energy you use in your home or business, a kWh of clean energy is produced and put on the grid.

How It Works In General, With A Visual Aid:

However electricity is generated -- by filthy coal plants or zero-emission wind farms -- all electricity is the same stuff once it's put onto the grid. With Arcadia Power, regardless of how the electricity coming into your personal wires is generated, you're paying for an equivalent amount of energy that comes from an earth-friendly source. Here's how the whole shebang works, as explained by this helpful video from the Environmental Protection Agency:

We like the part where the video shows the big smoky fossil fuel power plants shrinking like the Wicked Witch of the West, whose carbon footprint was simply terrible.

Buying your energy in the form of Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs) through Arcadia Power won't change where the juice into your house comes from, but instead sends your payments to a generation source -- let's say, a wind farm owned by tofu-eating hippies -- that's putting cleanly generated power into the grid. Neat, huh? You get the satisfaction of knowing your money is going to a clean source, and helping to grow renewable power. Yes, you're allowed to feel morally superior about that, but try not to be overbearing, will you? It's unbecoming.

How It Works When You Sign Up

It only takes about three minutes to sign up online. You'll still receive power from your local utility, but Arcadia Power will buy renewable energy to match your usage, ensuring that an equal amount of clean energy goes on the power grid. Arcadia Power monitors your electricity usage, and for every kWh you use, they purchase Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs) from wind farms to match, so the "dirty" energy you use is matched by an equal amount of clean wind energy. Arcadia pays your utility directly and sends you a single consolidated bill.

Arcadia Power currently has two options to choose from: You can opt for a free plan that will match 50% of your monthly usage with wind energy, with no commitment or cost. If you decide you want to offset 100% of your usage with clean power purchases, the premium is just 1.5 cents per kWh -- which for most users comes to just a few extra dollars a month. You can start out with the free plan and upgrade to the 100% plan later if you want.

Can One Home's Power Purchases Make A Difference?

Gosh, we ask ourselves relevant questions, and the answer is yes. With old bad coal-generated power, producing the average home's electricity requires over 275,000 gallons of water, burning 8,180 pounds of coal, and producing over 14,500 pounds of CO2, every year. With clean energy, those numbers go to zero. You can track your detailed impact every month, and see which wind farms you are supporting in your energy dashboard.

Is This Some Kind Of Well-Intentioned Hokum?

Not at all! Arcadia Power is certified through the Center for Resource Solution’s Green-e energy program, which verifies that RECs actually produce the green energy they say they do.

What's In It For Wonkette?

Oh, you noticed this is a sponsored post, did you? That's because you're exactly the kind of sharp, sophisticated reader Wonkette attracts. Also, you're more attractive than most people. So yes, full disclosure: We get a modest piece of the action when people sign up with Arcadia Power, a small bounty for each person who signs up for the free plan, and a larger bounty for each enrollee in the 100% plan. (We'll be the first to sign up.) After that, you're buying your clean energy free and clear from Arcadia Power. And what's more important, we'll think well of you!

Check out Arcadia Power here. Have more questions about how the whole thing works? Check out Arcadia Power's FAQ here.

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