Installing solar power systems is already a tedious process for homeowners, and with many of us working and learning remotely, we’re too distracted to get started. Those renting or living in states where policies have made solar power a no-go can forget about it — lower bills due to solar are a pipe dream. But as many companies scramble to keep their employees motivated and rethink perks while their employees work from home, a Washington, D.C.-based startup says it has a solution.
Arcadia describes itself as the first nationwide “digital utility” in the U.S. Since its founding in 2014, the company's platform is now available in all 50 states and with more than 100 power utilities. Users can acquire a solar power subscription from Arcadia, buy as little as one solar panel or more, and see the results as a credit on their monthly utility bills.
Therein lies an opportunity for a company’s virtual human resources desk to offer a new benefit to employees.
It’s true that we’ve seen a decrease in emissions worldwide due to the novel coronavirus pandemic; how much of a reduction varies by the sources consulted. But here’s the problem for companies: For those that are tabulating their emissions as part of their sustainability or environmental responsibility strategies, many of those emissions have simply shifted from the properties they own or lease to their employees’ individual homes. Solar power can help solve that problem.
After all, many individuals’ utility bills have bumped upward, as we’re leaving our devices charged and air conditioning units running with greater frequency — not to mention the fact we’re using our household appliances more (yes, opening that fridge door constantly as a procrastination tactic adds more to your utility bill in the long term). But with working from home becoming the reality for many through 2021, companies now have the chance to offer employees financial relief while swatting away some of their own emissions.
In a recent interview with Fast Company, Arcadia CEO Kiran Bhatraju said the company’s corporate clients so far include McDonald’s, SkySpecs and CustomerFirst Renewables. But with more companies saying that working from home for the most part ended up becoming a net positive after the initial shell shock, watch for Arcadia to win more clients as remote work is redefining the very notion of “perks.”
Image credit: Pixabay
Leon Kaye has written for 3p since 2010 and become executive editor in 2018. His previous work includes writing for the Guardian as well as other online and print publications. In addition, he's worked in sales executive roles within technology and financial research companies, as well as for a public relations firm, for which he consulted with one of the globe’s leading sustainability initiatives. Currently living in Central California, he’s traveled to 70-plus countries and has lived and worked in South Korea, the United Arab Emirates and Uruguay.
Leon’s an alum of Fresno State, the University of Maryland, Baltimore County and the University of Southern California's Marshall Business School. He enjoys traveling abroad as well as exploring California’s Central Coast and the Sierra Nevadas.