Arcadia: Cleaner Energy, Reduced Costs
October 6, 2021 | Ashley Brindamour
The average U.S. household spends $2,060 on their utilities each year, while the annual commercial bill is around $7,771. Many individuals and businesses have minimal insight into how those numbers are calculated and — more importantly — how to bring them down. Many factors impact energy efficiency, such as location, use of resources, and the size of the building. Consumers don’t always have the knowledge or resources needed to take meaningful steps toward saving on energy costs. Additionally, many individuals don’t own homes that allow the install of clean energy installation such as rooftop solar panels.
Founded in 2014, Alumni Ventures portfolio company Arcadia has developed a clean energy tech platform that provides individuals and organizations access to solar power and greater transparency into their energy usage. The company’s community solar services create an exciting opportunity for the 100+ million Americans who rent, live in apartment buildings, or don’t own homes for installing residential rooftop solar. Arcadia’s platform also integrates with over 125 utilities and manages 4.5 terawatt-hours of residential energy demand, allowing customers to sign up for solar energy and save on power bills without needing to switch energy providers.
Watch this video to learn more about Arcadia
Cleaner Energy for All
Arcadia’s digital infrastructure platform unlocks data, analytics, billing, customer UX, energy services, and community solar that integrate with utilities to create a one-stop-shop for the energy markets. For consumers, Arcadia opens up the solar market to people who want solar power but can’t access it because they rent, have shaded roofs, live in a state with poor economics for solar, etc. As a result, consumers save money on their energy bills and know they are directly contributing to more solar power on their local energy grid. Arcadia also partners with solar developers and renewable incentive programs to provide energy off-take for their projects.
What We Liked About Arcadia
Early Traction: Arcadia has demonstrated widespread customer adoption as it manages customer data and billing across 125 utilities — representing ~80% of all Americans who pay a power bill. Additionally, with 500 million watts of community solar under management spread across over 185 projects in eight states, Arcadia is currently the largest community solar subscriber in the country.
Multiple Revenue Streams: Once consumers are engaged on its platform, Arcadia can upsell retail and other “in-app” offerings. With substantial new clean energy products and services coming to market and Arcadia having the most extensive community solar customer base, the company can help consumers understand offerings available to them and then bundle and cross-sell new offerings.
Business Model Advantage: The community solar market is expected to grow 50 to 80 times by 2030 and offers many benefits, such as superior project economics. Additionally, community solar does not face the same transmission and congestion constraints as utility-scale solar. It unlocks renewable energy for more customers and reduces friction to sign up by not requiring rooftop installation, long-term contracts, or a credit score.
How We Are Involved
Arcadia recently raised a $100 million Series D led by Tiger Global and the Drawdown Fund. The investor syndicate also included Wellington Management, Energy Impact Partners, Camber Creek, BoxGroup, and more. Alumni Ventures’ participation was led by Congress Avenue Ventures (for the UTexas community). In addition, sibling funds Chestnut Street Ventures (for the Penn community), Purple Arch Ventures (for the Northwestern community), Blue Ivy Ventures (for the Yale community), and Alumni Ventures’ Anti-Bias Fund also participated.