Airbnb hosts in Maryland can now receive a credit on their utility bill when they get solar energy through a technology company.
Airbnb, which gives users a platform to rent out their properties for short-term periods, has partnered with Arcadia to offer incentives for purchase of solar energy generated by local solar farms.
“We are excited to work with Arcadia to make renewable energy more accessible for members of our host community,” Ameet Konkar, director of sustainability for Airbnb, said in a statement. “We all have a role to play in combating climate change, and partnerships with companies like Arcadia help give our hosts tools to reduce their carbon footprint and reduce energy bills, all while supporting more sustainable options for our guests.”
Properties in Maryland, Illinois, Maine and New York that are being rented out over Airbnb are now eligible for the program.
Airbnb worked with Arcadia to select states with community solar programs, including the four states that will be part of this program at its inception, an Airbnb spokesperson said.
Arcadia will give Airbnb hosts a $150 utility bill credit spread over six months, and will match their listing’s energy use with renewable energy certificates.
“Airbnb’s unique value proposition and commitment to their hosts is enabling them to take action to reduce their carbon footprint,” Alexa Minerva, Senior Director of Partnerships at Arcadia, said in a statement. “We are so excited to connect hosts in Maryland directly to a new solar project in their community and get cheaper, cleaner energy at home while helping their local neighborhoods clean up the grid and enhance job creation during a time of uncertainty.”
Arcadia estimates that up to 66% of American households cannot get solar panels installed on their own roofs.
That’s because certain households cannot afford rooftop solar, have a roof that is under shade, do not own their home, have poor credit, or have another reason for being unable to have rooftop solar, an Arcadia spokesperson said.
But through Arcadia, people can get their electricity from a local solar farm, which can save users an average of 5-10% on their annual energy costs depending on their utility provider, the solar company said in a release.
“We’re excited to roll out this unique opportunity to Hosts in Maryland who are looking for more ways to be eco-conscious in their listings and save money on monthly power bills,” the Arcadia spokesperson said.
A 2019 survey by Airbnb found that 82% of hosts said they used one or more green practices in their listing, including buying toiletries in bulk, promoting recycling, and encouraging guests to use public transportation.
The Airbnb spokesperson said guests cannot filter listings to search for hosts that have signed up for Arcadia or engage in other green practices. But they said hosts can include such details in their listing descriptions.
They added that Airbnb does not have data available on the number of hosts in Baltimore or Maryland overall.
But Baltimore Business Journal reported that there were more than 6,500 Airbnb hosts in Maryland in 2018. The Baltimore Sun reported that in 2018 there were more than 1,200 hosts in Baltimore City with about 2,100 units listed on Airbnb.
Arcadia does not disclose the number of customers in each market, the company’s spokesperson said.
Arcadia currently offers community solar in eight states, including Maryland. The company offers renewable energy in all 50 states, with wind energy offered in areas where legislation does not allow solar energy, the Arcadia spokesperson said.