Anyone who's ever thought about putting solar panels on their home knows that it's expensive. San Francisco-based company One Block Off The Grid ("1BOG") is trying to help alleviate those expenses by getting people to sign up for solar power as a group. Once enough people have signed on in a particular location, 1BOG negotiates with local solar installers and manufacturers on their members' behalf to lower costs. The more people sign up for the program, the bigger the potential savings.
Here's how it works: 1BOG launches campaigns in various cities, each lasting a few months, during which they negotiate group discounts with carefully selected solar installers. Local consumers can then access the discounted rates via their website. Homeowners can enter their address on the site, select their roof from an aerial view of Google maps and outline where they want the panels located. You can also view detailed information on costs, leasing options, local rebates and how long the panels will take to pay for themselves. On average, 1BOG saves customers around 15 percent, and receives referral fees from installers.
You can sign up on their website right now, and they'll contact you when they've accumulated enough interest in your area to launch a proposal and begin negotations with installers.