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1 Block Off the Grid Rolling Out California's Largest Community Solar Initiative

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San Francisco-based 1 Block Off the Grid (1BOG) announced today that it is teaming up with Real Goods Solar for a 100-home solar campaign in the city. 1 Block Off the Grid is an initiative that promotes residential renewable energy systems through  education, private finance, and community purchase programs.

Essentially, the organization uses the power of community as a bargaining chip to make solar more accessible to homeowners.

With this initial solar campaign, 1BOG was able to negotiate up to 48% off 2 kW solar systems from the market price for its participants. According to 1BOG Founder and Managing Partner Sylvia Ventura, 2 kW is the average size of a home-based solar system in San Francisco.

Now that 1BOG has partnered with Real Goods Solar for solar panel installations, members can begin to reap the benefits of community-based solar. “There’s a much shorter payback period with the 1BOG rebate,” said Ventura.

And 1BOG isn’t stopping with San Francisco. The company already has 40 people signed up in Washington, DC, 15 people signed up in Las Vegas, and a number of people signed up in Portland, Oregon. Ultimately 1BOG hopes to expand into 12 cities. “We definitely have a lot of work ahead of us,” said Ventura. “But right now our priority is to complete the San Francisco campaign—to have a proof of concept.”

If the first campaign works out, sign me up for the second.

>> Calculate the solar potential of your California home with Renewzle’s solar power calculator and San Francisco Solar Power page.

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Written By

was formerly the editor of CleanTechnica and is a senior editor at Co.Exist. She has contributed to SF Weekly, Popular Science, Inhabitat, Greenbiz, NBC Bay Area, GOOD Magazine, and more. A graduate of Vassar College, she has previously worked in publishing, organic farming, documentary film, and newspaper journalism. Her interests include permaculture, hiking, skiing, music, relocalization, and cob (the building material). She currently resides in San Francisco, CA.

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