Published on October 20th, 2009 | by Susan Kraemer0
Homeowners With Prime California Sun Could Go Solar For $10,000 With 1BOG
October 20th, 2009 by Susan Kraemer
Homeowners in Southern California could now go solar for as little as $10,000 for about a 3.5 KW – 4 KW solar roof.
If you do solar estimates in Berkeley, you start feeling left out that you don’t estimate solar roofs in San Diego. Rebates for our whole state are decided based on optimum solar conditions. That optimal spot? Southern California.
So if you go solar in Berkeley and install the exact same kilowatts-worth of solar panels as someone in San Diego, you won’t get as good a state rebate from your utility. They just have better sun down there, and it’s the standard by which all other sun is judged—at least by the California Solar Initiative’s Expected Performance Ratings.
We’ve made up for that by inventing new ways to lower solar costs—like One Block off the Grid (1BOG)— which aggregates homeowners into groups to reduce solar costs.
But now our own San Francisco-based 1BOG is taking aggregated solar purchasing to sun drenched Palm Springs, Palm Desert, Desert Hot Springs and Coachella – the very places that already qualify for the best rebates per kilowatt in the state!
So between 1BOG’s discount, the prime rebate, (and the national Federal 30% off tax credit) the result is that homeowners in Southern California could now go solar for as little as $10,000 For about a 3.5 KW – 4 KW solar roof.
The way 1BOG works is to cut the costs by creating one huge almost utility-scale installation process out of many small installs in one neighborhood at one time. Due to economies of scale and to some degree the steady drop in solar panel prices, HelioPower (the solar company selected for this RFP) is going to be able to install for $5.49 a watt—the lowest rate 1BOG has ever been able to negotiate.
1BOG aggregates consumer demand, and it’s far more efficient when the whole neighborhood is involved. So if you’re willing to co-ordinate with your neighbors, everyone saves a lot on the install, by all going through it together.
If you’d like to check with your neighbors to see who wants to go solar in the same timeframe as you, volunteer with 1BOG to help organize. I’ve canvassed my own neighborhood, by passing out flyers when I’m at the farmers market. You’ll be surprised to see how many of your neighbors are thinking of going solar too. Have fun.
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