What with the Vice President promoting the PACE model of super affordable city financing for solar; and the econo-apocalypse-related drop in solar panel prices, you’d think that solar was in the bag by now, but group buying on top of all that will still buy the cheapest solar for your roof.
For example, in the Palm Springs, Palm Desert, Desert Hot Springs and Coachella area, you could now get all your electricity free for the next 25-40 years for $10,000! That’s about $90,000 lower than you would have paid your utility for 25 years.
One Block off the Grid‘s completely unique model of group buying combined with the financing of their partnering banker SunRun (which offers one of the few solar financing options to remain viable in the downturn) has made group purchasing the cheapest way for going solar ever.
The solar company 1BOG selected for this neighborhood; HelioPower is able to install that neighborhood for $5.49 a watt—the lowest rate 1BOG has ever negotiated for their group discount.
Depending on where you live prices now are at an all-time record low price. Solar rates vary around the country — check out the solar quote tool to estimate the price for your house..
As One Block off the Grid (1BOG) becomes more known nationally, grassroots demand is bringing their volunteer-based campaigns to more cities around the country. The idea is to mass produce solar installations so they can be as cheap as utility scale solar.
The way it works is that anyone interested in going solar with their neighborhood can get in touch with 1BOG which then helps local volunteers figure out the logistics of organizing themselves into a neighborhood group and then the solar experts on the 1BOG team locate and vet the top solar companies in that area and then get them to compete with each other for the neighborhood install.
This pushes the installation cost down because it is much more efficient for a solar company to do a mass install in one neighborhood so they get all the building permits at one time; talking with one building department and one fire department.
Solar installation companies like neighborhood installs because it makes it possible to be efficient; much easier than driving in ten directions in one day to try and get in to ten different city building departments with ten different regulatory requirements and then install in ten different directions, which is ridiculously inefficient.
Despite the oft touted “advances in solar efficiency” as being what will make solar cheaper, the truth is that about half the cost of solar is always going to be simply getting guys on your roof to install it. By making this side of the solar cost equation cheaper, 1BOG makes a solar roof cheaper.
Image: Jim Thatcher
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