One Block Off the Grid (1BOG), the nation’s largest solar group purchase provider, is expanding. Just this week they’ve announced new launches in Denver and Philadelphia, so if you’re interested in getting a solar installation and you live in those areas (or any of the other cities that 1BOG currently covers), listen up!
1BOG is a “community-based program that organizes group discounts on residential solar panels.” They negotiate group discounts with local solar providers, select the best solar installer in the area and overall make the process of going solar easy. For example, in the Philadelphia area, the discount they negotiated with the local supplier (Mercury Solar Systems L.L.C) is 15%. So when you combine the 15% discount with the 30% federal tax credit, plus state and local rebates (the Philadelphia region gets an addition $.175 for every DC watt capacity installed (up to 35% of your out-of-pocket costs or $17,500, whichever is less), it really cuts the cost of going solar. 1BOG also helps you navigate the paperwork. They provide a site that allows you to get an online estimate, which includes pretty high resolution shots of your street and roof (better than the satellite shots in Google Earth). The program also provides zero down, 18 month interest free financing for the Philadelphia campaign.
One thing, though, these programs only last for a little while (through the middle of October 2010). But in other cities, as soon as one campaign finishes, One Block Off the Grid starts the process to begin another program, so if you miss it this time, there very well could be a second chance.