I'm Shannon Coulter and I'm Director of Community for One Block Off the Grid (1BOG). I've been following this thread with interest, and thought I'd post a few words about our organization:
One Block Off the Grid is a free service for homeowners that negotiates group discounts on solar on their behalf in eleven different metro areas of the United States (that number is growing). Because we have such a large group of such homeowners signed up, we can typically negotiate a group discount of at least 15 percent or more on panels and installation:
Here's what one of our members had to say about her experience going solar through 1BOG:
http://www.respectedopinions.com/forum/ ... olarenergy
It's interesting that "Gonewild" above says he found a lower price by going directly to a solar installer. We actually encourage people to try to do that, but rarely run across a case of it actually happening where we have an active campaign. (We've even run into situations where such comments are posted by installers who don't want homeowners to know about group discounts!)
Finally, I want to mention one other really important thing about One Block Off the Grid: we vet local installers on behalf of homeowners. Solar is a growing market and with so many new players trying to cash in, it's important to have a third party doing some evaluation from the outside. Our vetting process is rigorous and takes a full month before we select an installer with which to partner. If a 1BOG group discount isn't currently available in your area, we encourage you to evaluate potential installers on three factors (1) the quality of their products (2) their installation practices and (3) the longterm stability of the company.
I hope this answers a few questions about One Block Off the Grid . If you have any others, please feel free to email me directly at shannon (at) 1bog.org. And if you want access to our current group discounts on solar, you can sign up for free here: http://1bog.org/user/signup
Director of Community
One Block Off the Grid (1BOG)
shannon [at] 1bog.org
p.s. As Carlos noted, SunRun is a kind of "zero down" financing option available for some solar systems in some areas. 1BOG campaigns sometimes make SunRun financing available as an optional part of the deals we negotiate.