Solar buying group moves into LA

One Block Off the Grid (1BOG), a San Francisco-based group that negotiates group collective rates for installing solar technology through pre-approved installers, has moved into the Los Angeles area.Here's what this means: IF you're thinking about installing solar technology, AND you do it through 1BOG, you can get a 15 percent discount off typical rates for the region.

One Block Off the Grid (1BOG), a San Francisco-based group that negotiates group collective rates for installing solar technology through pre-approved installers, has moved into the Los Angeles area.

Here's what this means: IF you're thinking about installing solar technology, AND you do it through 1BOG, you can get a 15 percent discount off typical rates for the region. The deal covers Los Angeles Country, Ventura County, Orange County and the Inland Empire. The installers are REC Solar in Los Angeles and Ventura County, and HelioPower for Orange County and the Inland Empire.

I don't know much about either of these installers, since I live in New Jersey. But apparently HelioPower has handled more than 1,000 installations since 2001, and it has utility-scale experience. REC Solar is described as one of the nation's largest solar installation companies with presence in Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii and Oregon.

The arrangement is available for the next three months, until Sept. 14, 2010.

1BOG started in San Francisco as a vehicle to help local resident negotiate better rates for installing solar technology. The group now has "campaigns" going on in 12 markets across the United States.

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