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Making Solar Affordable in San Diego

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A company that creates a buying club to make solar more affordable for homeowners is now offering its services in San Diego. "One Block Off the Grid" is the largest residential solar community purchasing group in the country.

— A company that creates a buying club to make solar more affordable for homeowners is now offering its services in San Diego. "One Block Off the Grid" is the largest residential solar community purchasing group in the country.

San Francisco-based "One Block Off the Grid" organizes groups of homeowners interested in purchasing solar power and then they negotiate group discounts with solar installers.

The group's Co-Founder and General Manager is Dave Llorens.

He says having multiple solar projects in one neighborhood is one of the reasons for the discounted installation rate.

"But also removing a lot of the marketing costs for the installer,"Llorens says. "And we do a lot of viral grassroots outreach that's free and then we can pass that marketing savings on to our customers."

He says the grassroots includes e-mail, lawn signs, house parties and community organizing.

Llorens says each home is different, but the group rate, along with a federal tax credit and California rebate, reduces the average cost about 50% from what a homeowner might pay on their own.

He says so far 700 San Diego homeowners have signed up. The deadline is August 7.

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