July 13th, 2009
Want to get a first hand glimpse of a net-zero energy home that generates all its necessary power from renewable energy? You may get a chance if you live in one of the areas that the Living Zero Home Tour is traveling through. Starting just a week ago in Chicago, the Living Zero Home Tour is showcasing a net-zero energy home featuring energy efficient appliances and building technologies. The home will continue to travel through November so you can experience and see for yourself how energy efficient technologies are integrated and how they can easily lower monthly utility bills as well as your reduce environmental impact. (more…)
Popularity: 7% [?]
January 29th, 2009
Here at Low Impact Living are big advocates for residential renewable energy. We’d like to see every home in the US being fed by solar, wind and/or geothermal power. (And we hope that President Obama will be driving to make that vision a reality!)
But we also understand that very few of us Americans can afford $20,000+ for an installation of a solar PV system– especially these days! That’s why we’re always on the look out for ways people can save on solar. So when I heard about what 1 Block Off the Grid (1BOG) is trying to do, I was intrigued.
1 Block Off the Grid (1BOG) is based in San Francisco, but they are launching a nationwide effort to create community-based buying clubs for solar power. They claim that, “By aggregating consumers and negotiating on their behalf we take the fear out of buying new green technologies, decrease the purchase price, and increase the adoption rate of these technologies.”
If you’ve ever gotten and compared quotes for a solar installation, you know it can indeed be confusing and intimidating. Having a group discount negotiated by a third party sounds like a great idea to us.
1BOG did one set of installations in San Francisco in 2008, and they are just getting their 2009 group ready for another round. They are working with SolarCity for the new installations there. The 1BOG website says they are launching a group for Los Angeles in February 2009. Sign up quick!
I did some research and it seems that one of the participants in 1BOG’s inaugural program in San Francisco cut 43 percent off list price, according to co-founder Sylvia Ventura. But that is not necessarily a standard savings. For the average participant it would probably be closer to about 20 percent off. For a $25,000 solar system, you could save $5,000 — and you’ll get additional goverment rebates as well. Not too shabby!
We also want to remind everyone to always consider a solar hot water system if a solar electric system is too expensive. Solar hot water systems cost in the $4-6K range and will still save you a TON off of your power bills.
Popularity: 4% [?]