Solar Power Broker One Block Goes Big Time

We’ve been tracking the growth of the innovative solar-power brokering company One Block Off the Grid, which moved into Philadelphia in early April, then quickly expanded into Massachusetts, Maryland and California’s Central Valley. Now the buzz-generating company, which aggregates buyers in geographical areas to leverage discount pricing from solar providers and installers, has announced expansion into 34 states – and it’s launched an interactive national map that it hopes will promote growth in green jobs “at the state level,” while no doubt feeding it the customers it needs to make discount deals possible.

One Block says the map “shows real-time levels of homeowner solar activity all the way down to the county level, as well as an estimated number of jobs that would be created in each state if solar policies were stronger.” And, just in case you’re interested, the map also lets you know if One Block has cobbled together enough buyers in your area to make a group-discount deal possible.

Solar power, One Block Off the Grid

image via One Block Off the Grid

There’s a cause-marketing angle to One Block’s new national program, as well: Profits from it will go to Kiva City, a U.S.-focused microlending platform backed that recently won the support of former President Bill Clinton.

San Francisco-based One Block has been creating a big buzz with its business model, fetching mention in Time, the Economist, the New York Times and, most recently, earning the title “the Groupon of solar power” from CNN.

Pete Danko is a writer and editor based in Portland, Oregon. His work has appeared in Breaking Energy, National Geographic's Energy Blog, The New York Times, San Francisco Chronicle and elsewhere.

  • It actually seems like a really great concept. Potentially saving customers money and raising awareness of the positive impact solar has on our lives and the environment is always a good thing! Hopefully this company will make solar available to people in smaller counties and states where the cost it still too high for a lot of people to stomach.

  • Schorert

    Do NOT sign with 1bog, as I did. u00a0Their installer in mass, munro electric has been nothing but problematic. u00a0phonecalls are not returned, delays in applying for building permits, incomplete mass rebate applications…all delayed my project by MONTHS. u00a01bog is great, their installer is crap. u00a0stay local.