San Francisco catches on to bulk solar purchasing

By Alex Zielinski

San Francisco hopes to add more solar panels to rooftops. Photo: Kevin Krejci

In an effort to boost the city’s solar energy use, San Francisco officials launched a pioneering program today keying in on a simple model: group discounts. “[email protected]”, developed by the city’s Department of the Environment and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, encourages commercial business owners to join together to create one solar purchasing group. The larger the group, the cheaper each owner’s cost.

While San Francisco has been promoting solar power over the past years, this model targets the daunting prices of solar panel installation and use, which at times can range into the hundreds of thousands. Group purchasing could cut these price up to 15 percent.

And business owners won’t be the only group profiting from this program. The city selected San Mateo’s Solar City to be the provider of solar panels in bulk, as it is a local and already a city-used business. SolarCity plans on adding 100 new employees to their staff, in preparation for an installation influx, by the end of the year.

This business model follows in the footsteps of Groupon, the popular coupon website founded on group purchasing. While [email protected] provides a more large-scale example, Groupon’s daily deals — ranging from facials to wine tasting — are clearly in the roots of this endeavor.

Few guidelines, including building size and style, limit which businesses can apply. The program is specifically looking for businesses shorter than three stories with accessible and available roof space for the installation. All business types are encouraged to join by contacting [email protected]

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2 Responses to San Francisco catches on to bulk solar purchasing

  1. San Francisco catches on to bulk solar purchasing – Way Out West | 3d Printer Site on 07/13/2011 at 6:20 pm

    [...] San Francisco catches on to bulk solar purchasingWay Out WestAnd business owners won This entry was posted in Uncategorized and tagged business. Bookmark the permalink. ← Objet Geometries’ 260 Connex 3D Printer Puts Two Different Materials in One RP … – (blog) Sanofi Divests Dermik Dermatology Unit to Valeant Pharmaceuticals … – VAdvert Press Center (press release) → [...]

  2. Anon on 07/14/2011 at 11:59 am

    So they didn’t consider to include non-business owners? What gives?

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