An excerpt from the original 1BOG solar post by Warren Schirtzinger for Renewable Energy World.com:
When faced with a purchase decision that involves high
cost and/or high risk, pragmatic customers (starting with the early majority) will not buy until they see proven/leading suppliers, references from people they trust, and reliability of service. 1BOG helps mainstream customers meet these buying requirements by offering a unique combination of group purchasing/installation and objective advice.
1BOG’s service organizes homeowners in a given area and allows them to purchase and install solar as a group. In addition to negotiating a volume discount of about 15%, 1BOG acts as an independent provider of quality assurance and objective information. To qualify as a 1BOG vendor, local solar companies must go through a rigorous evaluation of their products, installation practices, and longterm stability as a company. Customers are also provided with assistance and support in the areas of rebates/incentives, financing and permits.
While most people would point to the 15% reduction in cost or the assistance provided with bureaucracy and paperwork as the primary benefits of 1BOG’s program, I believe the true power of their approach is in helping reduce the perceived risk of solar.
In the world of high risk the customer will not rely on the word of a vendor. The customer’s decision process is based on finding objective information from reliable sources, something the vendor cannot provide. 1BOG reduces the perception of risk by acting as that provider of objective information. 1BOG facilitates references from trusted sources (by organizing buyers into self-referencing groups), and then provides evidence of expertise and product quality (by vetting local solar providers).