By Harnessing Power of Group-Buying, One Block Off the Grid to Help Philadelphians Go Solar

Facing its first power rate increase after a 10-year cap, Philadelphia can now get a 15 percent discount on solar panels and installation

Mar 21, 2011, 06:00 ET from One Block Off the Grid

SAN FRANCISCO, March 21, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- With Pennsylvania's largest power utility poised to increase rates for the first time in over a decade, clean energy group-buying leader One Block Off the Grid today announced the launch of a 90-day group deal on home solar systems in the Philadelphia area. Using group purchasing power, One Block Off the Grid has secured a 15 percent discount on both panels and installation on behalf of all Philadelphia metro area homeowners. The deal is being offered in partnership with panel manufacturer Canadian Solar and one of the East Coast's leading installers, Mercury Solar Systems.

"With the utility rate hike in Philadelphia and no more cap to prevent further increases, now is definitely the time to go solar," said Dave Llorens, CEO and founder of One Block Off the Grid. "Our group deal allows homeowners to get panels on the roof much less expensively than they could on their own, but it only lasts 90 days, so we're urging Philadelphia homeowners who've been considering solar to move forward now."

One Block Off the Grid organizes group deals in markets where there are strong incentives for going solar. Homeowners in Philadelphia can combine One Block Off the Grid's discount with powerful new state incentives like the Solar Renewable Energy Credit (SREC) program. The SREC program is similar to a popular New Jersey program that pays homeowners above-market rates for the solar energy they feed back into the grid. Homeowners will also receive a federal tax credit equivalent to 30 percent of the cost for going solar.

Canadian Solar, one of the world's largest solar companies--known for the high quality and performance of its solar panels--has entered into this important partnership with One Block to help support affordable solar opportunities for the Philadelphia area.  

"We are pleased to assist One Block Off the Grid in the drive to make solar available to homes and businesses," said Alan King, vice president of Canadian Solar USA. "This opportunity provides the community a cost-saving advantage to install clean, renewable solar power."

The deal also includes installation of those panels by Mercury Solar Systems with which One Block Off the Grid partnered during its first Philadelphia solar group discount in July 2010.

"We have partnered with One Block Off The Grid in several markets, including Philadelphia last year," said Jared Haines, president of Mercury Solar Systems. "We believe our success is driven by our ability to offer local homeowners the best product on the market: a top-of-the-line solar system at great price, installed by one of the most experienced companies."

This is the second solar group discount One Block Off the Grid has offered in Philadelphia.

"More homeowners are getting interested in becoming energy independent," said Dave Llorens. "One Block Off the Grid is here to make that easier and more affordable."

The Philadelphia group discount on solar kicks off on March 21, 2011 and is available until June 21, 2011. To participate and get a free evaluation for solar over the phone, homeowners should sign up on the One Block Off the Grid website,

About One Block Off the Grid

One Block Off the Grid organizes group discounts on solar energy. Since 2008, One Block Off the Grid has run over 50 group deals in ten different states and helped thousands of homeowners go solar. In addition to providing group discounts, the company vets solar installers on behalf of homeowners and manages the entire installation process from beginning to end, at no charge. The company has been featured in dozens of major media outlets including The New York Times, The Economist, The Wall Street Journal, Huffington Post, USA Today, Marketplace, Wired, Time, and GOOD Magazine. For more information, visit

About Canadian Solar Inc. (NASDAQ: CSIQ)

Canadian Solar Inc. is a leading vertically integrated provider of ingot, wafer, solar cell, solar module and other solar applications. Canadian Solar designs, manufactures and delivers solar products and solar systems for on-grid and off-grid use to customers worldwide. Canadian Solar is one of the world's largest solar module producers by manufacturing capacity. With operations in North America, Europe, and Asia, Canadian Solar provides premium quality, cost-effective, and environmentally friendly solar solutions to support global sustainable development. For more information, visit

About Mercury Solar Systems

Mercury Solar Systems is one of the leading solar integrators on the East Coast and Inc 500's "10th Fastest Growing Energy Company."  The company designs and installs solar energy systems for the commercial and residential marketplace and to date has installed over 1,200 solar systems for an excess of 18 megawatts of solar energy.  Mercury Solar Systems is a subsidiary of Mercury Energy, a leading provider of solar energy systems throughout the United States.  For more information, visit

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SOURCE One Block Off the Grid