Solar Panels – Groupon Style: What’s stopping UK Business?

An innovative business development within the solar industry is now taking off thanks to a Groupon style approach to purchasing. With a view to dramatically increase the rate of solar adoption across residential and business properties, ‘One Block Off’ and ‘Solar@Work’, have respectively been making some pretty bold steps.

This new business model leverages the purchasing power of groups of people to get local solar installers to offer their services at a reduced price. Both companies aim to compile large groups of keen solar power purchasers and then contact local solar contractors to make a deal, a practice typically used for buying consumer goods.

Unsurprisingly, this is all taking place out in San Francisco right now with the Californian Department of the Environment coming good on their commitment to subsidise renewable power. In 2007 the UK Department of Energy and Climate Change released a white paper stating ‘The Climate Change Act’ has set legally-binding targets for the UK to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 80 per cent by 2050, and CO2 by at least 26 per cent by 2020.

If the DECC are serious about making this a reality, then schemes such as this must be adopted in the UK as well. Although the costs can vary considerably between areas, SFGate claims “the approach can yield 10 to 15 percent lower costs and save 75 percent of the administrative time and fees.”

Sounds good doesn’t it? But how many UK businesses would adopt solar energy, and at what price?

Powwownow for one are extremely keen to get involved on any level. We are truly keen to sound out just what it would take for other businesses like ourselves to make solar purchasing on this scale a reality.

That’s why we’re asking your opinion. If we can ascertain what the issues hindering this process are, then hopefully we can look to work with other companies so to rectify them. Is it a case of we don’t get enough sunshine in the UK? (you know you don’t need direct sunlight? right?) Is it your company doesn’t own the office buildings? Lack of disposal cash to first inject? Suspicion of poor ROI?

Please let us know, and hopefully we can work on this together going forward.

Comment below.

  • jason@ solar panels

    The biggest problem, I feel, is the GroupOn approach itself. The % that they ‘demand’ to get the offer is a barrier to companies getting involved, if stories are to be believed.
    If it’s going to work, this issue would have to be resolved

  • Craig Mather

    Not exactly sure what you mean here. If 10 companies got involved and each received 20% each – does this not work (Hypothetical figures, obviously) ?