Nick Rosen | |

The company recently raised $5m, a step forward  in its aim to become a major corporate player in the solar panel  market.  But this tiny start up is making some inflated claims.

1BOG sounds to British ears like a good name for a toilet. It is in fact the wrong  name for this energy company which is essentially a lead generation sales agency offering slightly discounted solar panels to householders, but claims to offer discounts of “up to 70%”

Chief Executive Dave Llorens has made a song and dance over the company’s  eco-credentials and 1BOG is short for one block off the grid. “ Ready to Go Off the Grid?” ask the company ads. But all it does is advise households on their rights to receive a payment from the local utility company for power they feed into the grid. By flooding an area with low paid staff, the business aims to secure a discount from local suppliers, only part of which is passed on to the end user.So despite the name, it encourages its customers to stay on the grid.

The investment comes from New Enterprise Associates, Inc.  which invests in information technology, healthcare, and energy technology. NEA say they invested in order to take advantage of the generous government subsidies in this industry.

So 1BOG has nothing to do with getting off the grid, and everything to do with exploiting  government subsidies for solar panels. This gives the company a lifespan of about 3 years.

Steer clear.

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One Response to “Beware of 1BOG”

  1. Tor

    Nick, I agree that 1 block off the grid sounds like it could be an off grid product, but it’s more of a metaphor. Yes, you’re certainly grid tied as a back up, but you are still taking a substantial portion of coal fired energy off the grid. This site is obviously geared toward off grid people, but for suburban people, it doesn’t make financial sense to be off grid with expensive batteries when the grid is right there with net metering as a back up.

    To my knowledge, 1bog doesn’t call anybody cold. People sign up with their email address and ask to be contacted, and then an operator calls back and asks some important questions to see if solar is right for the buyer. They check out a satellite photo of their roof and ask about other qualifications, like the age of the roof and other important info.

    Otherwise, I think you make some other broad assumptions above that are all answered transparently on their FAQ page:

    http://about.1bog.org/faq/

    For those who can go on grid, it really is a good, no-haggle, way to go solar, but no, it’s not “off grid.” But again, they’re transparent about that on their website and always have been.

    Reply

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