For the average homeowner, getting solar panels or not is a big decision that requires some serious thinking. Two companies have emerged on the market – EnergySage and 1BOG – and they both aim to simplify the process with their new solar comparison tools.
The basic idea behind the two tools is the same: Homeowners receive quotes from qualified installers in their area and free guidance to find the best solution.
This leads to a more competitive market and financial benefits for the homeowners, solar installers and financers, as well as market expansion and increased demand.
The two companies have been compared to services like Orbitz, Expedia and Kayak, which you`re probably familiar with if you travel a lot.
One Block Off the Grid
1BOG was founded in 2008. In the beginning, the company aggregated homeowners in the same regions in order to leverage group discounts. Slowly but surely, the company has morphed into what it is today: A platform where homeowners can compare custom quotes from the biggest solar providers in the country. Pure Energies acquired 1BOG in 2012.
EnergySage was awarded $500,000 from the U.S. Department of Energy`s SunShot Initiative in 2012. Since then, the company has enlisted more than 1,600 installers, which ultimately means higher competition and better prices for homeowners.
Both 1BOG and EnergySage have spent a lot of resources on developing solid educational content to teach homeowners about the various systems, how they work and how they can finance them.
What are the Differences?
1BOG and EnergySage almost looks identical on the surface, but in certain aspects they actually operate very differently from each other:
- Solar installers can look for qualified homeowners at the EnergySage Marketplace and submit quotes. EnergySage receives a commission from installers that win a contract on a per-watt basis. 1BOG is more active in the “brokering” process, and matches homeowners and installers.
- 1BOG partners with major solar power installers and financers. Here are some of the big ones: SolarCity, SunRun, SunEdison, OneRoof Energy and Pure Energies. While 1BOG only focuses on major solar providers, EnergySage also allows minor installers onto their platform. It`s hard to say which model is more effective at this point.
- EnergySage also helps homeowners with solar thermal, small wind, geothermal, biomass, biofuel and combined heat and power systems.
- EnergySage is currently only in the Northeast and Colorado, while 1BOG have hosted deals in more than 40 U.S. states at this point.
Is 1BOG or EnergySage the better option for me? Try both! Both tools are free, without obligations and will only take you a couple of minutes to set up.