10.5 kW system in Central Ohio

All Your Home Orientation, Roof Slop & Shade Questions Answered

When we design your solar energy system, First, we use satellite imagery and your electric bill to give you an initial review of your solar potential.

We discuss system sizes, locations, and costs. We review all system plans with you before installing, connecting, and commissioning your solar electric. Here are some guidelines to help you determine whether solar can work well for you:

 

Orientation

 

 

South-facing is best. Either the front or back of the house faces directly south.

 

 

South-east facing can also work well, either the front or back of the house.

 

 

 

 

 

South-west facing can also work well, either the front or back of the house.

 

 

 

 

 

A house facing east-west can also work—panels on the east side will get morning sunlight, those on the west will get afternoon sunlight.

 

 

 

 

Shade

A Completely un-shaded house is best. Sunlight covers the roof all day.

 

 

 

 

A lightly-shaded house can work for solar — we can position the solar panels to avoid shade.

Module level optimizers prevent the old problem of losing the output of an entire string of panels when one module gets shaded. However, shade is still an important factor in good solar design.

 

 

A heavily-shaded house will not work for rooftop solar—but, give the amount of available space, we can do a ground-mounted system in that case.

 

 

 

Roof Slope & Shape

On a flat roof, solar panels can be easily mounted on ballasted racks that tilt them toward the sun.

 

 

 

 

A 30-degree roof pitch is ideal. We can flush-mount the solar panels for best sun exposure.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A 15-degree pitch works well. Our racking can tilt the solar panels slightly steeper to get the best sun exposure.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Complex roof lines can also work well, depending upon the size and orientation of the different roof facets.

 

 

 

Energy Offset

A properly-sized solar electric system is a function of 3 factors: How much energy do you typically use? How much available space do you have? What is your budget?

A good solar installer will have system designers & solar consultants who will optimize these variables find the “sweet spot” for your system—the best size for your available electric needs, space and budget.

By right-sizing your system, a good installer will shorten your payback period.

  • How much energy you use – your home’s energy consumption tell us the maximum limit of how much solar energy you will need to power your home. This is why many installers request an electric bill with your homes annual usage to create a solar estimate.
  • How much space you have – How much space do you have on your roof or on the ground for solar? We look for space that is free from shade, is free from roof obstructions and is not facing northward.
  • Your budget – How much do you plan to spend on solar? Do you want premium solar panels or our more cost-effective option?

How Ohio’s House Bill 6 Impacts Residential Solar  

Summary 

On July 23rd 2019, The Ohio House of Representatives approved and Governor Mike DeWine signed House Bill 6, legislation to subsidize two failing nuclear power plants and reduce Ohio’s Renewable Portfolio Standards.   

House Bill 6 in Ohio does the following:   

  • Through rate-payer charges, $150 million per year will go to fund two failing FirstEnergy nuclear power plants   
  • $50 million a year will go to fund two aging coal-fired power plants  
  • Lowers the states Renewable Portfolio Standards, the mandated percentage of renewable energy utilities provide to rate-payers, from 12.5% to 8.5% by 2026  
  • Eliminates mandates for solar specific energy purchasing, or SRECs, from 2020 onward  

House Bill 6 does not represent the end for residential solar – not by a long shot. What Ohio’s House Bill 6 means for solar homeowners, is that the price of Solar Renewable Energy Credits in Ohio will drop. For the most part, the fluctuating, often already low prices of SRECs do not affect the economics of our customer’s solar projects.  

Additionally, HB6 indicates that there will be no state incentives for solar in the foreseeable future. Incentives would have boosted the market for solar and made renewable energy more accessible in Ohio.  But Ohioans have been without any robust solar incentives for many years now, and the economics of installing solar have gotten better during this time because of the naturally declining price of solar modules and equipment. 

History  

In 2008 Ohio passed a law (SB 221) that, among other things, requires the four investor owned utilities to add solar to their energy mix, at an increasing rate each year. The law also addressed wind and other renewables but called out a special category for solar. It established a financial penalty for the utility for any shortfall (called the ACP, or alternative compliance payment), and various rules of the policy. Ohio is one of 24 states with Renewable Portfolio Standards (RPS), all of them different, and controlled at the state level.   

Ohio has seen this mechanism be an effective and flexible way to spur solar development in the state. The utilities have built their own solar plants to achieve these annual benchmarks, or they meet all or part of their obligations by encouraging the private development of solar projects through the purchase of Solar Renewable Energy Credits (SRECs) from the owners of the solar projects. An SREC is simply the intangible “green energy attributes” associated with 1,000 kWh of solar power. The law allows the purchase of SRECs from projects in contiguous states as well. There is no obligation for homeowners and private solar projects to sell SRECs, but they can sell them to the utility or private buyer (aggregator, traders or other middlemen) with the best price and terms.   

What are SRECs?  

Solar Renewable Energy Credits are annual credits for the clean electricity produced by your solar PV system. For every one megawatt-hour of electricity produced by your system each year (one megawatt-hour is equal to 1,000 kilowatt hours of solar) one SREC is created. A general rule of thumb in Ohio is 1kW of solar capacity will produce approximately 1 SREC per year.  Therefore, a 5kW solar PV system will produce about 5 SRECs per year and a 10kW system will produce about 10 SRECs per year.   

What gives SRECs their value? 

The state governments Renewable Portfolio Standards (RPS) create the market for SRECs. These are shaped by both federal and state policy. These policies aim to reduce the reliance on fossil fuels and carbon emissions that are contributing to global climate change.    

At a state level, SB 221 created the Renewable Portfolio Standards in Ohio.  Another example of policy that shapes states renewable energy standards is the 2015 Clean Power Plan. This federal legislation required states to meet specific standards with respect to reduction of carbon dioxide emissions. This federal legislation informed Ohio’s goals and bolstered the case for the 2008 plan.   

In Conclusion…  

The state government can create the market for solar incentives. In Ohio this has been done by a special carve out for solar in the form of Solar Renewable Energy Credits (SRECs) in the Renewable Portfolio Standards. With the elimination of the special carve out for solar, House Bill 6 will keep the pricing for SRECs low. But this doesn’t move the needle too much. Individuals who are thinking about going solar will not be greatly affected by this change in policy.   

While HB6 does not pose a threat to residential solar homeowners, the state of the Renewable Energy Standards in Ohio is something to pay attention to. Renewable energy is a growing sector, as of 2018 employing 112,486 Ohioans, and with job growth 12 times as fast as the rest of the US economy. There is great economic opportunity presented by renewable energy and energy efficiency. House Bill 6 is a setback for the clean energy economy and the jobs that are created for Ohioans in this industry.  

According to the Midwest Energy Efficiency Alliance, from 2009-2017 the Renewable Energy Standards established in SB 221 have created $5.1 billion in energy bill savings for customers. Additionally, Ohio’s energy efficiency programs have saved Ohioans 49 MWh for electricity, enough to power every home in Ohio for 10.5 months. Losing these benefits will cost consumers money, but if homeowners install a solar power system on their home, they will be able to save even more than they have lost. 

At third Sun Solar our mission is to accelerate the shift to clean energy. We are advocates for strong renewable energy standards that keep the market for renewable energy flourishing. We will continue to advocate for strong renewable energy standards and educate our customers about their importance as we go about our daily business installing solar on homes and businesses across Ohio & beyond.   

  

 

Jerry from Dublin, Ohio

All the service, advice, expertise, and quality has been absolutely outstanding. The weather doesn’t always cooperate but everything else has been top notch. Seriously, everything has been great.

John P. from The Plains, Ohio

It was recommended to me by a neighbor to check into solar panels. It was a painless meeting with the Third Sun people and instillation was done in 3 days. My first bill was just 1/2 a month of solar energy and my AEP bill was a -$12.00. They owed me money! This will be my first summer with the panels and I can’t wait to see what they produce. Great people at Third Sun. Answered all my questions even questions from my electrician.

Cleveland, Ohio

We had a very positive experience with Third Sun Solar. Our sales representative Dave Zelasko came out to the house and explained all the technology and details of what to expect, how it would work, what factors had to be considered, etc. Once we accepted the proposal Third Sun was very reliable about communication and making sure everything was done according to code. Their professionalism gave us confidence that it would all go smoothly, and it did. We had some heavy rain on the second day of the installation, but the crew was not deterred. Our neighbors have asked about our solar panels and several have commented on how nice they look, contrary to their expectations. We have recommended the company to anyone who might want to follow our lead, as we are the first homeowners in our neighborhood to invest in solar.

Unpredictable Utility Bills Make Budgeting Hard  

Does it feel like your electric bill gets higher every year? Does it feel like your electric bill changes every month and is unpredictable? You aren’t the only one! We talk to homeowners every day who are experiencing the same problem.  

You wonder: Why do my electric bills increase? What can I do to stop them from increasing? Read on to learn about how solar provides a solution to fluctuating energy costs.  

Energy Costs on the Rise  

Residential solar energy systems are gaining momentum quickly. According to the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA), as of 2019, the United States has 2 million solar installations. This reflects major growth in the solar sector in the U.S., which just 3 years ago reached 1 million solar installations 

What is fueling the demand?  

As you know, electricity prices have been on the rise over time. Each state has seen this increase with price rises that are felt by homeowners. Monthly, these prices rise and fall– which means that your utility bill is pretty unpredictable. Even if you use the same amount of electricity every month, you can’t predict what your electricity bill will be. When you add in seasonal variables that are also unpredictable (heat waves in the summer, cold spells in the winter), it’s almost impossible to predict what your energy consumption during these months will be.  

Fluctuating energy prices and weather conditions can have a dramatic influence on monthly energy bills. 

 

What is the cause of fluctuating energy rates? There are many factors but here are a couple:  

  • The Rise of Natural Gas – in recent years, natural gas has become the new go-to fossil fuel for energy production. Between changes in extraction methods to stored reserves and demand, natural Gas fluctuates in price more than coal and nuclear power.   
  • Coal & Nuclear Plants Closing – with the rise in natural gas production, coal and nuclear power are on the decline. This adds to the instability in the energy market and leads to higher and more unstable rates.  

Budgeting for Stability  

Solar helps you budget for stability by controlling a portion of the electric spend with known costs. 

Solar can help by reducing this variability in pricing that you see month to month. If you choose to finance your solar system and pay it off over time, your monthly solar bill will be fixed. You’ll have your loan locked in at the same monthly payment. So your utility payments, more or less, will be at frozen rates for the next 5-20 years.  

How will solar effect my monthly bill payments?  

When you go solar, the number to kilowatt-hours you purchase monthly from the utility goes down. This is accounted for through a process called net metering. Every month you are only billed for the amount of energy you have used in excess of what your solar panels have produced. If you’ve over produced, you are credited for this excess generation. This credit will be applied to future bills in months when you use more energy then you have made.  

Your energy charge- or killowat hours consumed-  is often the largest part of your bill. Other line items on your bill, such as the “delivery service charge” which is the fee the utility charges of the use of their grid will also be impacted by how much solar you generate.  

Some Math… 

Lets imagine your home uses 1,000 kWh per month. If your solar system generates 800 kWh per month, you’ll be left with 200 kWh that you’re paying the utility for. So you will still see rate increases, but only on that 200 kWh that you’re still getting from the utility. The other 800 kWh are free, after the cost of the system itself. 10 years from now you’ll still be getting that 800 kWh for the fixed cost of your solar energy system, no rate hikes. You will certainly be paying more for that 200 kWh of utility power that you use, but again, paying an increased % on 200 is much better than the full 1,000 kWh. Additionally, the money you will have saved by avoiding these increases will have paid for the panels themselves… and then some.  

What Can We Do?  

All in all, you will be paying substantially higher rates for energy in the next ten years. The more control you have over your power supply, the more you control your electric bills.  

Conservation is important: turn the lights off, keep the AC and furnace at a reasonable temperature, run full loads of laundry. We talk with customer who are taking these steps but not seeing results. Why? Because of the described fluctuations in electric rates.  Utility rates will continue to rise and at home energy conservation measures won’t be enough to keep your bill steady.  

Solar energy is a solution to unpredictable and rising energy rates.  

Give us a call today to talk to a knowledgeable Solar Consultant. They’ll explain how much you pay for energy now and how much you’ll be paying for energy in the future- if you do and if you don’t go solar. Fill out your information here to speak with a Solar Consultant.

Solar Consultant – Cincinnati Based

Do you live in the Greater Cincinnati area and have a passion for the environment?

Do you wish to make a difference in the world while also joining one of the fastest growing industries in the country?

Do you have sales and/or business experience and love communicating with people?

Are you a driven and well-organized overachiever ready to turn your talents toward our planet’s future?

If so, then you may be the type of person we are looking for. Only the best of the best will have the opportunity to join our team. If this is you, please see the position details below.

Third Sun Solar is Ohio’s oldest and most experienced full-service solar company. We have spent the past 20 years installing over 1000 solar systems throughout Ohio and the surrounding states, and have built an exceptional reputation for expert design, installation and customer service as we help people go solar.

We are a mission driven company and also a certified B-Corp, which means we walk our talk when it comes to our values as a business committed not just to sustainable profitability and growth, but to serving people and the planet as well.

Our mission is to accelerate the shift to clean energy. Our team works hard toward this goal every day at a company built on a strong foundation made up of the following core values:

  • We are here to Serve
  • We are Reliable
  • We are Driven
  • We value Growth

Application instructions:

  • Deadline to apply – September 30, 2019
  • Training for the positions will begin November 15, 2019
  • To apply, please submit resumes and cover letters to careers@thirdsunsolar.com
  • You may skip non-required fields on application if you are uploading a resume
  • We apologize in advance- you will only hear from us if invited to interview
  • NO PHONE CALLS PLEASE!

 

Residential Solar Consultant

Position Description

Third Sun Solar’s Residential Solar Consultants strive to exceed customer expectations and build strong relationships with homeowners in a no pressure, consultative process.  They actively identify and pursue their own leads in addition to receiving leads from the company.  They evaluate customer needs and goals, address customer’s questions and concerns, and then develop solar PV solutions that are optimized for each customer using an automated design and proposal tool.  Residential Solar Consultants will spend much of their time traveling to and visiting with prospective customers at their homes. Residential Solar Consultants are the primary external representatives of Third Sun Solar and are expected to convey a sense of expertise in services and capabilities offered. This position requires tact, adaptability, confidence, and a high degree of customer service and professionalism.

Responsibilities:

  • Sales of residential solar electric and backup power systems.
  • Full life cycle business development, from lead generation to referral networking.
  • Clear understanding of sales cycle, contract agreements and ability to explain and review agreements to close customers at homes.
  • Prospecting for, and qualifying self-generated leads.
  • Conduct preliminary satellite map site evaluations to develop initial system designs using industry specific design tools.
  • Utilizing Third Sun Solar/industry tools to generating project proposals/quotes for customers.
  • Utilizing Third Sun Solar/industry tools to analyze customer’s current and projected electrical usage and calculate financial return on investment and economic payback.
  • Maintaining prospects/projects in Salesforce or similar CRM.

Position requirements:

  • Resident of greater Cincinnati
  • 2 years minimum of consumer sales experience (preferably in-home)
  • Strong track record of full cycle business development
  • Hunter mentality with the ability to excel at self-generating leads and winning new business
  • Demonstrated ability to meet and exceed monthly sales targets
  • Strong track record of achievement as evidenced by sales awards, beating quota, building a new book of business or growing a market, etc.
  • Must be highly proficient with Microsoft Office and Excel CRM experience
  • Four-year college degree (preferred)
  • Superior customer service skills
  • Excellent written and verbal communication
  • Valid driver’s license/clean driving record
  • Public speaking and presentations skills
  • Minor travel requirements for events, training and customer home visits
  • Ability to work evenings and occasional weekends for staffing industry events.

Compensation and Benefits:

  • 100% commission including a 90-day onboarding stipend. (bi-weekly)
  • Company hybrid car
  • Medical, dental and vision coverage after introductory period
  • IRA with company match after first quarter of employment
  • Strong company culture
  • Paid holidays and paid time off
  • Substantial discounts for employee purchased solar system
  • Expert technical and product training with the region’s leading solar electric provider.
  • Solar training certification reimbursement and
  • Annual branded company clothing
  • Career growth path opportunities.
  • Work/life balance