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Introducing Solar For All, A New Podcast From Third Sun Solar

By Geoff Greenfield

I am very excited to announce the launch of a new podcast: “Solar for All”

This podcast will be available on the various pod streaming sites as well as through a new website: www.solarforall.show.

In this new project, I speak with various guests about the intersection of race, class, diversity, inclusion, equity, and justice with the solar industry.

As the title of the podcast suggests, our mission is to achieve solar for all.

We envision a truly inclusive solar society that captures solar’s potential to impact climate change AND improve our social and economic systems. Systems, which we believe have been historically oppressive and exploitative.

Our vision is to build this podcast to serve as a platform that uplifts and amplifies a diverse group of contemporary stories and initiatives in the solar industry, increasing their impact and reach and (hopefully) accelerating their spread and influence. While the podcast is launching today, we have been building up a backlog of interviews with some amazing guests, and this experience has been powerful. During these conversations, I have been both inspired and challenged as I confront my own racism and biases and come to grips with my tremendous privilege.

Our guests

Some of my guests have been doing this work for decades, while others are just beginning this journey, being vulnerable and hopefully encouraging others in powerful positions to reconsider priorities and assumptions. The stories shared by our diverse guests all have value, and we are honored and humbled to bring them to what we hope will be a large audience. Our ultimate goal is not just to talk about these subjects but also to be agents of change and progress in the solar industry and beyond. The conversations we engage in will contain both criticism and inspiration. We intend to shine a bright light on the challenges and issues that are part of the daily lived experience of some while remaining hidden to others. We also will be calling out and celebrating the progress being made on many fronts, from rooftops to boardrooms. In all these conversations, we strive to be constructive and humble, curious rather than judgmental… as a friend of mine often reminds me, we are striving for progress, not perfection.

Join us!

While the noble goals of justice and truth are inherently worthwhile and stand on their own in a moral sense, these issues are a practical matter. We believe that for solar to rise to its greatest potential and have its fullest impact, it MUST become more inclusive and diverse quickly, leveraging the energy and contributions of the full spectrum of humanity. That is easier said than done, but that is what we are setting out to do, and we invite you to come along with us and become accomplices and co-conspirators. Tell us how we are doing and how we can be better. Reach out to be on the show or suggest someone that would add to the conversation. Share the show with your colleagues and network.

Find us at www.solarforall.show

 

Our Beliefs:

  • We believe the most effective way to tackle issues of systemic bias in our industry is to name them, talk about them, and take responsibility to change them
  • We believe that doing nothing to address inequality in the clean energy space supports inequality in the clean energy space. our work exists to dismantle that
  • We believe that it is not the job of the people being targeted by prejudice and discrimination to start the dialogue
  • We believe we must recognize that systemic inequity in our workspace
  • We believe that everyone deserves brave and safe spaces to be vulnerable about their experiences; therefore, we work to create safe spaces for individuals as we work to promote social justice

Federal-Hocking Local Schools flip the switch on new solar energy system

Federal-Hocking Local Schools cut the ribbon on a new solar installation that will offset 70% of the school’s annual energy use with renewable power. Students “flipped the switch” on a 700 kW  solar system for the first time at the Federal-Hocking Middle & High School campus on July 11th 2019 at 11 AM. Former Federal-Hocking Superintendent, George Wood will speak at the event.

“Solar and renewable energy are the way of the future,” said George Wood. “But getting from here to there will take big actions by big organizations and institutions, like schools. Our district is a demonstration of what other districts can do.”

Attendees were joined by Former Governor and clean energy advocate Ted Strickland, State Representative Jay Edwards and Athens County Commissioners. The event follows the recent appointment of Third Sun Solar’s CEO Michelle Greenfield, to the Governor’s Executive Workforce Development Board.

The rooftop array will deliver environmental benefits to the region, eliminating 583 metric tons of carbon emissions each year – the equivalent of the annual energy used by 70 homes – offsetting over 825,000 kilowatt-hours of electricity each year.

The array was built and installed by a partnership consisting of the installer, Third Sun Solar, New Resource Solutions, who structured the financing and Foundation Renewable Energy Company, the system owner and operator.

“Third Sun Solar has installed solar on more than 70 schools, but this project is really exciting because it is right here in our community, and many of the folks working Third Sun Solar,” said Geoff Greenfield, President and co-founder  “While the financial benefits to the school are very attractive, we believe that the benefits to our local economy, like the growing number of solar jobs, are also very important.”

Several installers on this project were students at Federal-Hocking High School and Joint Vocational School.

Watch the live-streamed video of the event here. 

 

“I applaud Third Sun Solar and New Resource Solutions for building this impressive solar energy project. There are so many benefits: the school district saves money, our air is cleaner, and high quality jobs are created here in Appalachia. Sadly, while other states are raising their renewable targets to 50% or even 100%, Ohio’s clean energy standards are under attack. A decade ago, my administration worked with a Republican-controlled legislature to create a strong clean energy plan for Ohio that has saved families and businesses billions of dollars and created thousands of jobs. It is my sincere hope that we don’t go backwards on this issue” – Former Governor, Ted Strickland

House Bill 6: Ohio Businesses Call on Governor and Lt. Governor to embrace clean energy policies

June 4, 2019
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Ohio Businesses Call on Governor and Lt. Governor to embrace clean
energy policies: HB 6 Provisions Repealing Renewable and Energy
Efficiency Standards would be “huge step backward”

COLUMBUS, Ohio – More than 60 businesses and organizations have issued an open letter to Governor Mike DeWine and Lt. Governor Jon Husted today calling on them to support the state’s
future and ability to attract long-term investments, innovative companies, and ultimately thousands more jobs to our state by supporting the clean energy standards that would be repealed
by House Bill 6.

Dear Gov. DeWine and Lt. Gov. Husted,

Thank you for your leadership of our great state. We are thrilled to see that you are pursuing bold policies and transforming our state into a 21st century economy. Since taking office in January, you have already inspired confidence in Ohio’s business and investment climate. We write this open letter to you today to proactively urge your support for a key sector of Ohio’s economy that holds great promise for growth: clean energy. As companies and organizations with a keen interest in the state’s energy future, we support policies that will make our energy clean, affordable, reliable, and predictable over the long-term. This is a major consideration for where we do business. Unfortunately, the Ohio General Assembly appears to be rapidly advancing energy legislation (HB 6) that falls far short of these goals. While creating a fund to support Ohio’s two nuclear plants and granting cost recovery for old coal plants, the bill repeals Ohio’s Renewable Portfolio Standard (“RPS”) and Energy Efficiency Resource Standard (“EERS”). This would be a huge step backward. Eliminating these standards will create tremendous uncertainty for the Ohio renewables industry, which directly employs almost 10,000 Ohioans, and back-pedal on our ability to reduce energy waste through cost-effective energy savings programs that employ over 81,000 Ohioans and have saved Ohioans $5.1 billion to date. The bill also misses an opportunity to address Ohio’s restrictive wind power siting regulations which have stymied in-state development for years, and in fact makes the permitting process more challenging. Clean energy standards help businesses cut energy costs, avoid the volatility of fuel prices, and help us stay competitive. As of 2018, 39 companies in Ohio have committed to power their operations with 100 percent renewable energy(http://there100.org/companies) and almost half of Ohio’s 50 largest employers have set targets to procure more renewable energy or invest in energy efficiency. States with robust clean energy standards create policy certainty, attracting companies and enabling them to make long-term investments consistent with meeting sustainability and financial goals. We recognize the significant economic opportunity presented by renewable energy and energy efficiency. As such, we write collectively to urge you to protect Ohio’s growing clean energy economy and oppose the provisions of HB 6 which would eliminate Ohio’s clean energy standards and harm Ohio’s ability to bring more clean energy projects online.

 

Thank you for your consideration and your continued leadership of our State.

 

The letter was signed by the following 63 companies and organizations, demonstrating depth and
breadth of support for renewable energy and energy efficiency standards in state law:
Algonquin Power and Utilities Corp. ElectraTherm Siemens Gamesa
Ameresco Energility, LLC Simple Energy
AP Alternatives Energy Management Solutions, Inc. Sol Systems
Apex Clean Energy Energy Optimizers, USA Solar Action LLC
Avangrid Renewables Enervee Solar Power & Light
AviSun Renewable Energy First Solar Solscient Energy
Baker- Shindler Company Friends Fiduciary Stoneacre Energy Solutions
Better Together Solar Innergex Renewable Energy Inc. Sun Lion Energy
Burton Innogy SunLit Solar
Carbon Solutions Group IntegralPower Talan Products, Inc.
Catalyst Café Invenergy, LLC TEfusion Group
Central Insurance Companies Ironclad Energy Third Sun Solar
Cleveland Clinic LaFargeHolcim TMI Energy Solutions
Clif Bar & Company Melink Corporation Trillium Asset Management
Community Energy Inc. Miller Brothers Construction Unitarian Universalist Association
CS Energy Ohio Power Solutions Village Bakery
Cypress Creek Renewables Open Road Renewables Vistula Management Company
DG Edison Ormat Technologies Yellowlite
E.ON Profit & Sons Farms, Inc.
Echogen Power Systems RBI Solar
Ecohouse Solar Roanna Farms, Inc.
EDF Renewables Rudolph Libbe Group
EDP Renewables North America

###

Media contact: Angela Krile, 740-974-3948, angela@krilecommunications.com

 

6 Easy Steps to Solar

 

Third Sun Solar makes it easy to go solar. We have helped over 1,000 customers power their homes and businesses with clean energy & lower their monthly electricity bills. We are here to help you too. From designing to financing, through permitting and construction, our team goes to work for you.  

 

1.Remote Site Assessment

To save time & reduce our carbon footprint, our initial site assessment with you will be remote!  

 

  • Our friendly Solar Consultant will set up a time to chat with you, answer any questions you have, and look at your site via Google Earth.  
  • We’ll ask for a copy of your electric bill. This important piece of the assessment process will help us design a system that is the right fit for your electric usage. 
  • Our assessments are always informative and there is never any pressure.  Solar is a great solution for many, but if it’s not a good fit for you that’s fine.  

 

2. We Design Your System

Your Solar Consultant will use the information from your conversation, Google Earth and your electric bill to design an optimized system that meets your solar energy goals.  

 

3. We Review Your Solar Proposal 

Your Solar Consultant will create a proposal for you that will include system size and details, solar performance estimates, maintenance and warranty information and more.  

 

  • We will walk you through all the details of your solar system proposal.  
  • We will line up your zero-down financing and low interest loan options!  
  • We answer each and every question – this is an important decision and we want you to be well informed.  

 

4. We visit your home 

Once you have made your decision to go solar, we schedule a “technical site visit” to confirm measurements of the initial remote assessment.    

 

5. We manage your project

From permitting, coordinating with your utility company and ordering your equipment to sending out a team of installers and certified electricians, Third Sun Solar handles the instillation process seamlessly.   

 

  • Our experienced solar instillation teams take pride in the way a solar system is installed. They focus on safety, quality and performance. 
  • Our team provides “white glove” customer service. They keep disruptions at a minimum and treat every homeowner like a new member of the Third Sun Solar family. 

 

6. Flip the switch & enjoy the sun’s energy! 

After the last panel is installed, we will walk with you through the ins and out of the system and help you celebrate. Our team will stay in touch. We will answer any ongoing questions and help you spread solar with our Solar Champion program. 

 

When you choose Third Sun Solar as your solar partner, you are hiring a company with a conscientious, detailed and refined process to bring your energy dreams to life. With our smart solar financing solutions, you can make your dream happen with $0 down.  

When you’re ready, get in touch and we will get you started on your solar journey. 

 

 

How to Choose the Right Solar Installer for your Home 

Aesthetic and Quality Risks:  Choosing a Solar Installer for your Home 

Remember the old adage “you get what you pay for”?  This is especially important when making an investment in solar, a project that should add value to your home. If installed improperly, however, a solar array will have the opposite effect!  At Third Sun Solar, our 19 years of experience across Ohio has taught us how to do it right. Your choice of a solar company is the most important decision you will have as you go solar: choose wisely.

Read below for a description of the solar installation process & the issues we have seen from less experienced installers. You should choose a quality solar installer to ensure your home receives solar energy for years to come!

The Process 

You likely consider your home one of your most valuable assets. Because of this, choosing the right installation partner is critically important. Listed below are the two important phases of the solar panel installation process, which you should focus on.

  1. Solar Racking Installation– A typical roof installation involves drilling and properly waterproofing 40-60 holes through the roof. The holes are for the attachment of the array and the design, materials and techniques must withstand extreme weather, summer and winter for decades.
  2. Electrical Wiring– From each panel, down through the house to the inverter, and then to the interconnection to your homes electrical system, there is a lot of electrical work that goes into a solar installation. Solar installations must be done by a licensed electrical contractor in the State of Ohio. This licence ensures the contractor is trained and experienced to perform solar installation safely and with methods that will hold over time.

The Risks

We are sad to say that we see installation practices from other solar installation companies that are at best unsightly, often prone to early failure and at worst unsafe.

The solar company you select determines who the actual technicians are that are in your home doing the work.  While many companies employ subcontractors, temporary labor or poorly compensated untrained employees, Third Sun Solar is proud to only use our fully trained, well compensated loyal and dedicated direct employees on our residential projects.  We offer full benefits, paid holidays and vacation, and ongoing training to our employees. To us it’s a no brainer, it’s just who we are. It’s important for us to employ people invested in our company, who take pride in the work they do & are skilled at it. It makes for a happy workplace and happy customers.

Not all solar installation companies hire and retain a qualified, skilled and dedicated installation team. Many have no safety program and work without OSHA approved methods, placing you at risk of a terrible tragedy on your property. Many use untrained and under-compensated installers that are rushing through important steps, cutting corners to get to the next job.  Some installers work their crews far into overtime, carrying panels up ladders and working on a hot roof for 7 days at 10 hours per day.

It’s important to ask yourself: what type of installer would you want working on your home, ensuring your solar investment is done in a way that ensures high performance, safety and durability for years to come?

 

Solar Racking Installation 

This meticulous job must be done by trained, caring professionals if it is to look right, hold up over time, and not cause damage to your home. Panels can fall off the roof or leakage can occur if this work is done incorrectly. A leaky roof can cause many different issues such as structural damage, mold and rotting.

If done correctly by trained professionals this important step will be secure and not leak. At Third Sun we secure the array with a special system that protects your home with three layers of technology. We install stainless steel bolts with rubber gaskets, a durable top quality aluminum flashing that is layered into the shingles above, below and on either side of the penetration, and as a final extra layer of protection we seal up the holes with top quality roof sealant.

Electrical Wiring

As the process moves from panel racking to electrical wiring, the stakes get even higher. Today’s high-performance solar electronics must be installed properly if they are to last decades (and not void the manufacturer warranty).  As with any electrical work on your home, improper design or installation can lead to fire, electrical shock and homeowner liability.  As we mentioned earlier – this work must be done by a fully trained, licensed electrician.  Unfortunately, many solar installation companies are breaking Ohio law and cutting corners, operating without a license.  Third Sun Solar is licensed by the State of Ohio. Check here to make sure that the solar installation company you choose is a licensed electrical contractor.

Plastic PVC Conduit – Risks

Often, Third Sun Solar is called to repair the work done by our competitors.  We see all sorts of poor work out there, and one of the biggest culprits is the result of cutting corners to reduce costs.  Many companies use plastic conduit (PVC) or flex pipe because their technicians don’t have the skills or tools to bend conduit, and to save money on materials. Unfortunately, this plastic degrades under the sun’s UV rays, turning brittle and cracking in as little as 5 years!  In addition to creating a safety hazard, this shortcut means expensive and bothersome repairs that need made over the lifetime of your solar system.

Over our many years of work in solar, we have learned a lot about what holds up over time and what is likely to fail.  At Third Sun Solar we use metal conduit on all of our solar installations. Metal conduit costs a bit more and requires skills and proper training to bend and install. Though the initial investment in metal conduit might be slightly more expensive up front, it will certainly hold up better over time, saving in the long run.

Conduit Aesthetics

Aside from the safety and performance complications of conduit, your conduit choice also impacts the aesthetics of your array.  The solar array on your home should be gorgeous, not just to ensure your home increases in value. Our goal is to impress your neighbors and friends. We will make them believe that a home solar array would look great on their roof too!

On the majority of our projects we find a way to run the wiring inside your home.  If that is impossible, we will run metal conduit in a hidden location, such as adjacent to a rain downspout.  Many of our clients request that we paint this conduit if it is exterior.  We almost always run conduit inside the attic, but in some cases must run on the roof top.  We are sure you would agree that metal conduit on your roof looks a lot better than plastic PVC!

Can you see the exposed conduit?

Third Sun Solar is an electrical contractor licensed by the State of Ohio. Check here to make sure that the solar installation company you choose is a licensed electrical contractor.  

 

In Conclusion… 

Here at Third Sun, our advice is to do it right the first time. As you make the important selection of what solar installer to trust your home to, ask to see photos of their installations. Better yet? Go look at their work up close.  Go speak with their customers, both recent and those that have had an array for 10 years or more.  Ask: how the array has performed? How was the installation experience ? Were there any “surprise costs” or change orders above and beyond the original price promised?

Ask the installer: will the conduit will be visible or hidden? What type of conduit will they use? Most importantly: look them up here to find out if they are a licensed electrical contractor or are operating illegally.

We would be happy to answer any questions you have about solar! Get in touch with us today!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tips & Tricks for Solar Champions  

Here at Third Sun we are sincerely grateful for our customers. We’re grateful for your choice to go solar and your enthusiasm to spread the word with your friends and family. Even if you aren’t a customer, you can still be a Solar Champion.

Become a Solar Champion

Being a Solar Champion is a great way to spread the word about the environmental and financial benefits of choosing solar energy to power your home. What else? You will earn $500 with each referral that purchases solar through Third Sun.

Your friends and family save money too when they choose Third Sun Solar. With your referral, they will receive $250 off the price of their solar energy system.

If you think a friend or family member is ready to talk to us about solar, enter them into the referral page of our website!  

How to talk to friends and family about installing solar

You know what convinced you to go solar. And you know your friends and family best. You are uniquely positioned to tell them why they should choose solar power. We recognize it can be a tricky conversation, but an important one to have, so we’ve included some tips & tricks below to help you!  

And, even if you don’t have a solar system yourself, you’re still invited to be a leader in the clean energy movement. Our Solar Champions program is designed for our customers and the public alike. Through the program, we aspire to provoke dialogue and inspire leaders to get the message out about solar energy. No matter who you are.

Let your friend or family member know that we’ll be reaching out

If you fill out the Solar Champion Referral form, let your referral know that we will be contacting them soon and to be expecting a call. Don’t forget to follow up with them, too. What did they decide to do? What additional information can you provide, or questions can you answer for them? 

A few ways you can ask if you can refer a friend or family member to Third Sun Solar:

“You’ve expressed interest in my solar energy system in the past, and I’m reaching out to see if I could put you in contact with my installer, Third Sun Solar. They will provide a free quote specific to your home with no obligation to purchase! 

“I know we’ve talked in the past about you installing solar on your roof. If you want to learn more, I highly recommend my solar installer, Third Sun Solar. Would you like to put you in contact with them?  Through their referral program, you will receive $250 off the cost of your system if you choose to make the purchase!”  

“The 26% federal tax credit for solar drops at the end of 2022. This program will save you thousands on the upfront cost of your solar system, increasing your net gain in the long run.”

Share your love of the sun on social media!  

An effective way to spread the word about solar: social media! Share photos for your home and your panels and let your followers, friends, and family know about your choice to power your home with green energy. It’s an easy way to start the conversation. (Don’t forget to tag us, we love to see what you’re sharing!) Tag Third Sun Solar, or use the hashtag: #PowerForLife 

Ideas for what to share:

  • Share a photo – have your friends had a chance to see your solar system in person? If not, take a photo and share it with them!
  • Share some production data – we know the data is the most exciting part for many of our customers. Share what you track with friends to help them understand how your system works.
  • Share why going solar was important to you – is the clean energy transition important to you? Are you excited by the increase in home value? Share these details with your referrals, there may be benefits they haven’t imagined.
  • Share your story – what was the biggest obstacle for you? What did you wish you knew at the begging of your journey? What did you learn along the way?

Call our office today to learn more about the Solar Champion Referral program. 877-OWN-SOLAR. We can’t wait to hear from your friends and family!  

Groups Going Solar Together via Solarize Programs

What are these talks of solarize programs and solar co-ops all about?

There has been a lot of press in the Midwest surrounding communities creating group solarize and solar co-op opportunities. But what does this mean for you?

What are solarize and solar co-op programs?

Both programs are locally-organized group-buying opportunities provided by a city, neighborhood, or organization where multiple homes and businesses go solar together as a group. In addition to getting a bulk discount, the group members benefit by learning about solar together and sharing the task of evaluating and selecting a solar installer. These programs have established periods of time for joining, so they are limited time offers.

Why are these programs forming?

Solarize and solar co-op programs can quickly deploy a large amount of solar, and make the process easier and more efficient for all parties. Organizations often offer this type of opportunity as an employee benefit. An important benefit of a group going solar all at one time is that everyone can learn together and share knowledge in addition to the discount.

What are the benefits of these programs?

If you live in an area that has a solarize or solar co-op program already being offered, then:

  • You are in a position to not only take advantage of the 30% Federal Tax Credit, but you will also have the opportunity to purchase a solar array for your home or business at the group-negotiated discount rate. These rates vary by program, and some solarize opportunities present additional grants for eligible homeowners.
  • Joining a solarize or solar co-op allows you to rely on the expertise of your group in choosing a reliable solar installer. Working together with accountants, lawyers, engineers and construction experts in your community helps members feel more confident about choosing solar and a reliable installater.
  • Lastly, taking advantage of these opportunities while they are occurring dramatically increases the environmental benefits for the entire community in which you live or work.

There isn’t a solarize or solar co-op happening where I live or work. Should I wait to go solar?

The time to buy solar is now, even if you live in a community without one of these group-buying opportunities because:

  • Costs for solar have dropped significantly over the last decade, making solar an affordable energy solution.
  • There is currently a 30% Federal Tax Credit being offered.
  • Our clients dramatically lower their annual electric bills by 50-90%, keeping money in their pockets.
  • You might consider organizing your own “group purchase”. Even having a few homes go solar together can lead to savings and efficiency (see below).
  • Easily start your free evaluation by completing this form.

How can I start a solarize or solar co-op program for my community?

Third Sun Solar has experience working with neighbor groups, businesses and churches to offer group-buying opportunities to their neighbors, employees and congregations. We can help walk you thru the process, and offer an incentive package where discounts are spelled out depending on how much solar gets installed. Working with a group saves us money and time, so it’s an easy decision for us to turn this saved money into a discount.

Third Sun Solar has also been selected as a preferred installer for multiple community co-op and solarize programs (for example: GCEA & OH SUN programs). We would be happy to answer your questions about gathering a group together to go solar. For more information, call us: 877-696-7652.

Groups Going Solar Together via Solarize Programs

What are these talks of solarize programs and solar co-ops all about?

There has been a lot of press in the Midwest surrounding communities creating group solarize and solar co-op opportunities. But what does this mean for you?

What are solarize and solar co-op programs?

Both programs are locally-organized group-buying opportunities provided by a city, neighborhood, or organization where multiple homes and businesses go solar together as a group. In addition to getting a bulk discount, the group members benefit by learning about solar together and sharing the task of evaluating and selecting a solar installer. These programs have established periods of time for joining, so they are limited time offers.

Why are these programs forming?

Solarize and solar co-op programs can quickly deploy a large amount of solar, and make the process easier and more efficient for all parties. Organizations often offer this type of opportunity as an employee benefit. An important benefit of a group going solar all at one time is that everyone can learn together and share knowledge in addition to the discount.

What are the benefits of these programs?

If you live in an area that has a solarize or solar co-op program already being offered, then:

  • You are in a position to not only take advantage of the 30% Federal Tax Credit, but you will also have the opportunity to purchase a solar array for your home or business at the group-negotiated discount rate. These rates vary by program, and some solarize opportunities present additional grants for eligible homeowners.
  • Joining a solarize or solar co-op allows you to rely on the expertise of your group in choosing a reliable solar installer. Working together with accountants, lawyers, engineers and construction experts in your community helps members feel more confident about choosing solar and a reliable installater.
  • Lastly, taking advantage of these opportunities while they are occurring dramatically increases the environmental benefits for the entire community in which you live or work.

There isn’t a solarize or solar co-op happening where I live or work. Should I wait to go solar?

The time to buy solar is now, even if you live in a community without one of these group-buying opportunities because:

  • Costs for solar have dropped significantly over the last decade, making solar an affordable energy solution.
  • There is currently a 30% Federal Tax Credit being offered.
  • Our clients dramatically lower their annual electric bills by 50-90%, keeping money in their pockets.
  • You might consider organizing your own “group purchase”. Even having a few homes go solar together can lead to savings and efficiency (see below).
  • Easily start your free evaluation by completing this form.

How can I start a solarize or solar co-op program for my community?

Third Sun Solar has experience working with neighbor groups, businesses and churches to offer group-buying opportunities to their neighbors, employees and congregations. We can help walk you thru the process, and offer an incentive package where discounts are spelled out depending on how much solar gets installed. Working with a group saves us money and time, so it’s an easy decision for us to turn this saved money into a discount.

Third Sun Solar has also been selected as a preferred installer for multiple community co-op and solarize programs (for example: GCEA & OH SUN programs). We would be happy to answer your questions about gathering a group together to go solar. For more information, call us: 877-696-7652.

Top 5 Solar News Stories from 2015

cheers

2015, A Landmark Year for Solar

As we reflect on 2015, it seems likely that it will be a year remembered for landmark actions taken in defense of the planet. The Clean Power Plan passed, the ITC was extended, and a historic international agreement was made in Paris at the COP 21 summit to reduce emissions globally. It was a lot to take in and fully digest, so we decided to pull together a short list of must read articles that wrap up 2015 and get us energized for 2016.

 

 

The future for renewable energy is looking bright!

Cheers to a Happy Solar New Year!

Lennon + McCartney + Solar + B Corporations

Here is an Op-Ed by David Brooks, a conservative columnist for The New York Times. In it, he comments upon The Beatles, creativity, and B Corporations (like Third Sun Solar) — how the confluence of creativity, capitalism and the desire to “do well by doing good” leads to a potent, positive force in American business culture. [Our emphasis added in bold.]

Two minds finding one song
Two minds finding one song

In the current issue of The Atlantic, Joshua Wolf Shenk has a fascinating description of how Paul McCartney and John Lennon created music together. McCartney was meticulous while Lennon was chaotic. McCartney emerged out of a sunny pop tradition. Lennon emerged out of an angst-ridden rebel tradition.

Lennon wrote the song “Help” while in the throes of depression. The song originally had a slow, moaning sound. McCartney suggested a lighthearted counter melody that, as Shenk writes, fundamentally changed and improved the nature of the piece.

Lennon and McCartney came from different traditions, but they had similar tastes. They brought different tendencies to the creative process but usually agreed when the mixture was right. This created the special tension in their relationship. They had a tendency to rip at each other, but each knew ultimately that he needed the other. Even just before his death, Lennon was apparently thinking of teaming up with McCartney once again.

Shenk uses the story to illustrate the myth of the lone genius, to show that many acts of genius are the products of teams or pairs, engaged in collaboration and “co-opetition.” And we have all known fertile opposites who completed each other — when they weren’t trying to destroy each other.

But the Lennon-McCartney story also illustrates the key feature of creativity; it is the joining of the unlike to create harmony. Creativity rarely flows out of an act of complete originality. It is rarely a virgin birth. It is usually the clash of two value systems or traditions, which, in collision, create a transcendent third thing.

Shakespeare combined the Greek honor code (thou shalt avenge the murder of thy father) with the Christian mercy code (thou shalt not kill) to create the torn figure of Hamlet. Picasso combined the traditions of European art with the traditions of African masks. Saul Bellow combined the strictness of the Jewish conscience with the free-floating go-getter-ness of the American drive for success.

Sometimes creativity happens in pairs, duos like Lennon and McCartney who bring clashing worldviews but similar tastes. But sometimes it happens in one person, in someone who contains contradictions and who works furiously to resolve the tensions within.

When you see creative people like that, you see that they don’t flee from the contradictions; they embrace dialectics and dualism. They cultivate what Roger Martin called the opposable mind — the ability to hold two opposing ideas at the same time.

If they are religious, they seek to live among the secular. If they are intellectual, they go off into the hurly-burly of business and politics. Creative people often want to be strangers in a strange land. They want to live in dissimilar environments to maximize the creative tensions between different parts of themselves.

Today we live in a distinct sort of creative environment. People don’t so much live in the contradiction between competing worldviews. We live in a period of disillusion and distrust of institutions.

This has created two reactions. Some monads withdraw back into the purity of their own subcultures. But others push themselves into the rotting institutions they want to reinvent. If you are looking for people who are going to be creative in the current climate, I’d look for people who are disillusioned with politics even as they go into it; who are disenchanted with contemporary worship, even as they join the church; who are disgusted by finance even as they work in finance. These people believe in the goals of their systems but detest how they function. They contain the anxious contradictions between disillusionment and hope.

This creative process is furthest along, I’d say, in the world of B corporations. There are many people today who are disillusioned both with the world of traditional charity and traditional capitalism. Many charities have been warmheartedly but wastefully throwing money at problems, without good management or market discipline. Capitalists have been obsessed with the short-term maximization of shareholder return without much concern for long-term prosperity or other stakeholders.

BCORP

B corporations are a way to transcend the contradictions between the ineffective parts of the social sector and myopic capitalism. Kyle Westaway, a lawyer in this field and the author of the forthcoming “Profit & Purpose,” notes that benefit corporation legal structures have been established in 22 states over the last four years. The 300 or so companies that have registered in this way, like Patagonia [and] Method [and Third Sun Solar], can’t be sued if they fail to maximize profits in order to focus on other concerns. They are seeking to reinvent both capitalism and do-gooder-ism, and living in the contradiction between these traditions.

This suggests a final truth about creativity: that, in every dialectic, there is a search for creative synthesis. Or, as Albert Einstein put it, “You can never solve a problem on the level on which it was created.”

<End of Op-Ed>

That last statement from Albert Einstein is where solar comes in. We cannot solve the problem of reliance upon dirty fossil fuels by digging and burning more of them. We can solve the problem — gradually, one rooftop at a time — by taking it to a different level, by incorporating clean, renewable energy into the mix, and by slowly but definitively breaking our addiction to deadly fuel sources. We won’t solve the problem in my lifetime. But if we start now, we will solve it in our kids’ lifetime. Creatively, cooperatively, and by joining the unlike to create harmony.

You can read the full Op-Ed here.