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Inflation Reduction Act 2022 and Residential Solar Energy

What does the Inflation Reduction Act 2022 mean for Residential Solar Energy?

Have you heard the news?  No need to wait until 2023 to go solar!  

Over the weekend, the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) was passed and today (August 16, 2022) signed into law!  

What does this mean for clean energy improvements at your home?  One of the biggest benefits in the IRA is the tax benefits for solar. 

All solar installations completed in 2022 and for the following decade will be eligible for the Solar Investment tax credit at the full 30% rate! The same incentive also applies to storage. In addition, your system may qualify for an additional 10% or 20% tax credit on top of the 30% baseline. 

But don’t wait! Here’s why it makes sense to go solar now: 

  1. The best Solar Products are available now 
  2. Prices have declined 
  3. Lock in your payback period  
  4. Take advantage of the 30% Tax Credit  

Going solar in 2022 means that for many years down the road, you’ll be sitting back, reaping the rewards of your foresight.  

Will 2022 be the year you go solar? 

For an updated solar proposal, fill out the form below to get started!  

Kokosing Acquires the Assets of Third Sun Solar

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: 

Kokosing acquires the assets of Third Sun Solar 

The acquisition of the assets of a 22-year-old regional solar installation company  

strengthens Kokosing in the fast-growing clean energy sector.  

 

Westerville, OH: Kokosing, Inc., one of the largest family-owned construction companies in the country, announces today that its subsidiary Kokosing Industrial, Inc. has entered into a definitive agreement to purchase the assets of Athens, Ohio-based Third Sun Solar LLC.  The business will be operated as Third Sun Kokosing Solar, building on the reputation and expertise of Third Sun Solar, while leveraging the tremendous engineering, project management, and craft-labor expertise of Kokosing’s ~3,500 team members. 

Highlights of this transaction:  

  • Creation of a full-service solar installation leader to service the rapidly increasing demand of the region’s residential, commercial, and utility scale markets.  
  • Provides Kokosing customers a path to go solar with a trusted partner. 
  • Kokosing provides an enhanced career path, best-in-class training, and a leading compensation package, allowing the Third Sun Kokosing Solar team to deliver safe, high-quality solar installed by well-trained professionals. 
  • Leverages Kokosing’s existing infrastructure across Ohio, Indiana, Michigan, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Virginia, Washington D.C., and Maryland allowing Third Sun Kokosing Solar to better serve customers across a large geographical footprint. 

 

Brady Phillips, a 22-year Kokosing team member who will lead the new division, is excited about joining forces with the experienced team of Third Sun Solar: “This acquisition moves us forward in our journey to bring high quality solar installations to an even bigger market across the Midwest and Mid-Atlantic with improved experiences for our team and for our customers alike.” 

“We started our solar business with the mission To Accelerate the Shift to Clean Energy,” recalls Geoff Greenfield, co-founder of Third Sun Solar.  “As demand for solar skyrockets it has become clear that now is the time to scale our company to take on the climate challenge head on.  With the strength and resources of Kokosing behind us we can scale our impact much faster than continuing on our own.  Speed and size are critical as we race to transition every aspect of our energy system to clean sustainable technologies.  We are focused not just on solar but on energy storage, EV infrastructure, efficiency and electrification as well.”  Greenfield will stay with the organization, taking the position of Director of Solar Strategy. No changes to Third Sun Solar’s historic team, offices, or services are planned other than the centralization of accounting and general administrative services to Kokosing’s Corporate HQ. 

Kokosing President and co-CEO Brett Burgett says that entering this growing sector is an exciting new chapter for his family’s 71-year-old construction company: “Kokosing has a long history of diversification, and after watching solar move from the early adopters to the mainstream, now is the right time to add it to the services our company offers.  We have a proven track record building conventional energy generation projects and building clean energy projects is a natural progression for us.” 

About Third Sun Solar 

Third Sun Solar is Ohio’s leading full service solar installation company, providing top quality design and installation since 2000. We serve residential and commercial clients in Cleveland, Cincinnati, Columbus and beyond. Third Sun Solar is a mission driven business dedicated to accelerating the shift to clean energy. 

About Kokosing, Inc. 

Headquartered in Westerville, Ohio, Kokosing is one of the largest family-owned construction companies in the Midwest and Mid-Atlantic. Kokosing’s primary business lines include industrial, transportation, pipelines, water/wastewater, and marine work. Additionally, Kokosing owns construction material supply companies. Known for unwavering integrity and exceptional safety and quality, Kokosing’s companies provide extensive resources for its customers. 

Media Contact:  

Marina Blosser 

614-212-5618 

mblosser@kokosing.biz 

Certified B Corporation

As part of B Corp Month this March, we’re pulling back the curtain and inviting you in to see what goes on inside a Certified Benefit Corporation  

 

What is a Certified Benefit Corporation?   

A good plan goes a long way. That’s why at Third Sun Solar we bake transparency and accountability into our business model. Being a B Corp means our promise to be better for people, communities, and the planet is locked in, regardless of any future change of management or ownership. 

What goes on behind the scenes? 

Want a shortcut to doing some good? Looking for the B while you shop and buying from Certified Benefit Corporations means you can be sure you’re contributing to better business. 

Our customers know that every dollar they spend is a vote for the direction they want to see the world go. By voting every day on businesses operating with people and the planet at the forefront, our collective impact can make a big difference.   

Here is why 2 of our customers chose Third Sun Solar: 

“Of the other companies I have talked to, Third Sun Solar seems to be the only one who has more of a broader environmental mission as opposed to just making money. I think you will find that that mission is what will give you comfort in their ability to keep you happy with your install long after they leave the project. ”   

It is obvious that the employees are committed to the product and the mission of clean energy. We’ve had our panels for several months, and everything is functioning well. Most importantly, thanks to our experience, many of our friends have seen that getting solar panels is attainable and are looking into it for themselves.” 

Environment 

Being a B Corp means not only caring for the planet but putting it first in our processes and decisions. Because we know business can make a big difference. It’s why we make sure that:  

  • We implement recommendations from a zero-waste assessment done for our business. That looks like: reusing package materials, composting in our office kitchen, upcycling or recycling all possible items, and eliminating disposable products   
  • We produce nearly 100% of our electricity at our office from solar  
  • Our solar power systems on homes and buildings eliminate greenhouse gases in a state which is powered primarily by fossil fuels   
  • We purchase carbon offsets for our vehicle fleet, currently 108 mT a year 

 

Community   

Our communities make us who we are. That’s why we’re committed to giving back whenever we can. 

To date, Third Sun Solar has donated 5 solar systems to non-profits across Ohio, with 3 more in the works. 

We also make annual donations to non-profits selected by our team.  

 

Teammates 

Our workers take care of our business, so we take care of our workers. Here are just a few examples of how we prioritize employee well-being at Third Sun Solar: 

  • We hire and review our team based on their commitment to the B Corp values, our mission, and our values
  • We believe that an involved and empowered team leads to better results, so we offer transparency on our operations, financials, and metrics with the entire company
  • Team members are paid above a living wage
  • We share profits on an annual basis
  • We believe that pay scale is an important part of economic equity. Our 2020 pay ratio was 4.6: 1 compared to the national average of 144: 1 and the average among B-Corps of  7:1

Our customers and community care because we treat our employees well- it’s just that simple.   

Employees stay with us longer as a result. They represent our values and build a collective understanding of how to best serve customers. From the sales process through the project management process all the way through to installation and commissioning – our collective experience helps us better serve our customers.   

If you look at our reviews, notice how many of them mention our team members. Many even by name. Not to brag, but our team is excellent. They make a lasting impression on our customers and the communities they serve.   

An Inclusive Economy 

B Corps are businesses working to build stronger communities, more inclusive and equitable companies, and a healthier planet.   

Third Sun Solar is part of Amicus, a member-owned cooperative made up of many independently owned solar companies. This summer, to racial equity, Amicus launched a JEDI group (Justice, Equity, Diversity, Inclusivity) to tackle inclusivity at our various solar companies.   

Third Sun Solar’s Chief Operating Officer, Roberta, leads the HR sub-group of the JEDI group.   

When asked about the work that the HR policy team is doing, Roberta says, “In the HR policy team, we are doing things like reviewing language and policies to create an inclusive and welcoming environment to retain and attract team members. We have a lot of good discussions and look at policies, job descriptions, handbook language, position postings, and all things HR with a focus on justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion.”    

In 2021 we launched the Solar for All podcast. This podcast uses interviews to amplify how our industry can be better at addressing historically oppressive social and economic systems. 

Our B Corp History and Story  

When we work together, we have the power to create something better. That’s why we believe in collaboration over competition.   

As a B Corp, we love to work and collaborate with other B Corps. We’re better together!  

At the time we were certified, we also had just begun discussions with some of our peer solar companies in other parts of the country about banding together in some way (the birth of Amicus) and several of those companies that we really respected were B Corps (Southern Energy Management, Namaste Solar, Sun Light and Power, Technicians for Sustainability 

When we were first certified in 2012, we were one of only 3 companies in Ohio. Now there are 14. So,  B Corps are still pretty sparse in this state. We are happy to talk to any business that is interested in our experience or getting certified themselves.    

  

Women’s History Month and B Corp  

And like most years, B Corp month coincides with Women’s History Month.  

In celebration this year, we would like to highlight co-founder, owner, leader, and mentor Michelle Greenfield. Like many consciously minded leaders, Michelle led the charge at Third Sun Solar to make the business a Certified Benefit Corporation.

Why is important to her?   

Michelle says: “My mission in business has been not only to do our business (solar) but to show that all businesses are not evil, profit-hungry at all costs. When I was in college, oh so long ago in the 80s, this was a novel idea, and there were a few stand-out businesses that I identified that were doing their business and striving to do no harm. I have always held out that model as how I wanted to work.”  

Green Power from Utility or Solar Installation?

Should I buy Green Power from my utility or look into rooftop solar?

Purchasing green power from your utility company is a good option for individuals looking for ways to power their lives with renewable energy.
 
If you’re considering purchasing a green power plan – you may be looking into the pros and cons of a solar installation, too.
 
People often start looking into rooftop solar solutions for two reasons: environmental & cost-savings.
 
While purchasing green power from your energy supplier can help you meet one of those goals… it can’t help you with both.
 
Keep reading to understand the benefits of both options. If your goals include cost reduction over time, we’ll spell out why rooftop solar is a better fit for you.
 

What is a Green Power plan?

Often electric utilities will offer you the option to pay for a green power plan. Through this plan, you’ll buy electricity from renewable energy sources. These sources include wind power, solar power, hydropower, or some combination of all.
 
The cost of this plan comes at a premium. But, it ensures that your electric supply comes from renewable energy sources.
 

Economics 

Cost savings is the biggest difference between green power and rooftop solar. 
 
Purchasing a green energy plan from your electricity supplier does get you clean power. But doesn’t protect you from cost inflation over time.
 
With a green power plan, like all other ratepayers, you’ll continue to see the cost of your electricity bill escalate. And, over time, you won’t gain any ownership over your power.
 
One of solar’s most significant benefits is protection from that inflation. 
 
You pay a flat rate and “own” your power with solar. After a period of time, the solar system will have paid for itself (think: avoided electricity costs). You own the power plant making energy for your home from that moment forward.
 
You produce electricity through solar that you own rather than “renting” and paying a supplier for it month after month.
 

When Green Power is the right choice

 
Green power purchasing is an ideal option if your site isn’t suitable for solar. What types of homes aren’t a good fit for a solar array?
 
Maybe you rent your home. Perhaps your home is in the woods surrounded by big shading trees. Even if you don’t live in the woods, you may have big trees that surround your home and shade your roof and no available yard space for a ground-mounted solar system. Or, your roof has lots of dormers and little unobstructed roof space.
 
These are all reasons why solar might not be the best fit for you right now. And, if you’re still interested in reducing your carbon footprint… purchasing a green power plan is a great fit!
 

Green Power plans plus rooftop solar 

Some of our solar customers buy green power through their utility. For them, buying a green power plan ensures that when the solar system isn’t generating enough electricity to meet all their energy needs, they can still power their homes with clean energy. It’s a win-win.
 
Overall, green power plans are an excellent way for anyone to get involved in the clean energy movement.
 
And, if cost savings is on your goal list, start looking into solar! Fill out the form below for a free consultation and price quote for a solar energy system.

Book Recommendations in Honor of Black History Month

In 2021 the Third Sun Solar team launched the Solar for All podcast, hosted by founder and CEO Geoff Greenfield.  

On the podcast, guests range from business leaders and policy advocates to the “boots on the roof” in the rapidly diversifying workforce of the clean energy sector.   

Each episode examines what is happening now on the front lines of change as we strive toward an inclusive and intersectional energy sector that works for all people.   

At the end of each show, Geoff asks guests for book recommendations. In Honor of Black History Month, we’ve highlighted a few books that have been recommended by guests on the show. We hope you’ll enjoy! 

Book Recommendations

So You Want to Talk About Race

Author: Ijeoma Oluo 

“Protests against racial injustice and white supremacy have galvanized millions around the world. The stakes for transformative conversations about race could not be higher. Still, the task ahead seems daunting, and it’s hard to know where to start. How do you tell your boss her jokes are racist? Why did your sister-in-law hang up on you when you had questions about police reform? How do you explain white privilege to your white, privileged friend?

 

In So You Want to Talk About Race, Ijeoma Oluo guides readers of all races through subjects ranging from police brutality and cultural appropriation to the model minority myth in an attempt to make the seemingly impossible possible: honest conversations about race, and about how racism infects every aspect of American life.”

Synopsis: The book outlines a plan for simultaneously solving socioeconomic inequality and environmental problems.  The Green Collar Economy is the first environmental book written by an African-American to make the New York Times bestseller list. Van Jones is also the host of a new podcast “Uncommon Ground” in which Van explores with his guests some of the big topics affecting us all in America.

How to Be an Antiracist

Author: Ibram X. Kendi

“Kendi weaves an electrifying combination of ethics, history, law, and science with his own personal story of awakening to antiracism. This is an essential work for anyone who wants to go beyond the awareness of racism to the next step: contributing to the formation of a just and equitable society.”

Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents

Author: Isabel Wilkerson

“In this brilliant book, Isabel Wilkerson gives us a masterful portrait of an unseen phenomenon in America as she explores, through an immersive, deeply researched narrative and stories about real people, how America today and throughout its history has been shaped by a hidden caste system, a rigid hierarchy of human rankings.
Beyond race, class, or other factors, there is a powerful caste system that influences people’s lives and behavior and the nation’s fate. Linking the caste systems of America, India, and Nazi Germany, Wilkerson explores eight pillars that underlie caste systems across civilizations, including divine will, bloodlines, stigma, and more. Using riveting stories about people–including Martin Luther King, Jr., baseball’s Satchel Paige, a single father and his toddler son, Wilkerson herself, and many others–she shows the ways that the insidious undertow of caste is experienced every day. She documents how the Nazis studied the racial systems in America to plan their out-cast of the Jews; she discusses why the cruel logic of caste requires that there be a bottom rung for those in the middle to measure themselves against; she writes about the surprising health costs of caste, in depression and life expectancy, and the effects of this hierarchy on our culture and politics. Finally, she points forward to ways America can move beyond the artificial and destructive separations of human divisions, toward hope in our common humanity.
Beautifully written, original, and revealing, Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents is an eye-opening story of people and history, and a reexamination of what lies under the surface of ordinary lives and of American life today.”

Between the World and Me

Author: Ta-Nehisi Coates

 

Ohio SB 61 Passes: Limits HOA Restrictions on Solar Installations

On January 26th, the Ohio Senate passed Senate Bill 61 (SB 61). This bill would protect homeowners from unfair restrictions on solar installations. This is excellent news for all homeowners who live in communities governed by Homeowners Associations (HOA’s).   

The bill is now in the Ohio House of Representatives for further consideration.   

Homeowners Association & Solar Installation    

Across Ohio, some neighborhoods are governed by HOA’s. Historically, HOA’s rely on restrictive rules that guide their decision-making. HOA rules oversee how property in a neighborhood is used and styled. Ultimately, these rules exist to maintain uniform aesthetics in a neighborhood.  

Currently, the law in Ohio allows HOA’s to restrict solar access for homeowners.   

Often, we find that HOA’s do not have rules that govern solar, so it falls on the HOA board to evaluate requests. Once an HOA makes a decision, the decision affects not only the resident who has brought their desire to go solar forward but can affect future rules for residents who wish to go solar.   

If you’re a member of an HOA and interested in going solar, check out our guide to working with your HOA.  

Understanding SB 61

SB 61 would nonetheless let associations “establish reasonable restrictions” on solar panels in their bylaws.

So, there is still some wiggle room for HOA’s to maintain solar restrictions.

According to a quote from Ohio Sen. Nickie Antonio, one of the representatives who introduced the bill, published in an article from Energy News US:

“The whole tenor and intention of the bill is to make things possible,” Antonio said. There needs to be some “wiggle room” to cover unforeseen circumstances or future developments, she said. But the expectation is that associations will “have rational discussions and not automatically ban solar.”

 

Next Steps…

We look forward to keeping you updated as Ohio SB 61 continues to move through the Ohio General Assembly.   

What’s the Difference Between a Kilowatt and a Kilowatt Hour?

What’s the Difference Between a Kilowatt and a Kilowatt Hour?

If you’ve heard these terms (kilowatt and kilowatt hour) in the past but don’t know what they mean – don’t worry about it. You aren’t alone. Most ratepayers don’t.     

But understanding these concepts, basic energy terms, and the difference between power and energy can save you confusion and stress when looking at and trying to understand your electricity bill.   

Once you understand the terms – you’ll be able to save time and money and make better decisions for you and your family regarding your home energy needs.   

You’ll also be able to make a more informed decision when you start exploring solar energy.   

So – what’s the difference? 

Kilowatt   

  • Kilowatt = 1,000 watts  
  • Watts = power   

In solar, a kilowatt is a measure of power, precisely the rate of energy generated at a specific time.   

Say your LED TV has a power rating of 80 watts. That means it takes 80 watts, or .08 kW, to turn on the TV. A plasma TV of the same size, on the other hand, takes 220 watts or .22 kW to turn on. (That’s why LED and Energy Star rated appliances are better!)  

When you see a solar system with an associated kilowatt size – like a 9-kilowatt solar array – this number refers to the maximum possible power output of the system. In other words, it’s the nameplate capacity of the system. So, on the sunniest day, at noon when the sun is high in the sky, a 9-kilowatt solar energy system will produce 9 kilowatts of solar power in real-time.   

We calculate a solar array’s kilowatt number from the total number of solar panels used. Say each solar panel has a wattage rating of 300 watts. If you install 30 solar panels, you’ll have a 9000 watt or 9-kilowatt solar system.   

If you have a solar energy system, your monitoring will show a fluctuation of power output for the system as the sun rises and falls throughout the day and as the seasons change. Different factors affect the power output of a solar energy system. These factors can include the time of day, time of year, weather, ambient temperature, panel shading, and more.   

After understanding that kilowatts equal the power output of a solar energy system, it’s important to understand kilowatt-hours. Kilowatt-hours tell the story of how much power a system can produce over a specific timeframe.   

Kilowatt-hour  

A Kilowatt-hour is a measure of power output over time. So, if our 9-kilowatt system produced 9 kilowatts continuously for a whole hour, it produced 9 kilowatt-hours.   

Using kilowatt-hours, we can draw a more accurate picture of the production of a solar array over time.   

When looking at a recent electricity bill, you will see that your electric provider has billed you for kilowatt-hours consumed.   

Your solar energy system must be sized to offset the kilowatt-hours you typically use at home. Our solar experts know that there are variables to consider when sizing your solar array: weather patterns change, your energy consumption fluctuates as your family grows, or you add an electric vehicle

That is why a solar consultation is a key step – your Solar Consultant needs to know a lot about your current energy use, available space for solar, and future plans to size a system that will meet your home energy needs for 30+ years.   

Energy production guarantee 

Does your solar installer offer an energy production guarantee? When evaluating solar, you want to trust that your solar system will perform as expected. An energy production guarantee helps you rest assured that, no matter how much you trust your installer, your investment is protected if the solar energy system does not produce as much energy as was projected.  

Understanding these key concepts will help you make a more informed decision when you decide to go solar. 

When you’re ready – reach out!   (Or reach out if you’re still wondering “What’s the Difference Between a Kilowatt and a Kilowatt Hour?!) 

 

5 Solar Energy Goals for the New Year   

Set your Solar Energy Goals for the New Year!

It’s that time of year when your feed is brimming with content about resolutions and goals. A lot of the goal-oriented content we see is about health, fitness, wellness, and financial planning.  

Setting achievable goals is important to us. One of our core values is growth. And a big part of achieving growth is setting goals. A goal based on learning something new is a noble goal: reading, discovering, talking to someone in the pursuit of knowledge. After all, that is where change begins.  

Our intention with this post is not to add to all that “New Year” noise but instead to help you to learn something new.  

If solar is on your list this year – whether you plan just to learn more or your goal is to actually take the leap – we hope this article can help you.  

  

1. Educate Yourself About Solar Energy  

There sure is a lot to learn. We speak with so many people every day who are just starting on their solar journey.  

Your Guide to Going Solar is a free eBook download and is where we recommend you start.  

Some of the biggest questions we here are: 

  • How does it work?  
  • Is solar the future?  
  • Does solar energy even work in Ohio 
  • What about in the Snow 
  • Do I need batteries if I go solar?  

If you prefer learning through video, head on over to our YouTube page. If you’re interested in digging deep on a particular topic, check out our solar 101 webinar series. This list of webinar recordings is comprehensive and covers many frequently asked questions.  

  

2. Keep Track of Your Energy Prices  

It’s always good to reflect – especially on the money we spend. Look back at your energy prices over the last few years. Do you notice any changes in the rates that you are paying for your electricity?   

Solar energy allows you to own your power instead of paying varying and increasing monthly payments to the utility company.   

We predict that energy prices will continue to rise between infrastructure maintenance and grid modernization over the next decade or two. And we’re not alone.  

Escalating energy costs is crucial to consider when evaluating a solar energy system for your home.   

  

3. Understand Net Metering  

Net metering is what makes residential solar energy systems so prevalent in OhioIt is a simple concept, but it is new to most people when they start to research solar energy.  

Net-metering allows you to store the energy you produce in the electric grid in the form of credits. Excess electricity travels back into the power grid when your panels produce more energy than you need. You get credit for that energy. When you pull energy from the grid, you can use those credits to pay for grid energy when your panels aren’t making power.  

If you’re interested in understanding net metering better, this webinar recording will be right up your alley. 

  

 4. Find Out About the Financial Benefits of Solar Energy in Ohio  

Will solar save you money? Will you… make money? If you are on Facebook, you have undoubtedly seen those claims.

If you have always wondered what the payback is, now is a great time to find out. The best way to understand is to get a custom quote for your home. We evaluate three main factors to bring you a custom quote:  

  • Available space (roof or ground) 
  • Annual electricity use at your home 
  • Your budget for solar    

We’re thrilled that solar energy is now more accessible to more and more people in Ohio.  

As the market has grown over the past 20 years, so too have financing options. Now, Third Sun Solar offers customers new and improved financing options and an opportunity to have 12 months without payments on their solar energy system.   

The Solar Investment Tax Credit (ITC) is a piece of the financial picture to consider. In 2021 and 2022 the ITC allows you to take 26% of the system’s cost off of taxes you owe. The ITC will drop to 22% in 2023. Read more about the current state of the ITC here.  

Often, folks bundle the purchase of a new Electric Vehicle with a home solar energy system. If you’re thinking of doing the same, get up to speed on Ohio’s Electric Vehicle incentives here.

5. Get A No Obligation Solar Estimate   

If you’ve always wondered if your home is a suitable candidate for a solar energy system – find out!  

Start planning now if you think 2022 might be the year you go solar.  

Most installers get pretty busy in the spring and summer months when the sun is high in the sky, and people are thinking about all the solar energy their roof could be capturing. Little do most know that wintertime is the best time to plan for that spring installation.   

It takes time to design and permit a quality solar system like most other construction work. Think about it: you could get your solar system installed just in time to take advantage of those bright spring sun-rays.  

Maximize your savings in 2022 by planning early and getting an install in time for Ohio’s peak sun days in spring, summer, and fall.   

 

There is a lot more to find out…  

We know that when you’re first looking, you have many questions, and we hope we’ve helped answer those. 

Also, we know that sometimes it is easier to get questions answered by a real person. We pride ourselves in our no-pressure, consultative and educational sales approach. Feel free to reach out when you’re ready – we are just a phone call away.  

Happy new year to you and yours from the Third Sun Solar team!  

Case Study: Giving the Gift of Solar

This year we talked with one of our clients, Kay, who was gifted a solar energy system by her mother-in-law, Sara.

Brad, Kay & Family

Brad and Kay were in the process of building their forever home on a rural piece of land in southeastern Ohio when they first started seriously considering solar energy.

In recent years the couple had been looking into solar; they were both curious about it.

You may know from experience, but there is a whole lot to think about when building a house. The planning phase is the best time to plan for solar, but knowing when to throw a solar installation into the mix can be tricky. Brad and Kay were choosing vendors, suppliers, appliances, and making big decisions about their home. As they were chatting about the various considerations, solar energy came up, and Sara decided to gift them the solar system.

All in, it was the perfect gift: It was something Brad and Kay wanted, was a good environmental decision, it would set an example for the grandkids, and the solar system would offset the young family’s electrical costs for 30 years or more to come.

The Motivation

The whole family is environmentally driven.

“We are very aware of our carbon footprint. We know that the future is green. And we want to go in that direction,” Kay said when asked what first inspired her to look into clean energy.

Kay and Brad compost and recycle. They like to travel, enjoy nature, and most importantly, want to leave a healthy planet for their family.

The couple has a 4-year-old, a 2-year-old, and one on the way. For Brad and Kay and Grandma Sara, too, setting an excellent example for their children and creating a sustainable world for them is what matters most.

Sara lives in Anchorage, Alaska now, but grew up in Gallipolis, a town in southeast Ohio. She left Ohio in 1997 to join the Air Force. She’s a no plastic bags, composter, recycler, and renewable energy type of person at heart.

She says: “If I could talk anyone into it, I would.”

Sara is worried about climate change. Where she lives in Alaska, the effects of climate change are increasingly visible. She’s experiencing rising temperatures, receding glaciers, permafrost melting, which makes the homes in her community less stable, and eroding beaches that destroy homes.

When speaking about her family in southeast Ohio, Sara says: “My goal in life is to start taking them [the grandkids] on trips to get to know the world. If I can convince them to do their part, I’ve done my part.”

Choosing a Vendor

Sara asked Kay to do the research, and she did. Kay learned about solar, got the quotes, and when they were ready, Sara made the purchase.

Sara even got them a backup generator to ensure they had power access when the grid went down.

What did Kay and Brad learn while exploring solar options for their family? The couple learned that the cost was high, but the cost benefits and payback were something they hadn’t imagined.

What do they like most?

  • The benefit of low electric bills
  • Aesthetics – the solar panels, aren’t seen from the front of the house, and the black-on-black panels look good on their roof
  • Quick installation – during the pandemic, having long waits for items and long construction timelines was typical – a 2-3 day solar install shocked them!

Why did the couple choose Third Sun Solar? Kay says: “everyone was so friendly and excited. You can tell the people liked working there.”

If you’re looking for a unique, impactful gift for someone special this holiday season, consider giving the gift of solar to a loved one. It will no doubt have a lasting impact.

 

Solar Case Study Dayton Ohio

We’ve loved getting to spend time with Dayton Ohio customer Ellis Willis over the past year. He’s a great solar advocate!   

Ellis is a retired city employee and adjunct professor at a local college.

He and his wife are very active with their family. They have young grandsons and one of the big reasons they wanted to go solar was to give them a better world to grow up in as they reduce their carbon footprint.  

Also, the financial perks made sense too… 

“Simply the day I turned my solar switch on, I turned my power bills off. My bills are zero. And typically, there is a small credit at the end of each month.”
Ellis Willis
Solar Homeowner, Dayton, Ohio