Solar Company Columbus Ohio

Our solar company has been working in Columbus Ohio for a long time. Many of our employees and customers live and work in Columbus, Ohio. Our capital state is home to Ohio State University and has a diverse economy – from the government to education, insurance, banking, and healthcare. The greater Columbus area is vast and sprawling and, in recent years, has been listed among the fastest-growing cities in the United States.

As we work in Ohio, we are excited to see more Columbus neighbors reach out, interested to begin their solar journey.

Visit our Columbus page to learn about all things solar in your city!

Where we Work in the Columbus Area

We work across the greater Columbus region- extending well beyond Columbus too. Here are just a few areas where we offer our full turnkey solar installation service experience:

  • Clintonville
  • Franklinton  
  • Downtown  
  • Near East Side  
  • Short North  
  • Upper Arlington  
  • German Village  
  • Hilliard   
  • Gahanna  
  • Bexley  
  • Grove City  
  • New Albany  
  • Dublin  
  • Pickerington  
  • Powell  
  • Blacklick   
  • Canal Winchester  
  • Reynoldsburg 

Working with your Utility in Columbus Ohio  

Most homes in Ohio are services by American Electric Power (AEP). AEP, like all other investor-owned utilities in the state of Ohio, is required to offer their customers net metering.     

What is net-metering?   

Net-metering allows you to store the energy you produce in the electric grid in the form of credits.   

When you produce more energy than you need, excess electricity travels back into the power grid. Energy sent back into the grid goes to power your neighbors’ homes. These credits appear on your monthly electric bill to help you keep track.    

During sunny summer months, when your solar system produces more than the energy you are using, you bank up credits. Your home uses more power than your solar system makes during the winter months, and you use up the credits you’ve earned.       

There are other rules that AEP is required to follow, being that they are an investor-owned utility. Your Columbus-based solar consultant works with homeowners in your area every day and will be able to answer any questions you have that may be specific to your location in Columbus.   


Solar Power Incentives and Tax Credits, Columbus Ohio  

Unfortunately, the city of Columbus, Ohio, or any city in Ohio for that matter, has specific solar incentives available to their residents.   

But, anyone who qualifies can take advantage of the 26% Investment Tax Credit.   

Otherwise known as the solar investment tax credit, federal investment tax credit, or ITC for short, this tax credit gives the solar system owner the ability to deduct 26% of the system cost from taxes owed.    

Get up to speed on the solar investment tax credit here.  


Choosing a Solar Company in Columbus Ohio   

Our top questions list for any of our customers looking to hire a full turnkey solar installer:  

  • How long have they been in business?   
  • How many projects have they done?   
  • Do they provide references? When you call those references, what do they say?   
  • Does your installer have a fully trained & licensed electrician on staff?    
  • Do their customers tend to stick with them?   
  • Does the installer have NABCEP certificate holders on staff?   
  • Are they BBB certified?   
  • How long is the workmanship warranty?     
  • Will they tell you if solar will not work well for you (due to roof condition, shading, or other factors)?  


Are you interested in a pre-prepared solar quote checklist? Download one here.   


Top Solar Company in Columbus Ohio

Solar power in Ohio has been dramatically changing and increasing in the past few years.

Third Sun Solar is Ohio’s longest-standing solar installer. We’ve been pleasing customers since 2000.

With over 1,250 projects completed in those years, we have plenty of references, reviews, and testimonials available. Third Sun always has licensed electricians and NABCEP certified professionals on staff.

Third Sun works closely with homeowners to explore all options to go solar at their homes. For some homes, solar simply doesn’t make sense… Third Sun tells homeowners when this is the case.

We love working collaboratively and in consultation with our neighbors in Ohio to help them make the best decision for their clean energy future.

Are you interested in getting a quote for your Columbus, Ohio, area home from Third Sun Solar?

Please fill out the form below to learn even more regional information from our experts & become a part of Columbus, Ohio’s growing clean energy movement!

Installing Solar In Ohio? 7 Things You Should Know  

Twenty years ago, when people first found out we installed solar in Ohio, they said: “you must have guts!”  

At that time, quite a few things were different. Prices were much higher, the technology wasn’t as advanced, and the number of Ohioans willing to invest was simply less than it is today.  

These days in Ohio, we see solar booming across the state- from municipal solar going up on government buildings in Cuyahoga County to libraries in rural Ohio to food pantries in Central Ohio and residential solar sprinkled in neighborhoods across the state.  

The market is bustling, and we’re so glad to see clean energy becoming commonplace in Ohio.  

Each state has different rules, regulations, incentives, and markets for solar energy. So, if you’re considering solar and doing research online: make sure what you’re reading is Ohio-specific.  

If you’re starting your research and wondering what you need to know when considering solar in Ohio, we’ve covered the essential bases in this article.  


1. Net-Metering rules in Ohio 

Your utility company is required to compensate you for the extra energy you produce in Ohio. 

The policy that requires compensation for excess solar generation is called net-metering. Net-metering increases the economic benefit of solar power by crediting you for the extra power your solar energy system produces.  

So, when you crank out 200% of what you use during sunny July, you bank credits that you’ll use to purchase utility power during the months where you don’t produce 100% of what you use.  

The amount of energy you produce and use will vary over the course of the year. Net metering helps you account for this difference by crediting you for the excess electricity your panels produce so you can use it later.  


2. Net Excess Generation  

Ohio’s energy market is de-regulated.  

So, the rate you’re credited for the power you return to the grid varies between different utility providers. Electric companies credit you at a net excess generation rate. The State of Ohio’s net metering policy does not require utilities to credit energy you produce at the full retail rate.   

Additionally, using credits for fixed charges on your bill (distribution charges, other fees) varies between electric suppliers.   

An experienced solar installer will help you understand your utility’s net excess generation rate is and how your utility handles fixed charges. 


3. Understanding the Advertisements  

We’ve seen a lot of wonky advertising over the years. And it’s getting weirder- maybe you’ve noticed. You’re not alone; we’ve scratched our heads about those ads on Facebook, too.  

Some claim that you’ll get cash back when you go solar. The truth is: there is no “special program” or event a government-issued solar stimulus program. To receive money back when you purchase your system, you’re simply borrowing more money than your solar system costs and getting some of it back.  

Some solar companies misleadingly use the word “free” in their ads. Actually, what they’re referring to is a zero money down, long-term, low-interest loan. Often, they offer what appears to be a very low interest rate, but they secretly add 15 – 25% to the cost of the system to buy down the rate from their loan partner.  


4. Solar in the Wintertime  

Can my solar panels produce energy if they are covered in snow? No, a solid covering of snow all but shuts off production. The good news is that overall production loss from the snow is minimal when looking at performance on an annual basis. Losing a day of production in January is a fraction of a day in July. 

Unless covered in snow, solar panels are more efficient in cold conditions. Like most electronics, solar panels function better at colder temperatures than under intense heat.   

Here at Third Sun Solar, our team takes winter’s shorter days, snowfall, and the orientation of sunlight into account when estimating the output of your system.  


5. Rural Cooperatives  

If your utility supplier in Ohio is a rural cooperative: pay attention to this.  

Because rural co-ops are member-owned and not required to follow regulations set out by the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio (PUCO), they can set their own net metering rules.  

Rural electric co-ops in Ohio are not required to offer net metering like investor-owned utility companies are. Most of them do, however, not all.   

Because there isn’t one standard for the 24 rural electric co-ops, solar installers need to be familiar with the local rules, rates, and regulations. 

And if you know that your rural co-op has policies that disincentivize solar production – become an advocate! If you’re part of a co-op- use your vote, attend public meetings, and make your voice heard! Here is one example of our customers who had to advocate at the local level to get solar.   


6. Ohio State and Local Incentives  

The truth is, there aren’t any local or state incentives for solar in Ohio. That’s the way it’s been for a while now.  

Recent legislation has aimed at making solar even more inaccessible. While this legislation didn’t affect the economics for residential solar, it’s an indication of the priorities of our state government.  

Until 2023, the Federal Tax Credit for solar remains available to homeowners and stands as the most considerable cost savings. We hope – but we aren’t sure if there will be state or federal incentives on the horizon after that.  

Otherwise known as the solar investment tax credit, federal investment tax credit, or ITC for short, this tax credit gives the solar system owner the ability to deduct 26% of the system cost from taxes owed. 

For a long time, the tax credit allowed you to recoup 30% of solar system costs. 

The step-down schedule began in 2020 when the tax credit dropped from 30% to 26%. The stepdown was paused for two years when the federal government signed the 2020 Covid relief bill. So, homeowners have until the end of 2022 to claim the 26% tax credit benefit. In 2023 the tax credit will drop to 22%, then down to 0% for homeowners in 2024 (a 10% tax credit will remain in place for commercial solar projects). 

7. Solar Energy Storage 

There are a few different reasons choose to install battery backup with their solar energy systems.  

Number one: We’ve seen utility rates escalate at about 3% per year for the past ten years. We know rates will increase as the grid faces necessary upgrades, and many utilities consider a time-of-use rate structure, where electricity will cost more during peak demand hours.  

Solar energy storage allows you to consume more of the solar energy you generate, maximizing your solar investment, increasing independence, and lowering your carbon footprint.  

Number two: power during an outage. In some places in Ohio, blackouts are common. We see an uptick in interest in solar battery backup anytime a significant weather event disrupts the grid and causes blackout. Solar batteries assure you have power in the event of a grid outage.   

Installing a Solar Farm in Ohio

Over the past decade, solar in Ohio has boomed across the state. Increasingly, projects producing multiple megawatts (MW) of power are the norm. Before 2018, most solar projects in Ohio were residential, agricultural, or commercial and powered homes and facilities onsite. Today – solar farms and utility-scale solar is on the rise.  

What are Solar Farms?  

A solar farm is a large installation of solar PV panels that absorb energy from the sun, convert it into electricity, and send that electricity to the power grid for distribution and consumption by customers like you. 

Rural areas with sizeable amounts of available land are ideal for installing many solar panels that produce multiple megawatts of electricity. This electricity usually powers the local community or contributes to the larger national grid.  

Usually, utility companies or local governments finance these solar installation projects due to the sheer volume and high initial investment needed for a project of this scale.  

According to the Ohio State University Extension’s Farmland Owners Guide to Solar Leasing:

 “Two primary differences between commercial and residential solar projects and utility-scale solar projects are that utility-scale solar projects are typically greater than 5 MW, and the electricity generated is interconnected to the electric distribution or transmission grid. Under a utility-scale solar model, either an electrical utility owns the project or an independent project owner enters into a power purchase agreement to sell electricity to wholesale utility buyers.”  

Interested in Learning More About Utility-Scale Solar for your Property?  

We are excited by your commitment to accelerating the shift to clean energy in our state.  

The development of solar farms is not in our wheelhouse here at Third Sun Solar. However, we have some resources to share with you to get you started.  

We believe this is the best place to start if you’re interested in developing a solar farm in Ohio: Ohio State University Extension, Utility-Scale Solar Development, Solar Leasing Resources.  

Our specialty

At Third Sun, we specialize in full turnkey, grid-interactive solar system design, quoting, permitting, procurement, and installation for residential and commercial projects.  If you’re interested in a solar installation to power your home or business, complete the form below!

Home Solar Energy Production Guarantee

So, what is a home solar energy production guarantee?  

When you purchase a solar system, you will have many questions: how can I be sure that this technology will perform the way I was told it would?  

Building trust with your installer, reading reviews, checking references are all wonderful places to start.  

But, for added peace of mind and security, a built-in Energy Production Guarantee does not hurt!  

Third Sun Solar offers Omnidian Energy Production Guarantee 

When you invest in a solar system, you are investing in a long term solution. You count on your solar system to produce a certain amount of electricity each month, offsetting the electricity you take from the grid and lowering your electricity bills.  

One way we make clients more comfortable making this investment is by offering an energy production guarantee.  

This cashback energy production guarantee is provided through Omnidian. Read on to understand the benefits of a home solar energy production guarantee as well as the additional benefits you will receive through the program.  

How does it work?   

When you sign up for a solar evaluation at your home, your installer makes predictions about the amount of energy your solar system will make each year. They will use local weather data, the pitch of your roof, the footprint of where the solar system will go, and the panels you choose, among a few other factors.   

All of these calculations go into a prediction that Third Sun backs up with an energy production guarantee.   

In the chance that our predictions are off, and your solar system produces 95% or less energy annually than we told you it would: you are reimbursed in cash for the difference.   

Be aware when comparing solar installers: not all companies guarantee that the solar system will produce as much power as they say it will.   

The energy production guarantee comes with professional around-the-clock monitoring.   

With this service, you’re notified of solar system underperformance, often before you notice.   

If there is a maintenance issue, the Omnidian team will notify you, and our service team will come out to resolve the issue.  

What’s the difference between the energy production guarantee and the Third Sun Solar workmanship warranty?  

To give our clients the confidence to take control of their energy future by going solar, we offer a 20-year workmanship warranty, which we back up with our 20 years in business.   

The workmanship warranty works alongside the energy production guarantee. It guarantees our workmanship for 20 years. If any problems with your system are determined to result from faulty workmanship, any parts or labor costs are covered by the 20-year workmanship warranty.   

And, the energy production guarantee + monitoring will let us know if any issues need addressing.   

If there are, it is in our best interest to fix them ASAP.   

Why do I need a production guarantee if my panels have a Manufacturer Warranty?  

The first thing to consider is that a Solar Panel Manufacturer warranty covers the part itself – not the labor to de and re-install the panel. The energy production guarantee covers that gap.   

Second, the manufacturer warranty guarantees that a panel will produce a certain amount of power on its own. The manufacturer warranty doesn’t warranty things like weather variations that could decrease solar system performance. Again, the energy production guarantee covers that gap.   

Program Highlights – Omnidian Energy Production Guarantee   

  • 95% Energy Guarantee  
  • 100% Covered Maintenance (including wiring and inverters)   
  • 100% Peace of Mind  
  • 24/7 Professional Monitoring  
  • Proactive Service Dispatch  
  • Live Support and Diagnostics  
  • The plan is pre-paid for five years with new solar systems  

Ready for a free solar evaluation of your home?   

An Up to Date Guide to The Solar Investment Tax Credit

One of the greatest benefits of a solar energy investment is the tax benefits.

Homeowners who go solar not only eliminate their electric bill, but they also can get 26% of the system cost back through the Solar Investment Tax Credit.

The solar tax credit will have a big impact on the payback of your solar system. And it won’t be around forever (no matter how much we hope it will be).

We’ve compiled an up-to-date guide detailing the tax credit: how it works when it will expire and who qualifies.

What Is the Solar Tax Credit?

Otherwise known as the solar investment tax credit, federal investment tax credit, or ITC for short, this tax credit gives the solar system owner the ability to deduct 26% of the system cost from taxes owed.

For a long time, the tax credit allowed you to recoup 30% of solar system costs.

The step-down schedule began in 2020 when the tax credit dropped from 30% to 26%. The stepdown was put on pause for two years when the federal government signed the 2020 Covid relief bill. So, homeowners have until the end of 2022 to claim the 26% tax credit benefit. In 2023 the tax credit will drop to 22% then down to 0% for homeowners in 2024 (a 10% tax credit will remain in place for commercial solar projects).

2023 is the last year that homeowners will be able to claim a tax credit for a residential solar installation project.

If you get a solar system installed in 2022 for $25,000, you will recoup $6,500 through the solar tax credit. Getting that system installed in 2023 – you’ll only be able to recoup $5,500.

While a drop from 26% to 22% doesn’t seem like a big jump, it is real money that you could re-invest into a sustainability non-profit, cool home improvement project, or savings account for an electric vehicle!

Do I Qualify for the Solar Tax Credit?

What are the requirements to take the solar tax credit?

  1. You must have a tax liability. You must owe taxes to take advantage of this tax credit.

One of the biggest misconceptions about the solar tax credit is that you get money back when you go solar. The federal government does not give money out in the form of grants or direct payments. The Federal Solar Tax Credit offsets taxes that you owe.

Solar Tax Credit FAQ’s

Can I carry it forward?

The law requires the credit to be used in full the year your system is installed if you have enough tax liability.

If you do not have enough tax liability, you can carry the tax credit forward into the following years. The rules start to change here for commercial and residential entities.

Commercial entities can carry forward the tax credit for up to 20 years to recoup taxes.

For residential solar system owners, the tax liability can be carried forward for up to five years, until the full amount is used up.

Is there a cap?

No, there is no limit or cap on the solar tax credit. No matter how much you spend on your solar installation you’ll be able to claim the tax credit in full for the year the system was installed.

What expenses can I claim with this tax credit?

The full turnkey solar installation can be claimed on the solar tax credit.

As long as they’re powered by solar, solar batteries can be claimed.

Roof repair and replacement is not covered by the solar tax credit.

Why Solar Loans are Different  

While the right financing choice comes down to your specific circumstances, loans for solar have certain advantages over traditional loan options and lines of credit – particularly for recent or first-time homebuyers, as well as homeowners that want to save on their energy bills and be part of a better future for our planet. 

Until recently there haven’t been great loan options for solar. But in recent years things have changed, which is why you may have noticed an increase in chatter about “going solar for $0 down” This could leave you wondering what all the commotion is about and how to choose the best solution for your family.  

In this article, you’ll find lists to help you decide if a solar loan is right for youUltimately, we‘ll let you know what makes our Smart Solar Financing program different For additional information, check out this recording of Consultant, David Zelasko reviewing solar loan benefits. 

Why you many consider a solar loan:

Purchasing a solar energy system can be a big cost to pay upfront. Here are some reasons for homeowners to consider a loan for their solar array  

  • Pay monthly instead of a lump sum 
  • No money down 
  • No payment penalties 
  • Increase property value immediately (lowering the utility bill for the next homeowner, increasing your property value)  
  • Lock in your electricity at a fixed rate  
  • Take advantage of tax incentives 

Questions to ask yourself when considering a solar loan:

Solar isn’t one size fits all. Here are some questions to ask yourself if you’re thinking about financing your solar energy system to help you choose the best finance partner 

  • Do you prefer small monthly payments or small interest rates? 
  • Are you okay with having a lien on your home?  
  • Can you take the tax credit?  
  • Will you be looking to finance additional home improvement items (new roof, electric vehicle, backup batteries)?  

The benefits of our Smart Solar Financing

  • $0 down 
  • No prepayment penalties  
  • Ameturized loans with no lien on the home 
  • Everything secured on the loan is secured by the equipment itself – if you don’t want to do a home equity or put a lien on the home, this is a good option for you.  
  • Various loan terms – 10, 15 and 20 year loans  
  • Will finance battery storage 
  • Good option if looking to utilize the tax credit  
  • Pay down your principle with your tax credit to receive an even better monthly payment  

An important difference

Unlike home equity loans, our Solar Financing partner provides access to solar loans that aren’t based on how much of your mortgage you’ve paid off and don’t ask for a lien on your home. Instead, they’re based on your ability to pay going forwards, as represented by your credit score and secured by the value within the solar system itself 

One reason solar loans are different than other home improvement loans:  a solar loan allows you to own an asset that generates significant financial value. It’s hard to think of another home appliance or renovation that can generate financial value.  

Mission driven

Our mission is to accelerate the shift to clean energy. It’s because of our commitment to values that we partner with another Certified Benefit Cooperation to bring you the best Solar Financing on the market. Building a better world can start with you and can start in your home.  

We’re excited to offer these loan options to make solar more accessible to everyone interested in making their home more sustainable, more self-sufficient and achieve financial savings over the lifespan of your system.  

How Much Does Solar Cost to Install on My House?

One of the first questions we hear from folks who have heard about solar is: “how much will it cost me to have solar installed on my house?”

Have you heard something that sounds too good to be true? While some companies advertise $0 down and free at install – there is still a cost to the person buying the system. Like buying a car with a loan, you may not have to pay anything upfront or make no down payment. But you will be the owner of the solar panels and you will eventually begin making payments on the system.

There are plenty of websites around that try to help answer these questions, but they’re complicated and use a lot of industry jargon. We strive to make solar easy for you and that starts with cutting through the noise and laying it all out on the table. So let’s break it down.

Loudonville, Ohio 10.64kW rooftop solar installation
Loudonville, Ohio 10.64kW rooftop solar installation

So, how much does solar cost?

Our average home solar panel system costs $24,000 before any incentives are considered ($17,760 after the federal tax credit). For the typical home in Ohio, solar prices this year come in a range from about $16,000 to $30,000 before the tax credit. All our systems are custom designed, so the average price is just an average. Looking at the big picture: the price of home solar can range from $10,000 – $100,000 based on your energy usage, goals, batteries, and budget. The reason it is hard to find an easy answer to your question is because solar systems are custom designed based on several factors unique to you (more below). The best way to get an answer is to sign up for a free, no-obligation solar quote.

How do I get started?

Our Solar Consultants are ready to walk you through the options and help you calculate the economics and payback. With Smart Solar Financing, many of our clients are able to go solar for zero money down and have payments that are less than their old electric bills. Some clients treat solar as an investment with a stable and predictable return – every client is different and we look forward to helping you evaluate your options and harness the clean, free energy of the sun.

To start the free evaluation process with one of our Solar Consultants and get a more precise quote for your specific household, you can call us during regular business hours at: 877-696-7652 or you can complete our online form HERE.

Van Wert, Ohio 4.9kW rooftop solar installation
Van Wert, Ohio 4.9kW rooftop solar installation


Solar Array Cost Breakdown

  1. Solar Panels – the biggest part of your solar system
  2. Inverter – converts the energy generated from the solar panels (DC/ direct current) into energy that can be used by all the appliances and systems in your home (AC/ alternating current)
  3. Racking – attaches the solar panels to your roof or in place and angled in your yard
  4. Installation labor – our highly experienced in-house crew installs all the parts and pieces of your new clean energy power plant
  5. Design, permitting and admin – as a full turnkey installer, our team designs your system and files all permits with your local utility and inspection department. We take care to ensure that your local utility does their work needed to ensure the successful commissioning of your array.
  6. Other parts and pieces – nuts, bolts, wires, fuses all are all the small pieces necessary for a quality, long-lasting solar system.

Major Cost Variables

System Size

Pirce Impact: Boundless

Size is the most obvious adder when considering solar. The size of the solar system will determine the system’s cost. As your system increases in size, it will require more materials and labor which will increase the price. But due to the economy of scale, as your system gets bigger the price per watt will come down. In other words, as you add more solar the number of watts you get for each dollar you spend goes down. (more on how we size a system below)


Ground Mount vs. Roof Mount

Price Impact: 10% – 15%

Our typical residential solar array is mounted on the roof of a home. But, in rural areas where land is boundless and shading might be an issue on the roof, some of our customers opt for a ground-mounted solar array. Because the trenching adds more labor to the job and the racking system requires more materials the price for a ground-mounted solar array usually increases the cost of the project by about 10 – 15%. Over time, however, the added cost will be worth it. You may save more money by generating more power over the lifetime of the system.

Battery Storage

Price Impact: varies widely

Whether to increase self-consumption of solar rather than exporting it back to the grid or to have reliable power in times of power outages, batteries are exploding on the market. They are optional add on. We encourage solar shoppers to think about if solar batteries are part of their goals when going solar.

In Conclusion…

We hope this information has helped you get an understanding of the genuine cost of a solar system. Here is a summary of the most important points:

  • Our average residential solar system costs ~ $24,000
  • Incentives can reduce the cost of the system by 26%
  • The price of solar varies widely & is based on your personal: roof space, energy goals, budget
  • The best way to get an answer to your question is to get a customized solar quote

All You Need To Know About the Solar Tax Credit in 2020

The investment tax credit, otherwise known as the solar tax credit will allow you to deduct 26% of the cost of installing a solar system from your federal taxes. This is about a $4,000 – $8,000 average savings for homeowners who go solar in 2020.  

The solar tax credit will remain at 26% for solar systems completed and placed in service before December 31, 2020. The tax credit will be reduced to 22% in 2021. After 2021 there will be no solar tax credit for residential customers. However, a 10% credit for commercial entities will remain.  

We recommend that those seriously considering solar begin their solar journey early this year. 

The History of the Solar Tax Credit 

The solar tax credit has been the biggest stimulus for residential and commercial solar that the industry has seen. According to the Solar Energy Industries Association, the residential and commercial solar tax credit has helped the U.S. solar industry grow by more than 10,000% percent since it was implemented in 2006, with an average annual growth of 50% over the last decade alone.  

The solar tax credit was originally intended to expire in 2007. Fortunately, it has seen extensions every year leading up to 2022. 

Here is the current timetable:

  • 26% for systems placed in service after 12/31/2019 and before 01/01/2021
  • 22% for systems placed in service after 12/31/2020 and before 01/01/2022

How to Take the Solar Tax Credit  

You claim the tax credit when you file your federal tax return.  

The tax credit is a dollar-for-dollar reduction in the amount of income tax that you would otherwise owe. If you don’t have a tax liability great enough to claim your entire credit in one year, you can roll the remaining credits over into future years so long as the tax credit is still in effect. 

There is no cap on the value of the credit, and it is available to both residential and commercial customers.  

It’s important to understand that the solar tax credit is not a rebate. In the case of rebates, taxpayers receive payment even if no tax is owed. Anyone who doesn’t owe federal income taxes will not be able to benefit from the solar tax credit.  

We advise you to seek professional tax advice before determining if you can claim the tax benefit.  

Here are some useful documents:

Ohio Tax Incentives 

Ohio Tax Incentives remain the same. There are no new programs in Ohio to help support the growth of solar.  

In 2019 Ohio saw a slew of anti-renewable legislation. The passing of House Bill 6 legislation granted subsidies to two failing nuclear power plants and reduced Ohio’s Renewable Portfolio Standards.   Hybrids and electric vehicle owners saw an increase in annual registration fees for their environmentally friendly cars ($100-$200 registration fees). At a national level, the solar tax credit, which had seen regular annual renewals, did not see renewal in 2019. 

Incentives boost the market for solar and make renewable energy more accessible to all people in Ohio.  But, Ohioans have been without any robust solar incentives for many years now, and the industry has still seen large, natural growth. We see that even in these market conditions consumer demand, return on investment and consumer confidence in solar has created growth in the market. 

The solar tax credit combined with the dropping prices has created a strong market in Ohio. Solar makes financial sense for homeowners. 

Existing Ohio and non-government programs and assistance for solar include:

  • ECOlink – This public/ private partnership ECOLink provides up to a 3% interest rate reduction for up to seven years on bank loans when you complete energy efficient upgrades to your home (like installing solar!)  
  •  $0 Down Loans – Third Sun Solar partners with a national credit union to offer zero money down,  low interest loan options. The loans are easy to understand and streamlined through our process

We strongly urge you to choose solar in 2020 to make the most out of the solar investment tax credit and start recouping savings right away!

Why We’re Partnering with Women for Recovery

We’re partnering with Women for Recovery this holiday season to use our business as a force for good – a central goal in our business- while supporting their mission to provide stable, safe, reliable housing to those in recovery.  

We chose Women for Recovery to support their honorable work. Third Sun Solar believes that everyone has the right to a healthy environment and a brighter future.  

The need is great

In 2016 a group of local stakeholders convened to address the need for recovery housing for women with substance abuse issues in Athens County. They affirmed that the need is critical. A call to action ensued. Stakeholders working on the project are comprised of local woman with experience in the recovery community and are personally familiar with individuals in recovery.  

The project is budding

Women for Recovery became a 501c3 nonprofit organization in March 2017 and closed in July on their primary location: Serenity Grove. Located just outside the city of Athens and nestled among stately oak, hickory and chestnut trees, the house can accommodate up to eight women in a safe, secure, and sober environment. At Serenity Grove, women dedicated to the eventual goal of transitioning back into independent living will hone the skills necessary to live free of drugs and alcohol. 

Feel Good about your power

We come to solar with a lot of heart. So do our customers, advocates, solar champions and partners. A commitment to better communities, care for our neighbors, and the desire to make the world a better place for generations to come is why we choose solar every day 

We know that, for many people, solar means cost savings and modern solutions. Solar also allows us to power our lives with clean, healthy, renewable energy. We’re happy to pass along this gift to Serenity Grove. Through the efforts of hardworking individuals, their residential facility has been made a space of comfort and recovery – soon to be powered by the sun!   

Solar During a Power Outage: How It Works

Solar During a Power Outage

When you install a solar energy system, you might expect that the lights will stay on when the power goes out because you’re generating your own power. Unfortunately, this isn’t the case.  

With grid tied solar systems, any excess power you create will be stored in the utility grid. The grid is sort of like a big battery, you send power to it when you have excess and take energy from it when you need more. Because of this connection, when grid power goes out – so does yours. This keeps electricity from leaking onto the grid lines and putting folks working to correct the issue in harm’s way.  

To get power during a grid blackout, you will need a grid tied solar system with battery backup. When the grid is up and working, the system functions like a normal grid tied solar system. Some of the electricity your solar system produces will top off your batteries. In the case of grid failure, the batteries kick in to keep the lights on.  

A solar system with battery backup costs more than your traditional grid tied solar system but having power during a blackout can be invaluable to some. Any home that already has solar panels, is battery backup ready.  

You are a good candidate for a backup battery system if you: 

  • Want to know that you will have seamless energy when the grid is down  
  • Experience frequent power outages 
  • Experience extreme weather conditions 
  • Have critical appliances at your home 

Power Outages Becoming Increasingly Common

Unfortunately, we’re seeing power outages becoming more common place as more and more people are in the path of severe weather patterns. In some places power companies are preemptively shutting down the grid when they anticipate a blackout.  

The good news is that there are solutions to grid failures through battery and solar battery storage.  

Tesla Powerwall: Home Battery Storage  

Powerwall is a home battery system that turns your home’s solar panels into an all-day resource. Daily it increases your self-consumption of solar. In the event of an outage, it offers reliable home backup power. With Powerwall, more of your home’s electricity use will come from solar, which enhances solar functionality, reduces energy costs and provides peace of mind to homeowners.  

Powerwall allows you to store 14 kWh of energy and use that energy to run your home with solar during the night and back up your home in the event of a power outage. 

The technology withing Powerwall is able to detect a grid outage, disconnect from the grid and bring power back to your home in a fraction of a second. That is over 100x faster than typical standby generators, and fast enough to keep your appliances running without interruption. You will not have to reset your clocks or your alarm. Powerwall can provide backup to your entire home. However, depending on the type of appliances at your home, we may recommend an essential load backup instead of whole home backup. Read more about Tesla here. 

Right Sizing Your Backup System:

Whole Home Backup 

If you’re interested in whole home backup, our Solar Designers can analyze your homes electric use patterns and the recommended number of Powerwall’s needed to keep all loads running. In some cases, an upgrade to your electrical panel may be needed and we will advise you if this is the case. You can add more Powerwall’s to keep your house operational longer during an outage. 

Essential Load Backup  

If your electrical situation doesn’t require whole home backup, we can backup select essential loads. Since lights and outlets require less energy, a single Powerwall will typically be enough.  


In summary, during a grid blackout, power from your solar system won’t be available for you to use unless you have a backup battery system. If you’re interested to learn more about solar or battery back-up, give us a call today! 1-877-OWN-SOLAR.