The Summer Solstice & Why We Celebrate  

The Summer Solstice marks the first day of summer. This is the longest day of the year in the northern hemisphere.  

Ever wondered why the days are longer in the summer and shorter in the winter? Or why we have seasons at all? We experience seasons because of the tilt of the earth as it circles the sun. The tilt also accounts for the change in sun hours throughout the year. As the earth tilts slightly towards the sun, our days get longer. Our peak tilt towards the sun in 2019 is June 21st! 

How much energy does the sun produce?  

At any moment, 173,000 terawatts (trillions of watts) of solar energy strikes the Earth. That’s more than 10,000 times the world’s total energy use. This summer solstice we’ll experience 15 hours of exposure to powerful & bountiful sun energy.

Why do we celebrate?  

The Summer Solstice means that we are in peak summer production months for solar. This means that solar panels in the northern hemisphere have even more energy to soak up through the day. 

Why celebrate in 2019?  

In 2019 we‘re celebrating because there is more solar PV capacity worldwide than ever! This summer solstice the world has more solar infrastructure to soak up sunlight for use as energy than ever before!  

According to the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA), as of 2019, the United States has 2 million solar installations- on homes, business, industrial buildings, and utility-scale solar installations. The energy generated by these solar systems combined would produce enough to power more than 12 million American homes. That is now greater than 70 gigawatts.  

This reflects major growth in the solar sector in the U.S., which just 3 years ago reached 1 million solar installations. Additionally, the cumulative operating solar PV capacity is about 75 times more than what was installed at the end of 2008 (SEIA).  

What has caused this growth 

The growth in the solar industry in recent years is a result of cumulative efforts by policymakers, solar customers, advocates, and business. The progress shows us the potential solar has to be a clean energy solution. Fueled by the incentive to create a better future for the planet, create jobs, reduce reliance on energy sources with harmful emissions and lower electric bills, we plan to see future growth in the solar market. 

What next? 

The Solar Energy Industries Association estimates that by 2024 2.5% of all US homes will have a home solar energy system installed. And we believe it. We are seeing solar become more and more mainstream. Between the federal Investment Tax Credit dropping to 26% at the end of 2019 (before it’s eventual drop to 0% in 2022) and the commercial tax credit eventually dropping to 10% for commercial projects, there are certainly incentives to go solar now. 

To request a free solar evaluation, click here or give us a call during office hours: 877-GO-SOLAR  

Net Metering for Solar in Ohio  

In sunny peak months in Ohio, solar systems often produce more energy than a home can consume. Have you ever wondered what happens to this excess electricity? Or how you, the homeowner, benefit from the extra energy your solar energy system produces? Net Metering is the process that accounts for this difference in production & use. 

Net metering allows you to store 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. The State of Ohio requires that the utility company credit you for that energy you produced and send along. These credits appear on your monthly electric bill to help you keep track.  

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

You will be charged for the energy you take use from the traditional electric grid (when your solar panels aren’t producing). You can pay for that extra energy using the credits you accrue during times your solar system is producing more energy than you are using.  

Why is net metering important?

Net metering increases the economic benefit of solar power by crediting you for the power your solar energy system produces.  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. 

Your utility benefits from net metering because electricity is generated so close to where it is consumed. This diminishes the amount of electricity lost when power is transmitted across miles of wires. Additionally, it helps reduce strain on the grid during peak demand times: like on hot, sunny days.

Will I receive payment for the excess energy I produce?  

You’ll get credits to be used on an annual basis to offset the cost of electricity that you take from the grid during times when your solar system is not producing energy. These credits roll over from month to month. You will not, however, receive a check from your utility for the excess energy you put back into the grid. 

At what rate do utility companies credit me for my usage?

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.  

This rate depends on your electric company. Your experienced Solar Consultant can help you understand what your utility’s net excess generation rate is.

Can my energy bill be $0?

In many cases, yes!   

Some utility companies have a single fixed cost, or customer charge, that all customers are required to pay each month. However, in many cases you can use credits to pay down the fixed monthly costs.  We often see $0 electric bills sent to us by our customers!  

How much energy from my electric company will I purchase annually, when I have a solar system?

We don’t design all solar systems to meet 100% of a homes electric usage over the course of the year. Why? This depends on many factors, but primarily the amount of space a home has for solar panels. Your solar consultant will work with you to design a solar system that makes sense for your homes annual electricity usage.  

 

Third Sun Solar has worked with hundreds of homeowners across the state of Ohio and beyond. We have close working relationships with all of Ohio’s many rural cooperatives and public utilities.

If you have any questions about solar or net metering, please reach out.

 

 

 

Customer Care Specialist

Is your current job not providing the challenge that you need? Want to work on a team that is mission aligned, pays you well and has lots of work?   

 

There is a position for you, if you are passionate about customer care and service and have an interest in being part of a fast-growing, world-changing, mission-driven company that deliveries exceptional service.

 Family Like Work Environment 

Nestled in the Appalachian foothills, this position will be based out of our headquarters in Athens, Ohio.

Third Sun Solar is a different kind of company, united by our mission to Accelerate the Shift to Clean Energy. We are a Certified B-Corp, operating with a triple bottom line commitment to people, planet andprofit. Our team works hard together, but also has fun and enjoys working and playing together. 

Benefits 

Here at Third Sun Solar, we believe that we are successful because of our people, and we’re proud to provide competitive compensation and benefits packages. We promote from within and are in an exciting, rapidly growing industry with many opportunities for training and advancement.  This position is full-time. 

 

Why Us?  

We are the number one solar installer in Ohio (as ranked in the Solar Power World 2018 top 500). Google us – we’ve been in the business a long time and know what it’s like to run a successful company.  Get up to speed by following us on Facebook.  

 

The Job Description  

 

The  Customer Care Specialist  will Provide front line customer service to customers, vendors, and visitors of Third Sun Solar, here at our Athens, Ohio headquarters, by being the companies first contact with customers.

 

  1. Serve as the first impression of our company, and a professional, courtesy, customer friendly face must be put forward. Receive all phone and walk in inquiries.
  2. Answer the main Third Sun Solar phone system, and routes calls to appropriate staff.
  3. Manage, log and processes leads that come in through the phones, website, and events.
  4. Qualify leads as viable customers and work closely with the Growth Team to ensure that the customer receives white glove customer service by providing in-depth knowledge of company products, applications, product stages, and programs.
  5. Receive and distributes daily incoming and outgoing mail, including UPS/FedEx packages.
  6. Manage and logs daily checks from mail.
  7. Provide support to the service team for service inquires. Logs service issues in the designated system.

Qualifications: 

  • Proven customer service experience that includes experience operating and answering a company phone system.
  • Experience working with CRM systems, particularly Salesforce.
  • Strong organization skills required to keep track of many moving processes.
  • Communication skills, both written and verbal must be outstanding, and deliver constant quality and service both internally and externally.
  • Experience with renewable energy products, process, and programs, or a willingness to learn.
  • Must be proficient in Microsoft Office and Window operating systems, along with the ability to quickly learn new software and accompanying software tools.

 

Here’s the Good News

Working somewhere now? We understand and will keep your inquiry confidential. If you’re curious and want to know more, we would be happy to answer any questions you have over the phone.

 

What To Do Next 

 

P.S. This opportunity starts right away. So send over your information so we can get you on board, ASAP.

 

 

 

 

A Women-Led Solar Business  

For the past 20 years, Third Sun Solar founder and CEO Michelle Greenfield has contributed tirelessly to the advancement of solar. These contributions include the increased participation & contributions of women in the solar field.  Her leadership can be seen in many areas, as a contractor, policy advocate and educator. Over the years, Michelle’s leadership has had a ripple effect. Her work has opened doors and driven female participation across the industry.   

Michelle is a woman on a mission, working to Accelerate the Shift to Clean Energy. 

Founding Third Sun Solar  

In 2000 Michelle and Geoff Greenfield built their own sustainable home on a piece of rural Ohio land. This land did not have access to utility power. Instead of making an investment to bring the utility out, they chose to generate their own power: solar power.  

In the early 2000’s there was not a solar installer in their area. Geoff decided to move forward and become a solar expert himself. He designed and installed his first high performance solar array on their home.  

The Greenfields founded Third Sun Solar that same year, in 2000, out of their attic. Today, 19 years later, Michelle is the CEO of Third Sun Solar. Along the way, Michelle has had the opportunity to direct the growth of a blossoming economic sector in Appalachia Ohio, all while influencing the green energy movement in the state of Ohio & beyond.  

Women in Solar at Third Sun Solar  

Third Sun Solar has hired women into many roles over the years. Michelle’s current staff housed at the Third Sun Solar headquarters is half female employees.  She has hired women into Third Sun for various roles, and is a decisive advocate for inclusion, ongoing recruitment and creating opportunities for female candidates in hands on laborsales & administrative roles.  It is impossible to tally the influence she has had over the past 20 years. But, it’s certain Michelle’s leadership has led to many women entering the solar and other technical fields.   

 

Accomplishments over the Years  

  • Michelle has had dozens of speaking engagements over the last 20 years to many groups such as the Sierra Club, the University System of Ohio Sustainability conference, Ohio University’s Environmental Education program, Rotary Clubs, Earth Day events and most recently, the Rural Action annual member meeting.  
  • Michelle Served as a Board Member of Green Energy Ohio for 10 years and President of the Board for 2 years.  
  • Michelle received a 2009 “Keys to Success Award” from the Ohio Department of Development.  
  • In 2012, Michelle spearheaded the effort for Third Sun Solar to become a Benefit Corporation (B Corp). This process emphasizes and holds her company accountable to a triple bottom line approach. Third Sun gives equal footing to planet and people, as well as profit. At that time, Third Sun was only one of 3 B Corps in the State of Ohio. 
  • In 2013 Michelle was an Innovation Award Winner from TechGrowth Ohio for “Outstanding Woman in Innovation”, a recognition of her accomplishments in promoting the growing clean tech sector in the state & of her continued advocacy for inclusion of and leadership by women in the field.  

 

The Clean Energy Credit Union  

In 2014, Michelle joined the Organizing Committee for the founding of the Amicus Solar Cooperative’s initiative to start a Clean Energy Credit Union. It might not be a coincidence that Michelle once started and managed a community development credit union in southeast Ohio. This experience combined with her solar experience was key to navigating the founding of this institution.  

After nearly 4 years organizing, the Clean Energy Credit Union was federally chartered in September 2017. At that point, she became a Member of the Board of Directors and serves on the Credit Committee.  

In its first full year of operations and lending, they have:

  • Over 700 members
  • $6.5 million in assets
  • Granted nearly 400 loans for PV systems for electric vehicles & green home improvements
  • Over 50% of loans granted have been for solar energy systems
  • Granted loans totaling more than $6.4 million 

The Himalayan Light Fund  

In 2018 Michelle had the opportunity to spread her leadership and impact beyond the US. As part of a team with the wellregarded non-profit Himalayan Light Fund, Michelle planned, raised money for and installed a solar power system at a school in a remote village in Nepal. This village is far from the tourist centers or the utility grid. Her leadership and technical skill on the roof undoubtedly planted seeds of opportunity in the onlooking community 

Michelle Greenfield is a tireless advocate for Solar in Ohio, a large emerging market with huge potential for growth.  She has progressed from being an early consumer of solar energy to a business pioneer – advocating and educating about both solar power as well as leadership roles for women in the solar industry.  

More about Third Sun Solar

4 Reasons To Go Solar This Spring

The dreary Ohio winter is behind us. That means it’s the perfect time to think about solar for your roof! Take advantage of peak solar production months by choosing to go solar this spring.  

Many homeowners choose to get repairs done on their roofs or replace the whole roof in the springtime. Right after a roof repair or replacement is the best time for solar panel instillation. Why? Because you won’t have to worry about your solar panels outliving your roof.   

And while you’re thinking about springtime home improvement projects, remember: solar is an easy way to improve your utility bill! Take full advantage of the peak production months by reaching out today. 

1. Get a system in time to soak up the sun during peak solar production months  

Even though we’ve got a fantastic install team, if everyone buys solar at once, there can be delays. Spring is your chance to beat the rush!   

Here at Third Sun Solar we’re in the highest demand in the summertime. Why? Once those long days of sunlight are upon us, people remember why solar in Ohio works! Calling now is the best way to get scheduled to maximize peak production months.  

What is a peak production month?  

The longest day of the year is coming: June 21st The Spring equinox! This means that the days will be longer and will remain long into the summertime and fall. Peak production months are months with the most amount of peak sunlight hours. A peak sun hour is defined as an hour of sunlight that offers 1,000 watts of PV power per square meter. These peak hours occur when the sun is highest in the sky. The number of peak sun hours increases during the summer months.  In Ohio, our peak production months are May- October, when days are long and sunny.   

2. Get the paperwork over with  

Solar installations are a little more complicated than installing a new central AC unit. It’s important to allow time for the whole solar process.  From permitting with the utility company to the local municipality, we process a lot of paperwork before your solar system can go live. Because we’re often waiting on responses from energy retailers and utility companies, this process can take a while. It’s important to start planning early.  

3. Enjoy the summer without worrying about choosing a solar installer!  

What do you like to do in the summertime? You probably want to be relaxing, spending time away from work and with your family. Maybe you enjoy barbecuing, hiking or canoeing. You don’t want to be spending hours researching solar installers or on the phone with your utility company. Choosing your solar installer now guarantees that you won’t have to spend relaxing summer days researching!   

4. The FTC end this year  

Ensure that you purchase your solar energy system before the end of 2019 to qualify for the 30% Federal Tax Credit. This Solar Tax Credit allows you to deduct 30% of the cost of your solar system from your federal taxes.  Remember: the average homeowner will save approximately $1,000 more when they buy in 2019. In 2022 the tax credit drops permanently to 0% for homeowners.   

Who is eligible for the 30% Federal Tax Credit?   

  • Individuals and for-profit businesses in the U.S.   
  • Those that pay federal taxes  
  • Those who have purchased a new solar system and placed it in service prior to 2020.   

What costs are eligible?   

  • Solar panels  
  • Racking/Mounting equipment  
  • Inverters  
  • Balance of system (wire, conduit, junction boxes, etc)  
  • Installation labor  
  • Sales and use taxes  

 

A case could be made that anytime of the year is a good time for installing solar. BUT if you’re currently enjoying the rays of the sun, now is the right time! Give us a call today: 740-249-4533

 

 

Jeff from The Plains, Ohio

We considered solar for awhile. Did some research. Contacted several companies. Hands down, a no brainer, Third Sun was the company we wanted to go with. From the first time we spoke to the last day of the install, we were very satisfied with the whole process. We had to do nothing. Very friendly, knowledgeable people who listened and answered all of our questions. Extremely satisfied. Thank you.

Diane from Chagrin Falls, Ohio

I highly recommend Third Sun Solar. My community’s zoning code did not address solar panels so they worked with me and the local officials to establish a code. It was a long process but the code is now in place and my solar panels are now in place which will hopefully encourage more neighbors to also go solar. Great company, very good people.

We are hiring!

Third Sun Solar is one of Ohio’s oldest and largest full service solar companies. We have spent the past 19 years installing over 900 solar systems throughout Ohio and the surrounding states, and
have built an exceptional reputation for expert design, installation and customer service as we help people go solar.

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

Our mission is “To empower people to save the planet with clean energy”. Our team works hard toward this goal everyday at a company built on a strong foundation made up of the following core values:
• We are here to serve
• We are reliable
• We are driven
• We value growth

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

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

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

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

• Deadline to apply – November 12th, 2018
• This position is targeted to begin December 3rd, 2018 (flexible)
• To apply, please submit resumes and cover letters to careers@thirdsunsolar.com
• We apologize in advance- you will only hear from us if invited to interview
• NO PHONE CALLS PLEASE!

Marketing Specialist Position Description
We are seeking an experienced general marketer with a passion for renewable energy to be “the voice” of Third Sun Solar. The ideal candidate will work with leadership and the sales team to create a variety of content (written, graphic, video) and deploy that content online to generate high quality leads. This position will also serve as the initial point of contact for resulting phone and email inquiries, educating the public about solar and qualifying the leads. He or she will enter these leads in the CRM system and distribute them to the sales team.

We are looking for candidates with hands on experience with content creation and marketing, You will be responsible to generate a predictable stream of high quality leads from the residential,
commercial and agricultural sectors, and the number and conversion percentage of these leads will be an important measurement of your success. This one-of-a-kind position is full-time and based in our Athens office.

Primary Activities
• Serve as the initial point of contact for phone and email inquiries, qualifying prospects and logging into the CRM for assignment to the sales team or further nurturing.
• Collaborate closely with sales team to develop collateral such as video and website content, newsletters and blog posts, sell sheets, presentations, case studies and any other content that is
needed for campaigns.
• Implement targeted marketing campaigns co-developed with company leadership.
• Build marketing automation campaigns to nurture prospects from first contact to sale.
• Use CRM reports to measure success and efficiency of campaigns, channels and tactics.
• User follow up surveys and completed project follow up calls to track customer satisfaction
and cultivate long term referrals.

The Ideal Candidate has:
• Passion to work for a fast-growing, world-changing, mission-driven company.
• Relevant marketing experience for a sales-driven business, or for an agency with relevant client experience.
• Outstanding communication skills, both written and verbal.
• Knowledge of marketing concepts, messaging and brand positioning
• Has a proven track record developing marketing materials and a variety of content (written
copy, graphics and video)
• Experience working in Salesforce (or equivalent CRM system) and WordPress (or other web publishing platforms)
• Expertise in all aspects of digital marketing including SEO, adword strategy and social media targeting.

Compensation and Benefits
We pride ourselves on offering a great workplace culture, awesome co-workers and leadership, and an attractive competitive compensation package with opportunities for advancement.

• Base salary commensurate with experience
• Variety of company health insurance plans with $3,240 company contribution per employee
• Optional Dental and vision insurance plan with $330 company contribution per employee
• Simple IRA retirement with employer match up to 3% of salary
• Paid holidays, vacation and personal days
• Discounts and promotions for employee purchased solar system
• Expert solar training with the region’s leading solar electric provider
• Career growth path opportunities

Company Description
Third Sun Solar is the region’s leading solar company and has been designing and installing high-performance solar energy systems since 2000. Our fully trained and NABCEP certified
solar professionals ensure that our customers get the very best and safest installation. Third Sun Solar founder Geoff Greenfield serves on the NABCEP Board of Directors, and the company
has been on the INC list of fastest growing companies five years in a row. Our success is based on awesome customer service and customers spreading the word about us to their friends and neighbors. Third Sun Solar is a certified B-Corp, reflecting our commitment to operating as a triple bottom line company focused on People, Planet and Profit. Our mission
is the “To empower people to save the planet with clean energy”, and we are proud that our passion, dedication and expertise shine through as we help our customers achieve their solar
goals.
Company website: http://www.thirdsunsolar.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Third-Sun-Solar

 

Third Sun Solar Earns the Title of Top Solar Contractor in Ohio

Third Sun Solar named the top Ohio solar contractor in Solar Power World’s 2018 Top 500 Solar Contractors List

Announced this week, Third Sun Solar, a leading provider of commercial, public sector and residential solar solutions, has been named the top solar provider in the Ohio as part of the 2018 Solar Power World Top 500 Solar Contractors List. Nationwide, the company was ranked #28 among firms offering engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) services to commercial clients, and #160 overall. For 19 years, Third Sun Solar has designed, engineered and built projects across the Midwest, delivering thousands of kilowatts (kW) of solar solutions across 14 states.

The Top Solar Contractors list was developed by Solar Power World in 2012 to recognize the work completed by solar contractors across the United States. Produced annually, the Top Solar Contractors list celebrates the achievements of U.S. solar developers, subcontractors and installers within the utility, commercial and residential markets, and the 2018 list was released on July 24th. Solar Power World is the industry’s leading source for technology, development and installation news. Ranks are determined by the number of kilowatts (DC) a company was involved with installing in 2017 in the United States only.

“Solar Power World is very excited about the 2018 class of Top Solar Contractors,” said Kelly Pickerel, editor in chief of Solar Power World. “We’re happy to feature a strong group of thriving U.S. solar installers on the 2018 Top Solar Contractors list. These companies truly are at the top of their markets.”

“We are honored to be recognized by Solar Power World as one of the top solar companies in the United States and number one in Ohio. Our growth has accelerated as building and homeowners learn that solar is now cost effective in the Midwest. While demand is driven by solar’s strong economics, our success is driven by our great team of electricians, designers, consultants and office staff”, said Geoff Greenfield, Third Sun Solar’s founder.

According to Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) and Greentech Media Research’s recent U.S. Solar Market Insight report, the U.S. installed 2.5 gigawatts (GW) of solar PV capacity in Q1 2018 to reach 55.9 GW of total installed capacity, enough to power 10.7 million American homes. This represents a 13 percent increase year-over-year.2 “Total installed U.S. PV capacity is expected to more than double over the next five years, and by 2023, over 14 GW of PV capacity will be installed annually,” the report notes, predicting serious growth for solar in the next few years.

About Third Sun Solar
Third Sun Solar is a full-service clean energy company serving homeowners, businesses, institutions and government entities across the Midwest. It is a licensed electrical and general contractor that has installed more than 900 projects and thousands of solar modules in 14 states since our start in 2000. Additionally, Third Sun Solar is a woman-owned, certified B-Corporation with the mission to empower people to save the planet with clean energy. Its team of solar consultants, designers, financing experts and NABCEP-certified installers work to make solar easy by delivering high performance and long lasting solar solutions using its optimized design process. Getting solar proposals is easy with Third Sun Solar, to do so, call in for a 5-minute consultation, and upon receipt of basic information including address, energy bills, and the age of your roof, Third Sun Solar can provide a detailed quote. For more information, visit Third Sun Solar.

About Solar Power World
Solar Power World is the leading online and print resource for news and information regarding solar installation, development and technology. Since 2011, SPW has helped U.S. solar contractors—including installers, developers and EPCs in all markets—grow their businesses and do their jobs better.

Media Contact- Third Sun Solar
Geoff Greenfield
740-707-4720
ggreenfield@third-sun.com

 

Third Sun Solar + Habitat for Humanity MidOhio