Zero Down Solar: The Real Deal

Recently we added one of our customers electric bills featuring a $0.00 balance due on our Facebook page. This isn’t unusual for our customers, certainly during the spring, summer, and fall months. We got quite a lot of confusion regarding cost from our fans. They had some questions about Facebook ads they had been seeing. So, we wanted to take some time to address some of the concerns that we’ve heard.

The Truth About $0 Down Solar

A $0 down solar loan is a real thing, but it doesn’t mean that the solar system is free.

A zero down loan allows homeowners to finance the full cost of the solar system without making a down payment. While there isn’t an initial out of pocket cost, obviously there will be monthly payments on the loan. Just like a car loan, if you choose a $0 down loan, your monthly payments will be higher than if you put some money down upfront. As with any loan, the amount of interest paid goes up based on the amount you borrow and the length of the loan.  All of our clients are different, and some are ready to pay for their solar upfront and some choose to finance all or part of the system.

We can help you choose the option that best works for you: cash purchase, conventional financing, or a special solar loan.  Conventional financing (typically a home equity line of credit or refinancing your mortgage+ solar together) is the absolute best source of financing.  This option often has the lowest rates and the added bonus of tax-deductible interest (consult your tax advisor to make sure this works for your personal circumstances). We also work with specialized solar loan providers such as the Clean Energy Credit Union and Mosaic.  These lenders use just the solar equipment as collateral and do not secure the loan with your home equity.  They are typically faster and easier to work with.

If you’re interested in learning more about loan offerings, just let us know! Learn more from Solar Consultant David Zelasko. In this video, he explains the different types of solar loans, what makes solar loans different, and various partners we work with.

Three factors determine the rate you get on your solar loan:

  1. Your Credit Score – as with any borrowing, the lender assesses risk based on your credit history.
  2. Loan Term – the longer your term the lower your monthly payment. You’ll find this is the same as most loans.
  3. Solar Contractor – this isn’t because certain solar installers get better rates. Solar installation companies typically “buy down” the interest rate by paying more to the financing company to be able to offer that rate. That cost comes back on the customer in the form of a higher project cost.

But What about “No Cost Solar” and “New Special Programs”?

You may have seen some advertisements on Facebook advertising “free solar” or “No Cost Solar”. Sound too good to be true? Yeah, it is.

Some other solar companies misleadingly use the word “free” but what they’re actually referring to is a 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. It’s important not to assume that a lower rate is a better deal, as the full turnkey cost of the system is likely to be higher plus the lifetime cost of interest payments. We believe that these advertising tactics are misleading and bad for solar buyers. We promise to work with our clients and provide accurate information so they can choose to harness the clean energy of the sun based on what works for them.

No Statewide Program

Many of these same solar companies and advertisements imply that $0 down solar is a statewide program or some special grant or subsidy. Again, this misleading advertising is purposefully deceptive and not the way we choose to do business. Loan options vary from solar company to solar company. The various finance partners have different programs and different rates (and different hidden fees baked into the price). Most solar installers in Ohio offer $0 down loans. Like them, we can offer you zero money down with any of our term loans – often a great option for those that want to go solar but don’t want to tap into home equity or savings.

‘Predatory and harmful’: Misleading solar ads touting 100% free panels and fake stimulus programs spread on Facebook as the coronavirus upends door-to-door sales

Check out this article by Business Insider for more specifics on misleading advertisements in the solar industry. 

Choose a solar partner with integrity who you can trust. For a checklist of tips we recommend when choosing your solar installation partner, check out this How To Choose a Solar Installer webinar recording. 

 

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Our 20 Year Workmanship Warranty

Solar Warranties

Any home improvement such as a roof replacement or a remodel typically has a “workmanshiwarranty” covering the quality of the work done. This promise from the contractor that they will install things correctly is typically 2 years. In the solar installation business, warranties often range from 2-5 Years, sometimes up to 10.

 

Quality, safety, and performance are the focus of our clients. We understand that. They choose their solar installer carefully as most installations involve both high voltage electrical work that must be done right. Installed correctly, modules must be securely attached to the roof while maintaining a durable 100% water-tight seal.

 

Third Sun’s 20 Year Workmanship Warranty

Our mission is To Accelerate the Shift to Clean Energy. In order to give our clients the confidence to take control of their energy future by going solar, we are removing any concern about our workmanship with a 20-year workmanshiwarranty.

 

We are able to offer this and stand behind it. How?  Only because we have already spent 20 years honing our craft. All of us at Third Sun Solar want your solar experience to be easy and worry-free. We have worked hard at selecting the best equipment and then sending the best technicians and licensed electricians to your home to install the best solar system possible.

 

Now in our twentieth year of business, we are rolling out our 20-year workmanshiwarranty to give you the confidence and peace of mind to go solar.

 

Tips for Choosing a Solar Installer

 

Birthday Month – 20 Years in Business

For Third Sun Solar… It’s birthday month!

How fitting that approaching the Summer Solstice, 20 years ago this week, founders Geoff and Michelle Greenfield took the ultimate plunge. Third Sun Solar, a budding dream of the Greenfields, was incorporated as an LLC in June of 2000. Inspired by long sunny summer days, the need for electricity at their rural off-grid home and neighbors who were interested in going solar themselves- Third Sun Solar was born.  It is for that reason that we celebrate this month!  

Since 2000, Third Sun has installed over 23 MW of total renewable power, mostly solar, which produces over 26.5 million kilowatt-hours of emission-free power every year. As a result of Third Sun Solar’s work, 39 million pounds of CO2 emissions are avoided as customers switch from using utility power to their own clean power systems.

The company is truly fulfilling its long-time mission to “Accelerate the Shift to Clean Energy”. 

In addition to clean energy metrics, Third Sun fulfills another dream set out by the founders back in 2000: to use business as a force for good. As a Certified Benefit Corporation, Third Sun Solar is held accountable to people and the planet. Whether purchasing carbon offsets for our vehicle fleets or supporting the non-profits who are doing important work in our communities, we believe that to see the clean energy future of our dreams, businesses must do good in the world. Learn more about our B Corps status here. 

Looking Forward: Announcement  

To celebrate we are instating a 20-year workmanship warranty at no cost for customers, the longest workmanship warranty for solar in Ohio. Why 20 years?  As Ohio’s longest standing solar installer, we’ve proven to the community that we’re in it for the long haul. We’ve seen a lot of progress in the past 20 years & we will be here until we see the clean energy future that we dream about. 

Any home improvement such as a roof replacement or a remodel typically has a “workmanship warranty” covering the quality of the work done. This promise from the contractor that they will install things correctly is typically 2 years and in the solar installation business often ranges from 2-5 Years, sometimes up to 10.
We understand that our clients are focused on quality, safety, and performance, and they are choosing their solar installer carefully as most installations involve both high voltage electrical work that must be done right and securely attaching the modules to the roof while maintaining a durable 100% water-tight seal.

Check out our upcoming webinar: How to Choose a Solar Installer to learn additional elements to look out for when choosing an installer in addition to warranties and company longevity 

Looking Back: The History of Solar in Ohio  

Since January, CEO Michelle Greenfield has been reflecting on cornerstone projects from the past 20 years. She’s woven together blogs, photos, newspaper clippings, and stories. These pieces of history reflect the changes in the solar market that paved the way for solar as we know it today.  These items are listed below – check them out! 

Our goal in sharing this history is to celebrate how far we have come and recognize how the current solar opportunity is built on foundation laid in the past. 

Timeline:  

  • 2000 – The Founders Leap.  Read More > 
  • 2000 – Green Living Magazine- Greenfield home feature.  Read More> 
  • 2001 – The state of Ohio institutes net metering.  Read More> 
  • 2002 From 2001 to 2004 Third Sun Solar partnered with the Foundation for Environmental Education to install 35 systems on schools throughout the state. The school featured, Granville Elementary, and had a special ribbon cutting and solar celebration with then-Congressman Pat Tiberi. Read More> 
  • 2002 – Michelle Greenfield appointed to Green Energy Ohio (GEO) Board of Directors where she floated the idea of GEO becoming a statewide organizer of the National Solar Tour, which was organized along with the American Solar Energy Society, on the first weekend in October every year.  Read More> 
  • 2002 – Third Sun used to install wind! Check out this 10kw Bergey wind generator that was installed on a 120-foot tower at Glacier Ridge Metro Park in Plain City, Ohio. Read More> 
  • 2003 – Students participate in a solar installation at New Albany High School, on a path that connects the football stadium with practice fields. Read More> 
  • 2003 Ohio Magazine highlights the Ohio Solar Tour, organized in the years prior to 2003 by Michelle Greenfield, and then adopted by Green Energy Ohio as an annual event. Read More> 
  • 2003 – In 2003 Third Sun Solar moved to Ohio University’s Innovation Center, which provides office space and business assistance to emerging regional technology businesses. Read More > 
  • 2005 –  Third Sun Solar participated in an all Ohio collaborative effort to install a net-metered solar power system on the coach house of the Governor’s residence in Bexley. Read More> 
  • 2006 -Third Sun Solar led a community effort to install 42 solar panels on the Athens Middle School. Read More> 
  • 2006 –Third Sun used to install hot water systems. Read More> 
  • 2006 – In 2006 when homeowner and science teacher David Carpenter hired Third Sun to install his 4.8 kW system, he was on the cutting edge for homeowners. The cost of that system would have been $44,200 ($9.20 per watt)  Read More> 
  • 2007 – Governor Strickland visits Greenfield Home. Read More>  
  • 2008 – A group of 10 homes in Arbor Village, an affordable housing development in Washington Court House, Ohio, became the “largest collection of solar homes in the state”. Read More> 
  • 2008 In 2008, Mathews had moved to their new building on Columbus Rd. and decided to install solar to help cut their energy costs as well as add clean energy to their business. The natural partner was Third Sun.  “I still have a letter from Russ from 2000, confirming that our business was now insured. We are still with them 20 years later!” — Geoff Greenfield, Co-Founder and TSS President. Read More> 
  • 2008 In Akron, Ohio, the METRO Rapid Transit Authority officials wanted to be leaders in both alternative transit and alternative energy. Read More> 

Follow us on Facebook as we continue our 20-year look back for the rest of the year! 

 

 

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Going Solar Despite Rural Difficulties: Case Study

Sarah and David haalways been interested in going solar Sarah says:  I have always been interested in renewable energy. I had the conviction to go solar over 20 years ago, but I didn’t own a home at that time and moved around a lot without the financial resources to invest in solar installation.”  So, when they were finally ready to go solar, they gave Third Sun a call.  

Motivation for Going Solar  

Once my husband and I realized that we were “settling down” and had enough saved to invest in home improvement, we started talking seriously about installing solar panels. When we realized that the federal incentives for home renewable energy systems were likely to be reduced, we decided to go for it before the incentives changed. My hope is that incentives from the state will increase if more people purchase from locally owned solar companies, and that the state incentives will eventually compensate for lower federal incentives. “  

We certainly hope for the same things that Sarah does. State and local solar incentives can serve a role in making solar accessible for more people, make up for the decreasing federal incentives, support local jobsWith their installation, they’re on the right track to reducing their carbon footprint and helping the climate. 

What did they learn when shopping for solar?   

Something Sarah and David learned when they started shopping for solar? That it is easier now than it was 20 years ago to get a full turnkey solar installation. 

We couldn’t agree more. We’ve been in the business for 20 years and have seen the industry grow and change. Solar is in a much different place than it was just 20 years ago. More solar on more roofs everywhere is something we’re excited to see. But, as more solar installation companies pop up we encourage anyone shopping for solar to research and choose a reputable and long-standing solar partner. It’s more important now than ever!

Solar Growth Over the Years:

  • According to a recent Pew Research study,just 6% of U.S. homeowners say they have already installed solar panels at home. Another 46% say they have given serious thought to adding solar panels at their home in the past year.” 
  • 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.  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 did they like most about their solar purchase?  

“We were able to work with Third Sun Solar to develop a customized solution for solar energy at our home that is simple to use. The team of people that installed the system are fellow community members that cared about doing the job right, and helped troubleshoot challenges related to the rural location.” 

What Obstacles were there Installing Solar in a Rural Location?  

Sarah and David’s solar project came with a few complications due to their site location. 

  • Their home is in the woods and the home is shaded by trees  
  • The installation site chosen was a barn in full sun, about 750 ft away from the hom 
  • There is a small stream separating the home from the desired solar location 

After pulling in some additional teammates like Project Management for input, it was determined that the long trenching distance and stream could be easily managed. Third Sun would be able to install the proposed solar system on the roof of the barn to power the shaded home.  

Despite the shade and difficult trenching situation, Sarah and David followed through with installing solar. They’re now the proud owners of a 12 kW solar array that will offset 90% of their annual electric usage.  

The Best Part  

Third Sun Solar worked with Sarah and David in 2019 to create a custom solar system that will generate efficient renewable energy and power their home for years to come.  

Sarah Says: The best part about having solar is that it reduces reliance on fossil fuels, thereby reducing the environmental impact of energy systems, and it supports jobs in the region that promote better quality of life for our community. 

We were so glad to work with Sarah and David, who are committed to environment and community. Whether your property is residential, commercial, or agricultural, we want to help you to reduce your impact on the environment. Request a free quote to go solar like Sarah and David. 

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Solar Battery Backup Webinar Series

Power outages are unpredictable, but the dangers of power outages aren’t. Protect your home from the next power outage and keep your lights on, phones charged, home offices running and food cold. The best way to protect your family from grid failure is to invest in a backup power solution. 

Learn from our Solar Professionals: Solar Backup 101 

 

Backup Battery Power for Resiliency 

 

While early solar technology required batteries, most modern systems are battery-free, depending on the utility grid for power at night and on cloudy days. The cost and reliability of today’s Lithium-Ion batteries are quickly changing that, as more and more solar customers are choosing to include backup power in their systems. Have you always wanted to learn more about Solar energy storage or the new Tesla Powerwall? Join Third Sun President, Geoff Greenfield for a deep dive into solar batteries. Geoff has lived 100% off-grid with a variety of battery systems, and recently installed a Tesla Powerwall, his “last battery bank ever”. 

 

Become Self-Reliant with Solar Energy: Emergency Backup Options 

 

 

How we can strengthen our homes and businesses and become self-reliant in times of crisis?  

In this video, Consultant David Zelasko discusses battery storage and generator options to add to solar energy systems, which allows homeowners to harness the sun and power themselves even when the sun isn’t shining, or gird is down. You will learn about: Tesla Powerwall, Other Solar Batteries, Home generator options. 

Off-Grid Tesla Powerwall Experience  

 

Off-grid systems are ideal for individuals who live remotely and don’t have access to utility power. Off-grid solar systems use solar panels to charge a bank of batteries which then power your home at night, or when the solar PV system is not meeting the load demand, especially during winter. With an off-grid system, energy conservation is important. Using energy-efficient appliances, reducing your energy consumption, managing your electric loads, and relying on a backup generator are all elements of an off-grid lifestyle. 

Learn from Third Sun President and co-founder, Geoff Greenfield about his experience going “off-grid” with his Tesla Powerwall.  

Get a Quote Today!

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 home buyers, 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  

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 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.  

Why Solar Should Be Your Next Home Improvement

Days are growing longer and that means springtime is here!  You’re probably thinking about Spring cleaning & home improvement projects… Don’t forget to add Solar to the list!  Why? We have 6 reasons for you below… 

Lock in a 2020 Solar Installation

2020 is the final year that the Federal Tax Credit sits at 26%, dropping to 22% next year. Think ahead about getting locked in for a solar installation in 2020 for that 26% savings on the system. In 2022 the tax credit drops permanently to 0% for homeowners.    

It’s Getting Sunnier!

In fact, we’re gaining sunlight at the fastest rate all year! In April solar panels begin to start producing excess power and begin that pile up of credits for you to use in the darker winter months.  

On these longer, sunnier days solar power gives you more than what you need, it runs your meter backwards and racks up credits on your utility bill. These credits get drawn down during the darker months.  

 

Financial Benefit

Look at this February bill from one of our solar customers covering dates 1/04/2020 – 2/07/2020 with 1,668 kWh charges. Notice also the amount due: $0.00. Especially in a grey, Ohio February… How did they do it?  

Through net metering, this customer built up credits over the spring, summer and fall months to use during the wintertime. 

A Note About Fixed Charges 

With rural coops, customers may still experience a fixed monthly charge that is not kWh based and will not be offset by the solar production delivered back to the grid.  In some cases, such as with investor owned utility companies, like AEP in this example, the net metering credits carry forward on a rolling 12-month basis and zero out any fixed charges. 

Property Value Increase

Have you ever been worried about going solar and not getting the full benefit because you may move? The home you’re in now might not be the home that you live in for the next 25 or more years. With your solar system lasting at least 30 years (and some functioning even after 40 years!) you may wonder: what happens if I move?  

A recent report by Zillow shows that on a national average, homes with solar sold for 4.1% more than homes without solar. So by investing in solar, you’re both saving money now AND increasing the resale value of your home. 

So not only is it a good home improvement, it’s a good investment.  

Plenty of Time to Research

Are there any other appliances in your home that have a return on the investment you put into them? Sure, an investment like solar will require some research, talking to people, and some serious thinking. BUT, what better time than now to consider an investment like solar? With time on our hands, in our homes, there isn’t a better time to learn something new and connect with the folks who can answer the questions you have.  

Check out our upcoming Solar 1010 Webinar Series here. 

Be a Leader in your Neighborhood & Family!

What other home improvements could you make that make a statement to your children and your neighborhood about the future world you want to see? Switching to solar power isn’t just a smart economic choice to make, it’s an environmental choice too.  

Our Solar Consultants have moved to a remote solar site assessment process. They are available to talk with you from the safety of each of your respective homes.  With the 26% federal tax credit dropping at the end of the year, we encourage homeowners interested in getting the full benefit of a 2020 solar installation to connect with us soon. 

Interested in learning more?

Check out our recent Solar 101 Webinar here. 

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Solar Power in the Time of COVID-19  

At Third Sun Solar, our mission is to Accelerate the Shift to Clean Energy. We accelerate towards a clean energy future at a faster rate each year. However, we know that making this shift won’t happen overnight and we’re committed to seeing our mission through to the end. We’re all facing a lot of uncertainty these days, but we know that that seeing a clean energy future is still our driving mission and we won’t rest until we’ve seen big change! 

What has the COVID-19 pandemic taught us so far & how does it apply to solar power?

 

Sustainability

How are we creating a sustainable business that can weather the hardship that a pandemic might cause? As a Benefit Corporation, sustainability is at the root of our business. BCorps are accelerating a global culture shift to redefine success in business and build a more inclusive and sustainable economy. 

One way we do this is by creating sustainable and self-sufficient homes and businesses. We harness the environmental and economic benefit of the solar movement to help build the market for renewable energy.  

In the time of COVID-19, we’ve all learned that supporting our local economies in times of crisis is what will sustain us. Supporting the local restaurants that employ our neighbors. Supporting local farmers who will be there to provide food to nourish us. Supporting a local energy supply comes next.  

Sustainable economies arfueled by an energy supply that comes from close to home, energy supplies that are renewable in nature. Today’s solar technology paired with simple lifestyle changes will help maximize a community’s resilience all while protecting the natural world that we all depend on to surviveThat is sustainability.  

Reliability

Think about it: renewable energy is reliable, it’s stable and it has sound economic advantage. Are there any other appliances in your home that have a return on the investment you make when you buy themWith solar, energy is supplied for a flat rate for the decades that the solar panels are producing. It’s well documented that the case for renewables is as strong now as it’s ever been. The thing about your solar system is that it’s not influenced by outside forces – the economy, pandemics. The sun comes up every day and provides you with power, saving you money. It’s that simple. Solar is a safe investment.  

Despite relatively low electric rates, the solar industry has been thriving in the US for many years. Why? Electric rates creep upwards and ratepayers can see the expense of grid modernization coming. Our customers have decided to trade their dependence on outdated and non-renewable energy sources for clean energy generated in their neighborhoods and consumed right where it’s made.  

The Need for Community

It’s more important now than ever to reach out and connect with community. We’ve seen brilliance in the ways individuals are creating community and connecting with one another despite social distancing protocol. From the countless educational resources released to assist in homeschooling to live yoga classes hosted on Zoom, we’re in awe of how the world continues to connect.  

In our mission to accelerate the shift to clean energy, we won’t stop educating those interested in learning more.  

In order to connect with you at this time, we’ve put together a series of live webinars for you to learn something new and for you to engage with us. Check out a full list of upcoming webinars here to register or learn more on our Facebook Events page.  

The Need for a Clean Energy Future Remains

From titles like “Sorry, Climate Change hasn’t Gone Away Just Because of COVID-19” in Forbes to “The Coronavirus is a Preview of Our Climate-Change Future” in New York Magazine – we know that COVID-19 has something to teach us about climate change.  

Despite global economic slowdownswe all know that the climate crisis still exists. So too does the need for a clean energy future. Since the stay at home measures and other slowdowns of economic activity have happened in some of the world’s largest economies such as China and the United states, there has been an observed decrease in pollutants such as nitrogen dioxide, a gas emitted by motor vehicles, power plants, and industrial facilities. 

As we’re reminded to slow down, we’re also reminded to take time to think about what didn’t serve us in the past and move into the future with a new vision:  we hope that the need for clean energy surfaces as a priority in the weeks and months tcome.  

 

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Solar 101 Webinar Series

Our mission is To Accelerate the Shift to Clean Energy. And when looking forward we know that despite what is happening in the world right now, we still are completing the work necessary to achieve our mission. In fact, it’s more important now than ever. As part of our mission we provide education to individuals every day who are interested in learning more about solar power.

We know that solar can strengthen our homes and businesses by making them self-reliant in times of crisis. We also know that solar power protects the natural environment that we all depend on.

That’s why we’ve developed a new way to educate: through virtual events!

Please tune in every Thursday to learn more about cultivating self-reliance, community resilience, and reducing carbon pollution. We’ll be announcing additional virtual events along the way. Stay up to date by following our Facebook Events page. 

Upcoming Events 

 

Why We’re a Certified Benefit Corporation

Thursday, June 18, 11 AM

Third Sun Solar is proud to be part of a larger movement which is striving to redefine success in business, so all companies compete to not only be the best in the world, but best for the world. 

Learn about the commitments we’ve made to join the Certified Benefit Cooperation movement and join a forward-thinking group of businesses leading the charge to make business a force for good in the world.  

 

Choosing a Solar Module Manufacturer

Thursday, July 2 , 11 AM

Installing a home solar energy system is a smart financial investment for many homeowners.  

With over 20 years’ experience with solar, Third Sun President, Geoff Greenfield has seen solar panel manufacturers come and go, module technology grow and change and knows what to look for when choosing a solar module manufacturer. Tune in to learn what he looks for and why choosing the right manufacturer is so important.  

Past Events 

 

Backup Battery Power for Resiliency

Thursday, April 9th, 11 AM

While early solar technology required batteries, most modern systems are battery-free, depending on the utility grid for power at night and on cloudy days.  The cost and reliability of today’s Lithium-Ion batteries are quickly changing that, as more and more solar customers are choosing to include backup power in their systems.

Have you always wanted to learn more about Solar energy storage or the new Tesla Powerwall? Join Third Sun President, Geoff Greenfield for a deep dive into solar batteries.   Geoff has lived 100% off-grid with a variety of battery systems, and recently installed a Tesla Powerwall, his “last battery bank ever”.

 

Turning your roof into a profit center: How Solar Energy is Transforming Businesses

Friday, April 10th 1-2 PM

In this webinar, 20-year industry veteran Geoff Greenfield provides an overview of today’s solar technology and considerations for commercial applications.

The presentation will address the typical concerns of those exploring solar including:

  • Project economics
  • The solar resource in Ohio
  • Technology (including storage)
  • Performance and durability
  • penetrations and roof warranties
  • Question and Answer period

 

Going Solar For $0 Down: Fact vs. Fiction

Thursday, April 16th -11 AM

Do you dream of going solar but don’t have the upfront capital to make the investment? You aren’t alone! For many people paying for solar out of pocket simply isn’t an option.

Third Sun Solar is proud to offer a variety of ways to go solar for zero money down. We take a consultative approach and walk you through every step of the process.

Have questions about solar financing? Get them answered by Solar Consultant, David Zelasko

You’ll get answers to common questions like:

  • Can I really go solar for $0 down?
  • Are there additional incentives for solar that I can take advantage of?
  • What is the loan approval process?

 

7 Things to Know About Ohio Net Metering

Thursday, April 30th – 11 AM

In sunny peak months in Ohio, solar systems often produce more energy than a home can consume. Have you ever wondered you benefit from the extra energy your solar system produces?

Join Solar Consultant David Zelasko for a deep dive into Ohio’s Net Metering benefits.

 

Tesla Powerwall Off-Grid Experience

Thursday, May 7th, 11 AM

Third Sun President, Geoff Greenfield has been living “off-the-grid” with his Tesla Powerwall for the past 10 days.

Join Geoff as he discusses his experience taking his solar + storage system off the grid and what he’s learned along the way.

 

Become Self-Reliant with Solar Energy: Emergency Backup Options

Thursday, May 14 – 11 AM

How we can strengthen our homes and businesses and become self-reliant in times of crisis?

Join David Zelasko and learn how homes can combine battery storage, generators and solar electricity to harness the sun and power themselves even when the sun isn’t shining or gird is down.

You will learn about:

  • Tesla Powerwall
  • Other Solar Batteries
  • Generator Options

 

Solar Myth-Busting Panel

Thursday, May 21st 11 AM

Meet some of our Solar Consultants and ask them questions! We cover the most frequently asked questions we get, some long-standing solar myths and taking questions from our audience!

Solar Consultants Jamey Jones, David Zelasko, and Cesar Flores will be panelists.

The presentation will address the typical myths we’ve heard from those exploring solar including:

  • Does solar work in the wintertime?
  • Does solar work when the grid is down?
  • Can I go solar for $0 down?
  • Should I wait for better solar technology?
  • Questions from the audience…

 

When a Ground Mounted System is a Better Option

Thursday, May 28 – 11 AM

Join Third Sun Solar’s Jamey Jones to learn why and when we suggest a ground-mounted system.

 

How to Choose a Solar Installer

Thursday, June 4th – 11 AM

The most important decision you can make with regards to solar is who builds it. With solar panels becoming more common, the real key is the quality of the installation, integrity, and longevity of the contractor you choose. Co-Founder and Company President, Geoff Greenfield will evaluate points of comparison for choosing the best installer.

Covid-19: Our Turn to be Great?

I am in my second week of “working from home self-quarantine”, and I found an old photo of my grandfather as a young Air Force pilot, taken just before the US formally entered into WWII. He went on to fly fighters throughout Europe and the Pacific and was one of those that returned home alive.  At the time the photo was taken, the war was underway in Europe with bombs raining down on London, while the US was nervously watching a rising danger that still seemed far away to many.

 

Looking out my window at the quiet woods surrounding my house I feel safe and am grateful for my health.  I am grateful as well that this fast spreading virus hasn’t yet claimed any lives in my family or network.  This will change, and the death and suffering carried by this emerging threat will be upon us faster than many understand or currently admit.  This is not the case among my friends in healthcare who see what is coming and are grim. They are preparing for “the surge”, where our hospitals will be overwhelmed. As they get ready they also know that many of them will fall sick as they struggle to save as many lives as they can while comforting the dying.  While it seems that too many Americans are still trying to carry on as normal, those on the healthcare frontlines are steeling themselves for the realities of triage where they will decide who to treat and who to let die. They see the rising danger, and it is no longer a far away threat to them.

 

The tragic reality of this pandemic is that it is still “far away” for many Americans.  While the call to stay at home and flatten the curve is slowly gaining traction, it seems that too many of us are continuing with business as usual.  As I look at my grandfather’s young, innocent face in this photo, I can only imagine his thoughts as he prepared for a war that was still distant and far away to many of his peers. Their fragile innocence was quickly shattered as more and more families said goodbye to departing young soldiers knowing that many would not return.  These families and their neighbors quickly adjusted to a new reality of rationing, sewing bandages and planting victory gardens. Whether flying repeated bombing runs over a distant battlefield or working on a domestic aircraft assembly line, this war experience shaped and defined these men and women, and changed our culture.  Tom Brokaw told the stories of the “The Greatest Generation”, and their actions, mindset and sacrifice provide a stark contrast to our current culture focused on individualism, comfort and consumption.

 

As we hear about the grim reality of Italy’s overwhelmed healthcare system, many of us are starting to realize the gravity of our situation.  This growing awareness is awakening our instincts to contribute, and many are beginning to help in many ways: sewing masks and fabricating face shields, delivering food to the homebound and vulnerable, converting craft-distilleries from vodka production to hand sanitizer.  Thousands of small businesses are going into hibernation as they prioritize community health over their own economic self-interest.  The inspiring courage of our nurses, orderlies, med-techs, first responders and doctors feels contagious as they scramble to face a growing danger with a shortage of the masks, gloves and gowns that they need to protect them from this invisible enemy.

 

My grandfather and his generation were shaped by WWII.  His role in air combat was just one part of a massive collective effort that defined him and the nation while more than 400,000 Americans died in the war.  That horrible chapter in our history brought massive suffering and pain, yet it also birthed a culture where selfless contribution to community became stronger than selfish individualism. If today’s epidemiological models are right, the US may loose more lives to this viral enemy than my grandfather’s generation lost during the war. Will our generation rise to the occasion as his did?  Will our efforts mirror the collective sacrifice of “The Greatest Generation” and reshape our culture?

 

As I continue to see so many not yet taking this pandemic seriously, I am not sure we will. My grandfather’s generation was also shaped by the great depression, and our world today is vastly different than his, so strongly influenced by a media driven popular culture infatuated with pleasure, distraction and consumption.  While millions have continued to suffer from calamity and war around the globe, many of us have largely insulated ourselves from this pain, focusing instead on the pleasures and distractions that are beginning to appear trivial.  Though our economy has promoted a culture of self-indulgence, I don’t believe that this is who we truly are or how we are meant to be as humans.  At our core, our species is meant to be interdependent, working together for group survival.  Perhaps these traits are reemerging and our deepest survival instincts are awakening as a response to this new existential threat growing on the horizon.

 

Looking at this photo in my hand I feel grateful to have spent a lot of time with my grandfather during my youth; his influence on me was pretty significant.  His strength of will, determination, and confidence to lean into challenges are traits I have aspired to as I raised a family, built a business and lived my relatively comfortable life.  As this virus begins to challenge that comfort and we react and change, how will our culture shift?  Decades from now how will our grandchildren view our generation?

 

Though my observations often make me feel cynical, deep in my heart I am an optimist.  I am far from confident in this outcome, but I do have hope that this virus might awaken the best parts deep within all of us.  I have hope that as we respond to this threat we join together in collective action and relearn to genuinely care for each other.  This existential challenge on our horizon could be our chance to become a second “Greatest Generation”, with a new norm that values the good of the whole over our individual pursuit of comfort and false security.

 

We did not choose this challenge, yet it is upon us and we will all have a part to play.  I am inspired by Teddy Roosevelt’s call to action: “Do what you can, with what you have, where you are”.  I do not know how our grandchildren will come to view us years from now but I am hopeful that they will see us as heroes similar to the way I view my grandfather.  We are all a part of this story, and in the coming months our choices will determine its outcome.  This is our turn.