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5.28 kW Residence, Delaware, OH

Ohio Solar Incentives

Ohio Solar Incentives 

It’s going to be a busy year for solar and our installation schedule is filling up faster than usual this year! We are already scheduling installations for the spring 2019.  Why the rush? Because 2019 is the final year to get the full 30% federal tax credit before it drops.

What is the 30% Federal Tax Credit?  

Otherwise known as the Investment Tax Credit, the Solar Tax Credit allows you to deduct 30% of the cost of your solar system from your federal taxes.  

Put simply: if you spend $20,000 on your solar system, you pay $6,000 less in taxes when you file. The tax credit is different than a refund in that, you do have to owe taxes to claim the credit. If the credit is larger than your tax liability in the first year, the remaining amount can be applied the next year. Generally, all expenses included in the quote you receive from your Solar Consultant can be included in the deduction. There is no cap on the value of the credit, and it is available to both residential and commercial customers. Every tax situation is different, however. While we at Third Sun Solar are experts on all things solar, we do not provide tax advice and encourage you to consult with your accountant. 

How long will the federal tax credit stay in effect?  

The solar tax credit will remain at 30% for solar systems completed and placed in service before December 31, 2019. The tax credit will be reduced to 26% in 2021 and then to 22% in 2022. After 2022, there will be no solar tax credit for residential customers but a 10% credit for commercial entities will remain 

Other reasons to go solar in 2019:  
  • Third Sun Solar is now offering ZERO DOWN financing! These solar friendly low interest loan options are easy to understand and are available to most customers depending on credit  
  • Electricity prices continue to rise and are never paid off. While solar prices are at an all-time low, energy prices are expected to maintain their annual tick upward, forever… 
  • If you live in a metropolitan area in Ohio: Dayton, Cincinatti, Cleveland, Columbus you may be eligible for the Energy Conservation for Ohioans, or ECOLink program. 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.  
Why wait? 

Homeowners are realizing the return on investment will increase when you go solar before 2020. There has never been a better time to go solar in Ohio. Since the initiation of the Investment Tax Credit, the cost of solar as dropped as solar technology and the efficiency of our installation team has improved. The cost of waiting is not worth the cost of losing out on the 30% tax incentive.  

Why Third Sun Solar?  

Our schedule is filling up quickly. We urge you to make the most of the final months left to receive the full 30% federal tax incentive.  

Learn how easy it is to go solar by submitting a form here, or by calling 877-Own-Solar to speak with one of our qualified solar consultants today.  

      

 

3 Solar Power Predictions for 2016

Welcome 2016

Quite a lot happened in 2015 that will bring improvements to our homes and environment. Now that 2016 is here, we wanted to make some solar power predictions around what we think is in store for the Midwest.

1 – More homeowners will go solar. The renewal of the ITC will allow solar installations in the Midwest to catch up to what has been going on in the coastal states. More and more homeowners will turn to solar this year as they watch their electricity bills increase due to rising costs of fossil fuels and rate hikes approved by PUCO.

2 – Storage is going to be talked about more than installed this year. We don’t think 2016 is the year for energy storage, although it will start creeping more and more into the media. We’ve already seen the excitement building around energy storage prototypes, but in the Midwest, we think it will be a few years away until energy storage provides financial benefits.

3 – Solar installation prices will continue to drop, although only slightly. PV modules have already seen significant price cuts over the last few years, so any future drops in price are more likely to come from installation innovations. These types of efficiency changes are only likely to result in small cost cuts and not on the scale as has been witnessed one the last few years.

Santa Closes Coal Plant for Good!

December 22, 2015
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Santa Closes Coal Plant for Good!
(North Pole) – Major changes for Christmas this year, as Santa closes the centuries old coal plant at the North Pole. Parents and children around the world will be enjoying a much greener and cleaner Christmas from now on with toys made with responsibly produced electricity and without coal in their stockings.
Santa ClausFor years, coal has been easily accessible and cheap for Santa to use in powering his toyshop at the North Pole and giving leftover coal to children on the Naughty list. Making the shift to renewable energy to power the toyshop, Santa says embracing solar and wind power for his energy needs “is the way of the future.” People around the globe are being advised to learn from Santa’s choices and include renewable energy on their Christmas lists this year.

“It’s a great way to lower the rising price of energy bills,” says Mrs. Claus, “and it’s better for everyone.”

Green Gifts
By closing the North Pole Coal Plant for good, Santa is also changing his “gifts” for naughty children from lumps of coal to local rocks. Elf Sam comments, “Local rocks are in greater supply, can be picked up conveniently at each home, won’t overburden the reindeer, and are a much more green, sustainable gift encouraging children to be good the coming year.” He also thinks it’s great that Santa is going to be “rocking the rocks” instead of carrying coal.

Santa is a Role Model to All
“We think this is a great time for people to learn from Santa and take control of their energy supply by installing solar panels on their homes”, comments Geoff Greenfield, President of Third Sun Solar, “Many families are unaware of the savings they could enjoy by going solar. Since the panels don’t require direct sunlight to work, there is still electricity generating on a cloudy day.” “Though,” says Michelle Greenfield, “Santa’s going to have to be a little more careful where he parks the sleigh from now on!”

Santa is being applauded for his dedication to reversing climate change and the impact he is making by switching to renewable energy. The North Pole is already enjoying the benefits of free power and Santa hopes they can be a positive influence on the rest of the world.

 

About Third Sun Solar
Based in Athens, Ohio, Third Sun Solar is a fast-growing design/build solar photovoltaic firm serving Ohio and surrounding states. Recognized as an Inc. 5000 Five-Year Honoree company, Third Sun Solar is at the forefront of the emerging clean energy industry—a growing resource for 21st-century Ohio jobs. For 15 years, the company has custom designed and installed over 400 solar energy systems for its commercial, institutional, government, and residential customers across the Midwest, generating more than 9 megawatts of energy in pursuit of the goal of bringing solar energy into the residential and commercial mainstream. Third Sun Solar employs a team of NABCEP-certified solar energy system installers along with design engineers, financial analysts, grant specialists, and support staff focused on making it easier for customers to go solar. The company combines financial and management experience, multiple installation crews, a network of professional services partners, and advanced internal systems to deliver a smooth transition to solar energy at any scale.

Third Sun Solar is a woman-owned business, recognized as a Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) through the state of Ohio’s Unified Certification Program. The firm is EDGE-certified and federal HUBzone-certified. The firm is a Certified B-Corporation –third party audited for sustainable and fair business practices.

Contact: 1-877-OWN-SOLAR

From LED’s to Solar-Powered Christmas Trees: the Holidays Become More Energy Conscious

The holidays have never been brighter, or greener. With the unseasonably warm weather we’ve been experiencing in the Eastern half of the country, we’ve noticed more people making time to get outside and set up holiday light displays. And as we take in these beautiful displays, we are enjoying the trend towards LED lights and solar-powered Christmas trees.

dreamstimesmall_48386551

LED Lights Keep Money in the Bank

Christmas lights are typically left on for hours at a time, so it’s easy to rack up higher than normal electric bills. Investing in LED string lights that use less than a third of the energy, last 10 times longer, and are safer than a standard incandescent string means that you will end up with more savings in your pocket year after year. The electricity bill will go down. Replacement strands won’t be needed for years. And since LED lights don’t emit heat, they won’t overheat and cause a fire.

Harnessing the Sun to Light up the Night

Christmas Tree: Rockefeller Center

Christmas Tree: Rockefeller Center

Cities around the world have been using LED lights to brighten trees for years and now they are taking things a step farther by powering those lights with energy supplied by the sun. Here’s a rundown of some solar-powered trees we love this Christmas:

Brisbane, Queenland, Australia  

New York City, NY: Rockefeller Plaza 

Lismore, New South Wales, Australia 

These trees are gorgeous. If you are traveling this season and have an opportunity to visit them in person, you won’t be disappointed.

(Due to space constraints, panels are not yet supplying 100% of the power needed, but we find it inspiring none-the-less that cities are using renewable energy to make their holiday displays greener each year. More information can be found here regarding the energy usage of the Rockefeller Center tree.)

Solar Myth Busting: High Maintenance

Rooftop solar

Myths get started all the time as we try to understand something complicated. We make up a story as an explanation, and the more times we say it and share it, the more that myth sounds like truth. So, we are going to bust some myths by sharing the simple facts about solar. This doesn’t have to be complicated and these myths are no longer necessary to get solar.

Myth: Solar is High Maintenance

Fact: Solar panels have no moving parts, on average are warrantied for 25 years, and nature takes care of the bulk of the maintenance work.

With no moving parts, solar panels require little to no regular maintenance. And because we are in the Midwest, we are lucky, because heavy rainfalls generally take care of cleaning the panels for us! If you think you are in an extra dusty part of town, a couple times a year you may want to check your solar panels for a build-up of dirt and debris, since heavily soiled panels will have slightly decreased output than sparkling panels. Panels that appear heavily soiled with dirt, pollen, or bird droppings can be rinsed off safely with a garden hose on cloudy days or early in the morning. No need to scrub your panels or hand clean them, which can result in damage. If your garden hose doesn’t have the power to get all of your panels with you standing on the ground, we recommend having a professional climb onto the roof to take care of them for you. Safety isn’t to be taken lightly.

From Paris to Your Home

COP21 to Home
This week, 190 leaders from around the world are gathered in Paris for the 2015 Climate Change Conference (COP21). Governments from the largest nations to the smallest, from the most wealthy to the poorest, are putting forth plans to slow global warming. With such distant dignitaries working on the problem, where does that leave you and me?

It may feel like all of us back at home are just in the audience of the climate talks. We are outside looking in, following the scenarios, the plans and the pledges. But we don’t have to just be1 spectators. We can actively participate by making necessary changes in our own back yard.

Several key actions have been identified as needed to limit the most severe effects of global warming. These are actions that nations, states and cities will be making pledges and plans around. They are also actions that each one of us can address individually, in our own homes, and in our own back yards.

  • We can increase the efficiency of buildings. Think about your own home: where can you make efficiency improvements? US News and World Report offers 10 Energy Efficient Home Improvements you can make like sealing air leaks, adding insulation to your attic, and installing a programmable thermostat. The bonus you get with these improvements is that you not only make your home more efficient, you’ll use less electricity and gas, and save you money. Over the long term, you will save more money than it costs to implement these improvements. And you’ll reduce your use of fossil fuels.
  • We can increase electricity generation using clean power like solar and wind. Over the last 15 years installing solar on homes around the Midwest, we’ve experienced the price of solar dropping 80%, which has been making solar cheaper for many homeowners than their existing electric provider. You can save money from day one and do your part to contribute to the slowing of global warming by switching to renewable energy. We are seeing more homeowners than ever taking this bold and smart step to reduce the amount of fossil fuel pollution entering the atmosphere.
  • We can educate. Each one of us can share news and ideas for slowing global warming. When we take action at home to reduce fossil fuel usage, we can let our friends and neighbors know how they can do the same. We are in this together and the only way we will get out of it and make an impact is together.

The adage “Think Globally, Act Locally” still applies to the world’s climate crisis. Leaders on the global stage in Paris are making commitments and taking action to help alleviate this crisis, and each one of us can do the same on our own local stages too.

 

Another Ohio Home Goes Solar

Athens’ Air Gets a Little Cleaner

This beautiful 7.92kW system recently went live in Athens, Ohio.

In addition to hedging against future rate increases and lowering the homeowners’ utility bills, these 33 panels will offset approximately 15,944 pounds of greenhouse gas emissions over the next 25 years.

digAthens

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Now that is what we call a good neighbor.

Contact us today by filling out an inquiry form on our homepage, or call 877-OWN-SOLAR to see what solar can do for your home and your neighbors’ health.

 

Fossil Fuel Interests Attack Renewable Energy

A new report details the extreme measure that the fossil-fuel industry has taken to attack clean energy.

Fossil fuel-funded front groups repeatedly spread disinformation on renewable energy standard and net metering policies in an effort to overturn pro-clean energy laws in 2013 and 2014.

A new report details the efforts of these front groups to eliminate clean energy policies across the country. The fossil fuel lobby aggressively uses lobbying and propaganda to achieve their goals. Self-identified “free market think tanks” are among the most effective advocates for the fossil fuel industry to lobby for policy changes. Dozens of these so-called free market organizations, a majority of which are members of the State Policy Network (SPN), worked to influence state level energy policies and attack the clean energy industry.

These organizations are usually described in neutral, nondescript terms, such as “think tank,” “institute,” or “policy group,” but publicized internal documents from the American Tradition Institute, Heartland Institute, and the Beacon Hill Institute suggest that these types of organizations embrace transactional relationships with the corporate lobbying interests that fund their operations.

The Beacon Hill Institute, a “think tank” based out of Suffolk University (and a Koch-funded member of SPN) submitted a controversial grant request to the Searle Freedom Trust, a prominent conservative foundation, in they expressly stated: “Success will take the form of media recognition, dissemination to stakeholders, and legislative activity that will pare back or repeal [the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (or RGGI)].” In other words, the Beacon Hill Institute proposed to pursue biased economic research to support the express goal to “pare back or repeal” a regional climate change accord — all before the institute performed any research determining the economic effect of the law.

Another example of the pay-to-play nature of these so-called “think tanks” comes from Heartland Institute’s Internal fundraising documents which stated: “Contributions will be pursued for this work, especially from corporations whose interests are threatened by climate [change] policies.”

Despite positioning themselves as ideologically-focused on smaller government, dozens of these organizations aggressively denounce policy investments in clean energy as market-distorting and unnecessary, while remaining silent on the far-larger, decades-old stream of taxpayer dollars and policies supporting oil, gas, and coal interests.

Over the years, government support for fossil fuels has come from a variety of sources: tax deductions, tax credits, direct subsidies, cheap access to public property, pollution remediation, research and development, and entire government agencies devoted to helping promote and assist fossil fuel industry growth. By all credible measurements, fossil fuel subsidies are massive and extremely unpopular, and are flowing to some of the most highly profitable industries on earth. Yet, fossil fuel subsidies go largely unmentioned by these “free market” groups, such as the Heartland Institute, despite their avowed opposition to wasteful government spending.

Fossil fuel-funded front groups operate in multiple areas to influence the policy-making process in their attempts to eliminate clean energy policies. First, groups like the Beacon Hill Institute provide flawed reports or analysis claiming clean energy policies have negative impacts. Next, allied front groups or “think tanks” use the flawed data in testimony, opinion columns, and in the media. Then, front groups, like Americans for Prosperity, spread disinformation through their grassroots networks, in postcards mailed to the public, and in television ads attacking the clean energy policy. Finally, lobbyists from front groups, utilities, and other fossil fuel companies use their influence from campaign contributions and meetings with decision makers to push for anti-clean energy efforts.

Instead of advocating for a fair and free market for electricity, over the past year and a half, fossil fuel front groups have advocated to repeal, freeze, and eliminate pro-clean energy policies across the country on behalf of allies and funders in the fossil fuel industry.

This is an excerpt from a new report, issued today by the Energy and Policy Institute entitled “Attacks on Renewable Energy Standards and Net Metering Policies by Fossil Fuel Interests and Front Groups 2013-2014.”  You can download the 35-page report at this link.

Fossils

U.S. Conservative Voices Grow Louder in Support of Renewable Energy

The year 2013 will be remembered as the year that utilities in the United States crossed the Rubicon of renewable energy. At first glance you might think this is a purely partisan matter, one of liberals and conservatives scoring points off each other; however, it is actually the result of our republican (with a small ‘r’) form of government, wherein the profound wisdom of our founding fathers once again proves its worth. Frankly, what has happened should make each and every American proud.

Here’s what’s going on, and it’s quintessentially an American phenomenon.

No matter what our illustrious Congress desires or attempts, and regardless what our current President intends, at the end of every American day, the sun sets on 50 states and a handful of territories that are free and independent governments. Thus, even though we have a federal tax code, a FERC, and an EPA, it is still at the state level that the majority of business gets done. It is at the state level where new business is created and new technology is put into play. It’s also where power plants are built and operated. Like it or not, most U.S. electrical generation is a state-level activity. That’s where the money is spent and where jobs are created.

So unless the federal government, executive, legislative or judicial branch outright makes illegal some commercial activity, the states are going to do what they think is good for that state.

And lo and behold, the states have decided renewable energy is good.

Hence, despite what the last presidential election rhetoric sounded like, and despite what the current Congress is saying about renewable energy, the simple economics of wind, solar and other clean technology speaks for itself. Thus, in a free-market capitalist nation like America, we are seeing more and more states, businesses, and Americans freely choosing renewable energy.

A growing number of American utilities are facilitating this progress at the state level because it’s what the citizens, voters and taxpayers in those states have decided is best for them, their state and their country. No one is threatening to secede from the United State over renewable energy. Rather, we engaged in expanding renewable energy resources because it is the American thing to do.

Therefore, despite the continuing gridlock in Congress, the states are mostly exercising their liberty and moving ahead with their own renewable energy build-out, not so much as part of a larger transition away from coal to natural gas, but to diversify the energy sector and enhance local and national security.

The examples are truly indicative of Americans doing what we do best; namely, the pursuit of life, liberty and happiness.

Even more interestingly, despite the continued Congressional opposition to wind and solar, mainly on the Republican side of the House of Representatives, a growing number of Republican states are acting independently and ignoring Congressional Republicans who have forgotten to look and see what’s happening at home. Many current, substantial, and compelling examples abound.

For example Georgia, a bastion of traditionally ultra-conservative ideology with a near super-majority of Republicans in its state government, just saw all five of its statewide elected, conservative Republican Public Service Commissioners vote unanimously in favor of allowing Georgia Power, the nation’s largest public utility, to purchase 210 MW of solar energy. And then just eight months after that vote, they ordered GA Power to add another 525 MW, as a hedge against fuel and regulatory risk in order to protect the state and its economy and jobs.

Just prior to that move in Georgia, another ultra-conservative state, North Carolina, defeated a conservative-led attempt to repeal its Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS). That defeat was followed by the Governor of North Carolina declaring June 2013 as “Solar Energy Month.” All that occurring with that state’s largest utility, Duke, supporting the continuation of the RPS.

Many Republican states are doing exactly the opposite of what the Republican Party in the House of Representatives in Congress claims to stand against. Legislators at the State level are actively and aggressively working toward nonpartisan solutions to move into the 21st Century in a way that’s best for Americans. These are bold, intelligent, and careful moves that make America better, stronger, leaner, cleaner and ready for a better and brighter future using more and more wind and solar. As it stands today, the state of our union, although in a state of perpetual gridlock at the Congressional level, is doing pretty darn well at the state level in the area of renewable energy. It is clearly the states that are leading the charge on the renewable energy front. And that’s the way it should be.

Just as it was the morals, values and concerns for the individual that informed our founding fathers and guided their political compass toward a republican form of government for the United States, so it is that we are now seeing the states inform our Congress, our Judiciary and our President on how to proceed with renewable energy. If only Congress would see and listen.

U.S. utilities are already in the game. They understand it can work, and they know they can make it work. While many may have been slow to start, they are speeding up. We are seeing that every day American utilities are increasingly becoming part of the solution rather than the problem. This is, again, due in large part to the fact that utilities operate at the state level, where they are still accountable to local folks — the people that they must serve.

In the end, despite the detour from rationality that the most recent national election cycle took, and despite the detour that Congress is currently still on, the renewable energy industry in America is actually back on track. Most particularly, the states are back on track. Once Congress gets on board with the states and supports the utilities in their combined effort to improve our energy infrastructure with wind and solar, our democracy will once again prove itself to be the closest thing to divine action mere mortals could ever conceive, just as our founding fathers envisioned.

Lee Peterson
October 07, 2013
Original story here