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.

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.

Third Sun Solar makes the 2015 “Best for the Environment” list from B Corporation


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. Healthy profits don’t mean much without a healthy planet, and we run our business with that in mind. That’s why we’re proud to lead our fellow B Corps in working to improve the quality of life for our community as a 2015 Best for Environment honoree.

How are we Best for the Environment? We earned an environmental impact score in the top 10% of all Certified B Corporations on the B Impact Assessment, a comprehensive assessment of a company’s impact on workers, the community and the environment. That means every day, along with our fellow honorees, we help create a healthier planet by taking the lead in advancing renewable energy usage, reducing carbon footprints, and cutting our resource use and waste stream.

A B Corp since 2012, we’re leading a global movement to redefine success in business so one day all companies compete to be not only the best in the world, but best for the world. We join over 1,200 other companies committed to using business as a force for good. Check them all out at

Taking people and planet as seriously as our profits is at the heart of our company’s mission. That’s why we have done things like:

  • installed solar on our own offices to produce almost 70% of our company’s electricity through clean power;
  • conducted a waste audit to see how we could cut down on our waste products even further;
  • encouraged and assisted other businesses to take action to become B Corporations;
  • sell a clean energy product every day with the mission to accelerate the shift to clean energy.

We couldn’t do all this without the support of our customers, our employees and our community. These are people like you who believe in our mission—people who prove that doing good is also good for business. Thank you helping us to succeed where it truly matters. We are proud to be Best for the Environment.

Please check out our fellow honorees—along with those who are Best for the World, Best for Workers and Best for Communities,—and help us spread the word. And contact us if you want to learn more about how your business or your employer can become a B Corp.

Smart Solar Finance—Owning Solar versus Leasing Solar

Why Let Someone Else Profit From Your Solar Investment?

Our society is seeing a great surge in people taking steps to be more green in their lives and work. Installing solar panels is one of the most visible and tangible green actions households can take, and with that in mind, many people are taking a fresh look at solar electric for their homes and businesses. A growing, maturing solar industry means lower manufacturing costs and a lower cost of solar energy. In recent years, the falling price of silicon has also contributed to lower prices of solar panels and making solar energy more affordable for everyone. Experienced solar energy companies like Third Sun Solar are now offering easy finance options for home solar panel systems.

Solar Home Ownership Made Easier

In Los Angeles, a booming solar city where thousands of homeowners have acquired residential solar through leasing, many people are now taking a second look at their solar panel lease—with regrets. Selling a house with a solar lease adds complications, and in some cases, they are now realizing they could have done better financially—much better—by buying their system outright.

With solar loan programs becoming more available and popular, people can now make an investment in installed solar panel kits for their home with little or no money down. If your credit score is good, you can get a good rate and easy terms. Our smart financing options allow us to offer easier purchasing options with better long-term returns than leasing.

The benefits of buying residential solar power, in many cases, far outweigh the benefits of leasing. Under our financing program, all of these advantages apply:

  • Little or no down payment
  • Customer may be eligible for a federal tax credit
  • Customer may gain asset value on home
  • Payments may decrease over time
  • There are no pre-payment penalties

An Investment That Pays You Over Time

Financing your investment in solar can put purchasing within reach and pay nice dividends—in fact, an investment in solar can outpace many other available investments these days. Using either our smart financing, a traditional refinanced mortgage, or using a home equity line of credit (HELOC) can pay for the system and reap solid downstream savings.

Purchasing a solar power system is a great long-term investment that can increase the value of solar homes more and more as utility rates rise over time. The immediate savings on your electric bill can multiply as rates rise, as they are predicted to do. No one knows how fast or how far utility rates will rise; in states like Ohio, where electric rates are low because utilities burn coal in aging power plants, chances are that rates will rise sharply as utilities are forced to replace those aging plants with newer, cleaner ones. Long-term energy savings with clean solar on your rooftop may be more and more attractive to home buyers as rates rise over time.

Downsides of Solar Leasing

Many people are drawn to solar leasing for the same reasons they are drawn to leasing cars—these leases require little money down on signing, and they can “drive more car for less money.” But that sidesteps the fact that they are creating no ownership equity. Dealers love leasing cars, as they make more money that way. With solar energy systems having a productive 30+ year lifecycle, a purchase decision can pay you the dividends, rather than letting someone else make that money off your rooftop.

Put the Money in Your Own Pocket

The advantages of solar leasing include low or no money down and a reduced electric bill that is consistent month to month. But consider these solar energy facts: if you lease, you do not own your solar panels, someone else does; you cannot take the 30% Federal Tax Credit, as you do not own the system; and the reason lease companies offer leases is that they represent earning opportunities for them. Solar ownership puts that earning opportunity in your pocket.

In states like California, where solar has been growing by leaps and bounds, leasing offers consumers a way to spread the up-front cost of solar over a long period of time, while also saving on their monthly electric bill. But lease payments are passed on to the home buyer in the event of a sale, and that is another drawback for a solar lease—selling the home may be more difficult because purchasers must have high enough credit scores to meet the leasing company requirements.

Choose Smart Solar Financing

Purchasing your solar system from one of the better solar panel companies can make the most financial sense in the long run. Purchasing is easier now thanks to lower costs, the 30% Federal Tax Credit and good financing options. Federal tax incentives are set to expire within the next 3 years, so the best time to go solar is now! Call us for details—877-OWN-SOLAR (877-696-7652).

Good Living, Solar Style: Residential Trends

This year, we have seen our business grow with increasing numbers of large commercial solar installations—and we are projecting that growth to continue, and accelerate, in 2012. But we have also seen a steady increase in residential solar. And in looking back over the past couple years, we see some clear trends emerging.
Read more

Third Sun Solar Ranked 32nd Energy Company on the Inc. 5000

Third Sun Solar Ranked 32nd Energy Company on the Inc. 5000

Three-Year Growth of 390% Places Third Sun Solar Number 742 Overall on Inc. Magazine’s Exclusive List of the Nation’s Fastest Growing Companies.

NEW YORK, August 19, 2009Inc. magazine this month ranked Third Sun Solar number 32 among energy companies, number 21 among Ohio based companies and number 742 overall on its annual Inc. 5000, an exclusive ranking of the nation’s fastest-growing private companies. The list represents the most comprehensive look at the most important segment of the economy—America’s entrepreneurs. Consumer electronics maker Vizio, Internet giant GoDaddy, and beverage maker Honest Tea are a few of the prominent brands featured on this year’s list.

“Savvy trend spotters and those who invest in private companies know that the Inc. 5000 is the best place to find out about young companies that are achieving success through a wide variety of unprecedented business models, as well as older private companies that are still expanding at an impressive rate,” said Inc. 5000 project manager Jim Melloan. “That’s why our list is so eagerly anticipated every year.”

Commenting on the announcement, Third Sun Solar President Geoff Greenfield said, “We’ve been working on solar projects of all shapes and sizes since 1997, but making the Inc. list this year points to how far the industry has come.  Solar now makes economic sense in addition to environmental sense – even here in the Midwest”.  He added, “While other sectors are contracting, renewable energy is growing, and Third Sun is working hard to create sustainable jobs while providing sustainable energy.  I am especially proud of our team of dedicated people that have worked so hard to get us here, and I look forward to rapid growth as more customers decide to turn their roofs into productive assets”.

The 2009 Inc. 5000, unveiled this August on, serves as a unique report card on the U.S. economy. Despite the ongoing recession, aggregate revenue among the companies on the list actually increased to $214 billion, up $29 billion from last year, with a median three-year growth rate of 126 percent. The Inc. 5000 are responsible for creating more than 1 million jobs since their founding, making the list perhaps the best example of the impact private, fast-growing companies can have on the economy. Complete results of the Inc. 5000, including company profiles and an interactive database that can be sorted by industry, region, and other criteria, can be found on

About Third Sun Solar & Wind Power Ltd.

Third Sun Solar is the Midwest’s leading provider of solar energy systems to utility, commercial, residential and institutional customers.  Following construction of their own solar powered home in 1997, founders Geoff and Michelle Greenfield launched Third Sun in 2000 to serve the nascent solar market in the region. Third Sun has grown to become a top tier design, supply and installation resource for best in class solar systems.          www.Third-Sun.Com (877) OWN-SOLAR