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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.

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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.

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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.