We considered solar for awhile. Did some research. Contacted several companies. Hands down, a no brainer, Third Sun was the company we wanted to go with. From the first time we spoke to the last day of the install, we were very satisfied with the whole process. We had to do nothing. Very friendly, knowledgeable people who listened and answered all of our questions. Extremely satisfied. Thank you.
I highly recommend Third Sun Solar. My community’s zoning code did not address solar panels so they worked with me and the local officials to establish a code. It was a long process but the code is now in place and my solar panels are now in place which will hopefully encourage more neighbors to also go solar. Great company, very good people.
In the end, you are definitely in good hands with Third Sun and I will recommend them to anyone, even our local school district. Of the other companies I have talked too, Third Sun seems to be the only one who has more of a broader environmental mission opposed to just making money. I think you will find that that mission is what will give you comfort in their ability to keep you happy with your install long after they leave the project.
Neighborhood animals are especially prone to nesting underneath roof-mounted solar panels. Why? Because rooftop solar systems provide protection from the sun, security from predators and a good space to create a nest for many of these animals. If you aren’t proactive, animals can quickly become a problem for your solar array.
What kind of damage can critters do?
Well, a lot. Birds and squirrels are the most common culprits of damage on rooftop solar arrays. Squirrels nest under panels, chew through wires and sometimes burrow through your roof. Birds leave behind scat and nets, which build up lots of debris. This damage and build up can lead to power loss and maintenance costs for your roof and solar array.
A Solution to the Problem
Your Solar Consultant will recommend Critter guards for your home solar array. You could have critter guard screens installed at the time of your solar instillation, or at a later time. It will be most cost effective to install critter guards at the time of your solar instillation.
Third Sun Solar doesn’t recommend installing critter guards by yourself. We wouldn’t want you to get hurt, or to accidentally cause your solar system to malfunction by pulling a wire.
Third Sun Solar recommends that you ask your Solar Consultant to include critter guards when you make your solar purchase. This relatively low-cost addition can help prevent big maintenance problems and damage to your panels or roof in the long run. Ask you Solar Consultant for specific pricing.
If you’re building a new home, you have the opportunity to build it with energy efficiency in mind. Energy smart choices will save you time and money in the long run.
Tips for building an energy efficient home:
- Work with a contractor who has built low-energy homes in the past
- Use Energy-Star rated appliances, windows, and insulation.
- Super insulate your attic and sealing ducts
- If you’re going solar, consider an electric stove and/or water heater
- Select highly insulated windows and doors
- Use large south facing windows to bring heat into your home during the wintertime (and cover with shades to cool in the summertime)
- Install energy efficient lighting
- Power your home with the sun!
Planning for Solar:
- Identify local requirements: Some homeowners associations, historic preservation districts and communities have special solar zoning requirements. Get up to speed by researching local zoning rules and regulations.
Designing for Solar
- Position your home with solar in mind: If you want to power your home with solar, the most important thing to consider is positioning. A south-facing roof is ideal for solar panels to capture the most sun. On average, east and west rooftops capture a little less of the suns energy.
- Roof angle: A roof pitched between 30 and 45 degrees is ideal for solar in Ohio.
- Roof truss: spacing of 4 feet or less.
- Roof Material: We can mount panels most cost-eﬀectively, with no roof penetrations, on Standing Seam Metal.
- Conduit run: of 250 feet or less for solar electric lines.
- Built-in metal conduit: from the attic to a location near the electrical service panel— typically 1-inch conduit.
- Large service disconnect: as a point of connection for solar.
- Minimize roof obstructions: Keep solar panels in mind when designing where to put vents and other roof attachments, like dormers and chimneys.
- Load Bearing of the roof: Make sure that your roof will be able to bear the additional weight of a solar energy system.
- Consider landscaping: For solar to work well, sunlight needs direct access to your roof. Think about the placement of your home in relation to trees and other landscaping that could cast shadows on your solar arrays.
- Don’t install a utility meterbase disconnect.
Work with your solar installer from the beginning.
Once you’ve decided to include solar in the plan for your new home, give us a call. We’ve worked with many people who are building a new homes and are interested in installing solar. We know all the tricks. We’ll even create a plan with your contractor. Kokosing Solar offers zero down to homeowners, which means you don’t have to bear the brunt of high upfront costs. You start saving money from day one.
We have worked on many energy-efficient homes in Ohio. Last year we installed solar panels on a home in Cincinnati, Ohio, that achieved LEED Platinum certification. This residence is equipped with solar panels and geothermal. Learn more about LEED accreditation here. Kokosing Solar is a proud member of the US Green Building Council, the accreditation body for LEED certification.
Solar Guards: Avoid the Avalanche!
Sometimes we see a big blizzard with heavy snow that sticks around for a while. Fortunately, the average solar panel can support up to 800lbs. of snow. There are side effects to snow on solar panels, however: Solar avalanches! Adding solar panels to your roof changes the way snow interacts with the roof itself. Read on to learn more about these changes: the dangers and what you can do to prevent them.
Why Solar Guards are Important
Asphalt shingles are what most roofs are designed with here in the states. Asphalt shingles have high friction and after a snowfall, snow typically grips to the rough surface as melt water from the bottom of the pile slowly melts the snow away. The solar panels installed on your roof replace this rough, grippy, asphalt surface with smooth, even glass. This means when snow builds up on this this low-friction material, the melt water underneath the snow acts as an accelerator. This causes snow to slip off your roof all at once. These “avalanches” have the potential to do damage to landscaping, cables, vehicles, gutters and even you or your family.
What are Snow Guards
A snow guard is a device designed to prevent damage caused by snow slipping off solar panels. Solar panels have snow guards affixed directly them to prevent large pieces of snow from cascading down and falling off your roof all at once.
Not all homeowners need solar guards
- Our Engineers can design your system with ample asphalt roof space around the edge of your solar PV system. This rough roof space acts as a barrier to snow slipping off your solar panels and roof. If you’re working with limited roof space, however, the size of your solar system will be reduced.
- If the area underneath your solar panels doesn’t have doorways, vehicles or landscaping, and there are no safety threats, snow guards may not be necessary.
- The pitch of your roof will be a factor in determining the necessity of snow guards.
Due to these variables, your solar installer will work with you to understand if snow guards are a good fit for your solar system. Ultimately, Third Sun Solar will recommend the instillation of snow guards on solar systems where there is risk of damage or harm.
There are places in Ohio, for example Cleveland, Akron and the northern part of the state, where significant snow buildup during the wintertime is a real concern. Consider how much snow falls annually in your area when you weigh the risks of not getting snow guards. Learn more about solar in the snow here.
In the end, snow guards are relatively low-cost additions to your solar purchase. Insuring your property and the people you love are safe given the chance of a solar panel snow slip might be worth investing in this low-cost upgrade.
Here at Third Sun Solar we have been working in the Midwest for the past 19 years. Our experienced installers can assess your roof and determine if snow guards are right for you.
Go Green & Save Green this St. Patrick’s Day
Here in Ohio, it seems that spring has come early and while our trees aren’t green quite yet, St. Patrick’s day is a good reminder of all things green. It’s a great opportunity to start thinking about greening your home and consequently, saving green in the long run!
In the world we live in, energy is an expense that is nearly impossible to avoid. Reducing the amount of energy we use is good for both the planet as well as our wallets.
Tips to Green Your Home by Saving Electricity:
1. Wash only full loads of laundry and dishes
2. Plug electronics into power strips
3. Purchase Energy Star products
4. Switch out incandescent bulbs for CFL & LED bulbs
5. Wash laundry in cold water
6. Go solar!
How Going Solar can help you Go Green & Save Green
Solar power uses clean, renewable power from the sun to make energy. The standard way of creating energy relies on non-renewable fossil fuels which release carbon when processed and contribute to rising greenhouse gasses in our environment. In fact, the majority of greenhouse gas emissions come from brown energy – vehicle emissions and power plants that generate power for the utility companies. Compared to its alternative, solar power has a much greener impact on the environment.
Energy from the sun is readily available, abundant, and won’t run out! Fossil fuels, like coal and natural gas, need mined before they can be processed. The mining process is harmful to the environment and it is expensive. This expense, in part, is passed on to customers by way of their electric bill. Using solar power over fossil fuels is one of the most important steps a person can make to reduce the amount of carbon they put out into the environment. By switching to solar power, you can put your money towards capturing earth’s cleanest and most readily available energy resource: the sun!
Solar systems provide homeowners with the opportunity to generate their own power.
Solar energy systems have a high up-front cost, but once installed, the fuel (the sun) is free forever. Due to the thirty-year system life and low maintenance costs, once the system is purchased, the cost of energy is fixed at a known quantity. Conventional energy prices, however, with their dependence on fossil fuels (coal, gas, and oil) are subject to the volatility of those markets, as well as any future costs of environmental remediation or carbon emissions penalties. The cost of owning a solar system remains set and the reward- the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow- comes as you avoid energy costs that tick upward year after year.
How to save the most green?
Start the process today! Our schedule is quickly filling up and customers who are looking to take advantage of the full federal tax credit before it drops. Also, Third Sun Solar offers zero down financing! There is no better time to commit to owning your energy now and in the future.
Solar can give you 30 years or more of energy cost predictability, along with a nice rate of return on the solar investment. That could make you and your family feel really good — knowing you are also taking positive steps for the climate, the planet, and your future generations.
In 2011, a group of solar installers representing territories from across the United States came together and launched a revolutionary plan to better serve their customers. These companies decided it was time to form a national organization where independent solar installers could support each other by pooling their purchasing power as well as sharing best practices. This cooperative model allows Third Sun Solar, an average sized regional solar business, to negotiate equipment purchases as though it were a $500 Million company. Membership in Amicus Solar allows Third Sun Solar to achieve “scale” while still maintaining the speed and nimbleness, as well as the “family business feel” of a smaller local company.
Today, we have 51 member-owners with office locations in 38 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and Canada and we’re growing. Between all members, we have licenses to operate in all 50 states! The Cooperative is owned and democratically led by its member companies (like Third Sun Solar!). Amicus members are passing their enhanced purchasing power along to customers by offering best solar pricing on high-quality solar electric system installations.
Why does Third Sun Solar’s membership in Amicus make a difference to our customers?
- We purchase better equipment at lower prices, allowing us to provide better pricing to you without cutting any corners
- Your system’s performance, quality and operational efficiency all improve based on Amicus members sharing best practices and technical knowledge
- You have access to superior financing partners for residential and commercial loans
- Amicus vets all suppliers, only choosing companies with good track records so we can assure you that the equipment you’re investing in is the best out there
- It allows you to support in state installers instead of larger, national companies without sacrificing cost or quality
Company founders Geoff and Michelle Greenfield recently won the “Cooperative Award” from Amicus Solar Cooperative for the work Third Sun Solar does for the group.
Dedicated to the mission of offsetting carbon emissions and giving customers agency over their energy production, Amicus members are mission driven, vision aligned businesses working to bring the solar revolution to energy consumers across the nation. We are proud to say 40% of Amicus members are B Corporations. Similar to Patagonia, one of the founders of the B-Corp movement, these Amicus members are a special kind of company, with a legal commitment to people, planet, profit that is verified by an outside audit. Amicus Solar Cooperative is a B Corp itself, having won the distinction of achieving top 10% of all certified B Corps in the Impact Governance category. In 2015 Third Sun Solar was named Best for the Environment by B Corp.
For average sized businesses like Third Sun Solar, who don’t have the big buying power of huge corporate solar installers, having this strong value chain relationship is important. Amicus is interested in maintaining thriving local solar installation companies and creating a competitive advantage by buying pooling power. Amicus empowers solar entrepreneurs by giving them a venue to compete on the big stage. As a result, jobs and money stay in your neighborhood!
Here at Third Sun Solar we are invested in our community – it’s wellbeing and its future.
If you would like a competitive quote for your home, business, or non-profit please reach out to Third Sun Solar today for more information.