Will Solar Power Offset My High Summertime Electric Bills?

You want to be comfortable in the summertime. You want to keep the AC at a suitable temperature to keep you and your family cool. If you have a pool, you need to keep your pumps running. But, come the end of the month, you keep getting hit with pricey utility bills.

And, with a consistent 3% rise in utility bills over the past decade, you are left wondering how to keep your bills predictable and economically keep your homes cool in the summertime.

It makes sense that if your bills are exceptionally high in the summertime, and the sun is hot and shining most of the season, that solar panels might be a solution to high summertime electric bills.

But is it true that solar panels will offset high summertime electric bills? Read on to learn more.

How Do Solar Panels Work?

Solar panels on your roof produce DC energy. This DC energy travels to an inverter. The inverter converts the energy into AC energy which is usable in your home.

When your home consumes energy while your panels are producing, the solar energy you produce powers the loads in your home (air conditioner, pool pumps, refrigerator, TV, water heater).

Any energy produced over what your home consumes is sent back to the utility grid and routed to power the loads in your neighbors’ homes.

Through a process called net metering, you get credit for that energy. These credits will be applied to your future electricity use when you pull energy from the grid when your solar panels are not producing power for your home (at night and in the wintertime).

The Key to Summertime Solar Energy

Luckily, solar panels have become an affordable option for homeowners.

Your solar system will produce the most solar energy in the summertime on long, sunny days. Once you have your solar system installed, you can expect low to no utility bills in the summer.

What else? Summertime solar production helps you prepare for the wintertime as you bank up credits with your utility for your excess solar production.

Tax Credits for Solar Power

In Ohio, our main incentive for installing solar energy is the federal investment solar tax credit.

The solar investment tax credit (ITC), which was scheduled to drop from 26% to 22% in 2021, will stay at 26% for two more years (2021 and 2022). This means that solar projects that reach completion in 2021 and 2022 will still receive a tax credit of 26%. All markets will drop to a 22% tax credit in 2023, and the residential market will drop to 0%, while the commercial markets will sit at a permanent 10% credit beginning in 2024.

Third Sun Solar’s Energy Production Guarantee

Third Sun Solar offers new customers a 5-year cash back energy production guarantee with 24/7 monitoring and 100% covered maintenance.

Key benefits:

  • Our 24/7 remote monitoring systems are responsible for protecting hundreds of thousands of customers. We will know if your system is underperforming, often before you do.
  • 100% covered system maintenance for all system parts and components- including wiring and inverters.
  • Every year – if your system generates less than 95% of forecasted energy, we pay you for annual energy loss even if you experienced a bout of harsh weather!

Ohio’s Leading Solar Installer

It takes a lot to succeed in the Solar Industry for 20 years.

We are proud of the reputation we have built. We are a certified benefit corporation, Ohio’s longest-standing solar installation company, and women-owned and operated.

When you’re ready to go solar, remember to choose a quality installer that you can trust for many years to come. If you’re ready to reach us now, give us a call at 877-OWN-SOLAR or fill out the form below to start the process.

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Introducing Enphase Battery Storage

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Enphase Storage: Your Energy. Your Choice.

Introducing Enphase Storage: an all-in-one AC-coupled advanced battery energy storage system that allows you to easily store the energy generated by your solar installation. Enphase Storage technology teams up with advanced home monitoring and control software to ensure that your home enjoys continuous power, even when the grid is down.

Modular Solar Energy Storage

  • Start simple with partial home backup – backup just the essentials, like lights, internet and a refrigerator in partial backup configuration
  • Grow over time, add power incrementally – easily add Encharge 3 or 10 storage or more solar to handle additional loads
  • Or just go big with complete home backup – backup an entire home by installing multiple Encharge 10 storage systems

One App, All in the Power of Your Hand

  • Generate – you’ll have full visibility over the energy production and health of your solar PV system, as well as status of your battery
  • Store – energy consumption monitoring will help you maximize your time off grid during utility outages
  • Control – You can easily change modes to priority backup power or maximize energy savings

The Enlighten mobile app also comes with a special Storm Guard™ feature that monitors weather conditions in your area. If a storm or major disaster is on the horizon, Storm Guard will automatically put your Enphase Storage in Full Backup Mode to prepare you for weather-related outages. All the above comes with real-time reporting and home energy monitoring so that you can closely track your solar installation’s performance – no matter where you are.

All from a single Manufacturer

With Enpahse storage, all components are made by a single manufacturer and are designed to work perfectly together. This improves system reliability and resilience.

Enphase Storage solves the most common problem with solar – generating power even with the grid is disconnected or there is a power outage – by weaving redundancies, backups, and monitoring into a single unified ecosystem.

Get a customized Solar Energy Storage proposal for your home

Being An Ally, Happy Pride Month

In June we celebrate pride month to commemorate the anniversary of the Stonewall riots. Third Sun Solar stands with the LGBTQIA+ community during June for Pride Month, as well as year-round.

To celebrate Pride Month, Third Sun Solar is making donations to Ohio-based organizations supporting the LGBTQIA+ community. We look forward to sharing these stories with you over the course of the month.


We’re eager to share the work our member-owned purchasing cooperative, Amicus Solar Cooperative has been working on over the past year, through the Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion group (JEDI). Third Sun Solar’s Chief Operating Officer, Roberta Washburn has been heading up the Human Resources and Policy Committee.

When asked what the group has been up to over the past year, Roberta says: “We are reviewing language, and policies to create an inclusive and welcoming environment to retain and attack team members.

We look at policies, job descriptions, handbook language, position postings, and all things HR to ensure they are using inclusive language and include policies to make sure employees of all backgrounds feel welcome and supported.

We are creating shared documentation, for building a more inclusive workforce.”

Here are some fundamental principles that Amicus Cooperative members share, statements developed from the work for the JEDI HR Committee.

We welcome any organizations, business leaders, or HR professionals to incorporate this language into their own policies and use the text as building blocks for action at your organization and in your community.

  • We believe that business is about so much more than numbers and that we can have a positive impact on the people in our orbit, from our customers to our community to our employees.
  • We believe that business should be a force for good: for the environment, for our communities, for our customers, and for the people who work here. In order to positively influence each of those stakeholders, we must carefully consider how our actions ripple out into the world.
  • We seek to improve team members’ lives through fair pay and human-centered policies that care for the whole person and not just for our business interests.
  • We dedicate time and resources to ensure that all races, all genders, and all personal identities know that they are integral to our company.
  • When we think about our company, we recognize that our culture is the sum of our people – and each new team member adds to the richness of our company. We don’t expect you to fit a mold; we hope that you will add something new, even as we all pursue a common mission.
  • We enjoy learning from each other’s perspectives – it would be awfully boring if we all agreed on everything.
  • Welcome home; we all have a purpose here
  • To achieve a sustainable future, climate justice, and social justice must go hand in hand
  • When people feel respected and included, they are empowered to be more creative, innovative, and successful.

“We celebrate Pride because we are committed to a more diverse and inclusive future — for our business, our community, the solar industry, and our world.” – Geoff Greenfield, CEO

Our core value of growth demonstrates that we are always striving to be better

We know that we can always be better accomplices, friends, and allies to marginalized groups, including the LGBTQI+ community.

We will continue sharing our stories as we celebrate and grow. We hope you will join us.

Do I Need Solar Batteries When I Go Solar?

Solar Batteries are a hot topic! More often than not, when people go solar, they assume that they’ll need solar storage too. In reality, this isn’t the case. In fact, many homeowners decide to go solar without adding battery backup.

So, why may someone choose to install solar batteries? And why might their neighbor decide not to?

We’ve broken down the considerations below to help you make the brightest choice for yourself and your family.


Goals are one of the first steppingstones our solar customers encounter on their solar journey.

It’s essential to understand your goals early on so your solar installer can design the solar installation project of your dreams. And to meet all your needs.

Here are a few of the most common goals our customers may have:

  • Save money on your electric bill
  • Choose a greener, cleaner, renewable energy source to power your home
  • Have control over future utility rate escalation at your home
  • Stop “renting” power from the utility and “own” your power
  • Ensure you have power in the case of grid failure
  • Ensure you have power for critical appliances (medical, refrigeration)

Did any of the above goals resonate with you?

Solar In A Blackout

Here’s something important to understand: Your Solar PV will not operate during a power outage without a battery. We know this comes as a surprise to many. The feature ensures that electricity doesn’t leak onto power lines as utility workers find the electricity disruption. Read more here.

In recent years, there has been a noticeable increase in power outages for several reasons. These include the prevention of wildfires and the increased frequency and intensity of storms.

So, if having power during an outage is one of your goals for going solar, you’re going to want to explore battery options with your solar consultant.

Cost of Solar and Solar Batteries

Batteries add substantially to the cost of a solar system.

For some of our customers, their goals align with solar storage, making the added cost worth it. Can you put a price on having power to necessary medical equipment in your home when you need it most?

And, for some of our customers whose primary focus is on solar system payback, return on investment, and do not experience frequent power outages – they opt for no solar storage with their solar system.

But, keep in mind – solar energy storage is an approved expense for the Federal Solar Investment Tax Credit!

Going Green

If you opt for a solar system without storage, any excess power generated from solar goes back into the grid and helps your neighbors reduce their carbon footprints.

You treat the grid-like a big battery, storing excess energy you produce and send off in the form of credits. At night or in the wintertime, you take power from the grid but pay for that use with the credits you received for sending your excess energy to your neighbors.

Adding battery backup does allow you the option to self-consume more of the solar energy you produce at your own home.

Which option sounds more environmentally friendly to you? Does one setup align more with your green energy goals than the other?

Take Your Power Back from the Utility with Solar Batteries

With a grid modernization coming, many of our customers have experienced increased electricity rates over the years. And they know those rates will continue to rise.

In addition to this, regulatory concerns can be a motivating factor for homeowners to explore solar energy storage options.

Many utilities have shifted away from tiered rate structures to time of use rate structures designed to encourage energy conservation during peak energy use times (5- 8 p.m.).

This rate structure hurts solar PV system owners.

The amount of credit you receive for the solar energy you produce becomes lower during the day when the solar PV system is producing the most. And, the cost of energy use jumps up in the evenings when their solar PV system isn’t producing much power.

Pairing solar energy storage with solar allows the homeowner to store the excess solar energy they generate during peach energy use times instead of paying expensive rates to the utility.

The Next Step In Your Discovery

To take a deeper dive into Solar Energy Storage Options, check out this video series which answers most of the battery questions we hear on the regular.

If you’re ready to speak to a professional and get some answers right from the source, we would be happy to set you up with a no-obligation free solar and storage evaluation for your home.

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Top Locations for Electric Vehicles in Ohio

Where are Ohio’s top locations for Electric Vehicles?

In the U.S., the most significant source of greenhouse gas emissions comes from cars and trucks. Transportation accounted for 29% of greenhouse gas emissions in 2019. According to the EPA, “Over 90 percent of the fuel used for transportation is petroleum-based, which includes primarily gasoline and diesel.”

Stats like these are motivating Ohioans to consider going electric with their next car purchase. Electric Cars are better for the environment, require less maintenance, and electricity is cheaper than gasoline (especially if you have solar).

So, What are the Top Locations for Electric Vehicles in Ohio

Top Alternative Fuel Vehicles by County in Ohio 2018 – current

  1. Franklin County (Columbus) – 4,154
  2. Cuyahoga County (Cleveland) – 2,771
  3. Hamilton County (Cincinnati) – 2,563
  4. Summit County (Akron) – 1,249
  5. Delaware County (Central Ohio) – 1,144
  6. Montgomery County (Dayton) – 1,071
  7. Lucas County (Toledo) – 672
  8. Lorain County (Northeast Ohio) – 561

Columbus, Ohio, seems to be the top location for electric vehicles in Ohio. It’s also the most populated city in the state. Following Columbus are our two key metropolitan Cities: Cincinnati and Cleveland.

Top Electric Vehicle Models in Ohio

Top 10 Alternative Fuel Vehicles in Ohio – From 2018– now

  1. TESLA Model 3 – 5,438
  2. Chevrolet Volt – 2,717
  3. Tesla Model S – 2,437
  4. Tesla Model Y – 1,395
  5. Nissan Leaf – 1,331
  6. Tesla Model X – 1,155
  7. Chevrolet Bolt EV – 891
  8. Ford Fusion – 889
  9. Ford C-max – 710
  10. Toyota Prius Prime – 701

The U.S. has seen a slow adoption of electric vehicles compared to other countries. In 2020 E.V. registrations reached a new record by taking up 1.8% of overall U.S. light vehicles registered.

Some of the barriers to Electric Vehicle Adoption in the U.S. include:

  • High costs for Electric Vehicles
  • Few options for models
  • Challenges recharging vehicles

Building Infrastructure in Ohio

With an awareness of these barriers, private and public entities are making processes to make Electric Vehicles accessible to more drivers.

According to Clean Fuels Ohio, last month, The Ohio EPA awarded $3.25 million in grants to support the installation of E.V. infrastructure. The grants fund more than 500 publicly accessible Level 2 electric vehicle charging ports at more than 170 locations in 22 counties.

Lordstown, Ohio

In 2020 ground broke on an electric vehicle battery manufacturing facility in Lordstown, Ohio.

The facility will produce Ultium batteries for a new Cadillac electric car, a new electric Hummer sport utility vehicle. The project is a $2.3 billion joint venture between G.M. and South Korea’s L.G. Chem.

Bringing the production of Electric Vehicle batteries to the United States tackles some of the barriers listed above.

“Sales of E.V.s are set to exceed a 3.5% overall market share in 2021 and climb to a more than 10% share in 2025, due to broader product offerings, according to IHS Markit. More than 100 new E.V. options are expected to launch between 2021 and 2025.”

Spotlight on Solar and Electric Vehicles in Columbus, Ohio

As with solar power, building out the infrastructure for Electric Vehicles will require coordination. Public and private partnerships have been the golden standard for widespread solar adoption. And we can see the same happening with electric vehicles.

In 2016 Columbus, Ohio, was awarded a $10 million grant through the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Smart City Challenge.

In 2015, only 0.38% of new cars purchased in the seven-county region were E.V.s. We set a goal to increase E.V. ownership by 500% to 1.8% by 2020.

Fortunately, we’re on pace to meet or surpass that goal, with E.V. sales exceeding 2% of vehicles sold at the end of 2018.

How did they do it?

  • Engaging employers
  • Building out workplace charging
  • Hosting events
  • Working with dealers
  • Building a playbook

Read more about SMART Columbus here.

Solar, Electric Vehicles, and You

Third Sun Solar proudly offers Electric Vehicle charger installation as a service to homeowners interested in going green all the way. More and more, we see homeowners who go solar install Electric Vehicle chargers before buying the Electric Vehicle itself.

When you go solar, you have the opportunity to set yourself up for an entirely green lifestyle.

With Solar plus an Electric Vehicle, homeowners can charge their cars and, in most cases, drive more economically than they would by charging from the grid or public charging stations.

If you’re interested in learning more from our team about how we can make your clean energy dreams a reality, reach out today.

Get Started

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