Case Study: Giving the Gift of Solar

This year we talked with one of our clients, Kay, who was gifted a solar energy system by her mother-in-law, Sara.

Brad, Kay & Family

Brad and Kay were in the process of building their forever home on a rural piece of land in southeastern Ohio when they first started seriously considering solar energy.

In recent years the couple had been looking into solar; they were both curious about it.

You may know from experience, but there is a whole lot to think about when building a house. The planning phase is the best time to plan for solar, but knowing when to throw a solar installation into the mix can be tricky. Brad and Kay were choosing vendors, suppliers, appliances, and making big decisions about their home. As they were chatting about the various considerations, solar energy came up, and Sara decided to gift them the solar system.

All in, it was the perfect gift: It was something Brad and Kay wanted, was a good environmental decision, it would set an example for the grandkids, and the solar system would offset the young family’s electrical costs for 30 years or more to come.

The Motivation

The whole family is environmentally driven.

“We are very aware of our carbon footprint. We know that the future is green. And we want to go in that direction,” Kay said when asked what first inspired her to look into clean energy.

Kay and Brad compost and recycle. They like to travel, enjoy nature, and most importantly, want to leave a healthy planet for their family.

The couple has a 4-year-old, a 2-year-old, and one on the way. For Brad and Kay and Grandma Sara, too, setting an excellent example for their children and creating a sustainable world for them is what matters most.

Sara lives in Anchorage, Alaska now, but grew up in Gallipolis, a town in southeast Ohio. She left Ohio in 1997 to join the Air Force. She’s a no plastic bags, composter, recycler, and renewable energy type of person at heart.

She says: “If I could talk anyone into it, I would.”

Sara is worried about climate change. Where she lives in Alaska, the effects of climate change are increasingly visible. She’s experiencing rising temperatures, receding glaciers, permafrost melting, which makes the homes in her community less stable, and eroding beaches that destroy homes.

When speaking about her family in southeast Ohio, Sara says: “My goal in life is to start taking them [the grandkids] on trips to get to know the world. If I can convince them to do their part, I’ve done my part.”

Choosing a Vendor

Sara asked Kay to do the research, and she did. Kay learned about solar, got the quotes, and when they were ready, Sara made the purchase.

Sara even got them a backup generator to ensure they had power access when the grid went down.

What did Kay and Brad learn while exploring solar options for their family? The couple learned that the cost was high, but the cost benefits and payback were something they hadn’t imagined.

What do they like most?

  • The benefit of low electric bills
  • Aesthetics – the solar panels, aren’t seen from the front of the house, and the black-on-black panels look good on their roof
  • Quick installation – during the pandemic, having long waits for items and long construction timelines was typical – a 2-3 day solar install shocked them!

Why did the couple choose Third Sun Solar? Kay says: “everyone was so friendly and excited. You can tell the people liked working there.”

If you’re looking for a unique, impactful gift for someone special this holiday season, consider giving the gift of solar to a loved one. It will no doubt have a lasting impact.


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