Laura Welch (lover of travel, family, and helping the environment) was taking a break in the middle of a 30-some-hour trek to Chicago for her grandbaby’s 6th birthday party. At Makoshika State Park, while totally captivated by the scenery, she excitedly chatted with me, sharing the story of her solar journey.
“My father got solar panels on his house way back, I’m going to say 25 years ago (back when solar was in its infancy), and it’s always been something that’s kind of been in the back of my mind.” She said, “I’m glad that solar in Seattle is remarkably good considering how many overcast days we have and that it can actually be better than some other places that get really hot.” Laura nailed that fact on the head. High heat reduces solar panel efficiencies. “We bought this house [four years ago] without really having solar in mind, but it has this beautiful south-facing roof that was just begging to have solar panels put on it.” Laura admits, “It took a little while for the thought to gel in my head that… (oh!) this is the perfect house for solar panels.”
Laura and her husband Benjamin didn’t just run out there and impulsively hire someone to do the project for them, though. They did their due diligence in selecting the right company for the job. “We got four different estimates.” Laura was impressed by the professional appearance of the Sunergy Systems website compared to some others she’d seen. She liked seeing the honesty in Sunergy Systems’ estimation of how long it would take for the solar panels to pay for themselves, specifically the conservative projected annual utility electric rate increases. “I was looking at one of the other company’s estimations (compared to Seattle City Light’s planned rate increases), and I thought, man, you guys don’t have to lie. So, we scratched them off the list right off the bat.”
The Sunergy solar consultant who worked with the Welchs, Chris Yockey, previously had his own construction company. One deciding factor in Laura and Benjamin’s choice to go with Sunergy Systems was connections with local contractors. “Chris had a good relationship with a guy who could do our roof for us, and all of you guys were just really nice. So, it was a combination of liking Chris’s roofer and liking Chris.”
When I asked Laura about the installation process, she had lovely words to share about her experience. “Yeah! We were very pleased with the entire outcome.” She also shared: “The roofer had some supply chain issues, and so he was late getting the roof on. The solar guys and the roof guys had to coordinate pretty well because they were essentially working at the same time.” Laura said: “The installation was very quick, and it made remarkably little noise.”
It was at the end of July, just six weeks before our chat, that Laura had her new Sunergy Systems solar array installed on her Seattle rooftop. “It has been enormously cool going solar!” She has a favorite part though: “The coolest thing is being able to go onto the website and check out how much energy has been produced in a given day. . . . It’s been really fun to see that (oh yeah!) we’re producing tons of electricity!”
As it turned out, I wasn’t the first person to have the pleasure of talking with Laura about her solar experience. “I’ve gotten into several conversations with neighbors,” she said. They all sounded very excited for Laura and Benjamin for making the choice to go solar.
I asked Laura if she would like to pass on any words of advice for someone considering solar for their home but hasn’t taken the first step of requesting a free design and quote yet. And she exclaimed, “I would just say, Go for it! Whatever your reservations are, they probably won’t come to pass, and you won’t regret just doing it.”
Happy travels to you, Laura. We at Sunergy Systems are thrilled that we got to share a little piece of life’s journey with you!