The Port Gamble Heritage Forest area of Kingston, Washington, is a nature lover’s delight. Saddle up your horse, take a hike on one of the many local trails, drop your kayak and spend your afternoon gliding across the lake, or take in the joys of the local wildlife. This is what Elisa Rogers and Dan Richcreek call home. Exploring in the wild is where you’ll find them many a day. Today, though, Elisa and Dan are thrilled to share their excitement over their home’s recent upgrade. In a clearing on the edge of the forest, you’ll find their cute house. Elisa describes it as something that appears to have come straight out of the Wild West. Atop their bare wood-paneled, pole-structured carport and covered patio sits a shiny black solar system that looks so futuristic. The melding of eras works. Elisa and Dan didn’t toss out the old for the new but rather created a harmonious blend of nature and modern technology.
Going solar has been a long-time dream for Elisa that began in middle school during a class unit on renewable energy. At the time, she was convinced that we were at the cusp of “solar on your rooftop” being as common as an “oven in your kitchen.” Having solar was always the plan for Elisa and Dan. They really wanted to be environmentally responsible and do the right thing by reducing their carbon footprint. After years of living in apartments, they were able to purchase their own house, which was in need of quite a few imminent repairs and improvements (I mean, everyone needs insulation and a reliable roof, right?); they were finally ready to take the first real steps toward solar, research solar companies, and get some quotes!
While fixing up their home, Elisa and Dan had a variety of experiences with contractors—some not too great. They wanted to do their best to select the right company for this job. After communicating with four potential solar companies, Elisa and Dan chose Sunergy Systems to make their dream a reality. Why Sunergy Systems? Well, first it was Greg Williams (Senior Solar Design Consultant). Greg is one of the most experienced consultants in Washington State and was their expert guide as they explored this new terrain. “We liked Greg a lot! He designed a system that was the closest to our actual [electricity] usage so that we could meet our goal of being 100% offset. He was also very accommodating when we asked for multiple configuration options,” Dan said. Dan also had high praise for Sunergy’s surveyor, Mike Pogorzelski. “He was super awesome. He worked really hard on getting a trench digger that would fit in our driveway without ruining our yard in the process. This was our second assurance that maybe this was going to go alright.”
Then, the work of installing the solar system began. “All three of them were super awesome!” Dan declares (Alfonso Murano, Devin Atcherley, and Chris Nelson). Dan said that the team was always willing to listen to him and adapt when needed. Dan describes how his carport is very sturdy but how the metal seam roof is not exactly even. They loved it that Devin went through the extra effort to make sure the surface of the solar panels on their slightly bowed carport was flat. Elisa said, “We’ve had a lot of contractors come in over the years. Of all of them, I’d say that the Sunergy team was the best!” She continues, “They cleaned up after themselves really well too.” Dan agrees: “It was a refreshing experience.”
On top of being very satisfied with the installation process, Dan and Elisa were happy to get to share an unexpectedly fun and exciting moment with the installation team. A nearby nest of baby owls started making a ruckus while the mother owl flew overhead to get them food. It was a wonderful little intermission in the workday for everyone.
It’s been just over six months since their installation, and Dan still finds so much joy in simply looking up to see their beautiful solar system as he crosses the yard. Elisa and Dan still frequently check their solar system production app to see how much electricity their system is generating and how much of an environmental impact it is making. Elisa says she was so surprised to see the electricity being generated in the winter months. One of her final thoughts is, “I wish we could have done it earlier, but now we have, and I’m glad we can enjoy it.”