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A whole new view: The Eskridge-Vallery Family gets new windows through OPALCO’s Switch It Up program

familyCarey Eskridge, his wife Christina Vallery, and their daughter Lola are relative newcomers to Orcas Island, moving here in 2022. Carey and Christina visited Orcas Island before their daughter was born and knew they eventually wanted to make the island their permanent home. The pandemic provided them with the opportunity they needed to make the move.

Looking out the new windows to the Salish Sea

They found a piece of property with immense potential that was a good fit for them. The house has big west facing windows that needed to be upgraded. On a suggestion from their contractor, the family discovered OPALCO’s Switch It Up program, that offers low-interest on-bill financing for energy efficiency projects. Being able to finance the windows made it so they could work on other important projects in their home.

Coming from Texas, which is grappling with big power grid challenges, they understand the value of conserving energy resources. The family has a commitment to protecting the beautiful northwest environment and having a positive impact in the communities they live in.

When moving to Orcas, Carey thought island life would be all about self-sufficiency but is finding out that it’s quite the opposite. “My first winter I found out the benefits of our community with neighbors stepping up to offer advice and checking in on each other during cold snaps,” said Carey, “We are really enjoying getting to know what it takes to be an islander.”

Carey is the new Executive Director of the Orcas Island Chamber of Commerce, and you can find him, Christina, and Lola hiking around beautiful Orcas Island.

Whether you’re a newcomer to Orcas Island like the Eskridge-Vallery family or a long-time resident, the Switch It Up on-bill financing program offers a fantastic opportunity to enhance your home’s energy efficiency, contribute to the community’s sustainability, and enjoy the beauty of island life. Make the switch today and experience the benefits of a more energy-efficient, environmentally responsible, and comfortable home on Orcas Island.

Co-op members may finance up to $100,000 on their OPALCO bill for projects that increase the energy efficiency of their homes and businesses, make wise use of electricity (switching away from fossil fuels) and position themselves for a more sustainable energy future. Projects that are approved through the simple on-line form can get started quickly and with no money down. OPALCO pays the contractors directly and a finance charge – including a 2% administration fee – appears as a line item on the monthly bill. Learn more at

Don’t delay your efficiency project, solar array, battery storage or fiber connection: these funds are time limited. Let’s get these federal dollars working for islanders!

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