Story and photo by Keri DeTore
Reporting for West Seattle Blog
Eric Thomas’ Red Cup Espresso (which he co-owns with his wife Tricia DiBernardo) has come to be known by many as the “hybrid” coffee shop, because of its rooftop array of photovoltaic panels.
But he isn’t just a solar customer — he also owns Solar Epiphany which provides education on solar energy, and installs professional-grade solar energy systems.
Thanks to a WSB’er tip about the newly painted shop window (photo at left), we discovered that Thomas is expanding his solar enterprise into the former site of Puget Sound Key & Lock at 6016 California SW. The space will be an educational showroom where potential customers will not only see solar panels and learn how they work, but they’ll also be able to learn about government incentives that make going solar more affordable.
Thomas has been installing solar electrical and water-heating systems for three years, for both residential and commercial customers. He says, “The biggest obstacle to installing solar is that people don’t know how it works or how much it will cost.”
Thomas hopes to have his new storefront open the weekend after Labor Day. They plan to be open by appointment during the week and open to the public on weekends.