Small Business on the Rise: Affordable Energy Concepts, Inc.

A business owner and entrepreneur, David Wall knows opportunities. It’s why he started Affordable Energy Concepts (AEC) as an offshoot of his other company, Wall Construction.

Wall has also honed in on energy efficiency and prioritizes environmentally sustainable methods and materials. Since Wall Construction has a strong focus on green building, AEC was a natural complement when the opportunity arose.

In Wall’s words: “Solar is here to stay…because of the economics of what it can provide a consumer…I think in the future, solar could be the most affordable [energy source] of them all.”

Adaptation and innovation is critical for success in this business. Wall explains that AEC started doing “residential photovoltaic and thermal solar systems” in addition to also having a “Class A license for plumbing and electrical.” Today, the business focuses on solar and electrical, holding a Class A license for both.

Having started the business in 2010, Wall and his employees have made continuous strides forward in the years since. In 2016, they purchased land at the Amelon Commerce Park in Madison Heights, and they were selected as the winning bid to complete a large solar install project as part of the first community solar project housed in Rockbridge County.

The Rockbridge project is the beginning of what Wall hopes will lead to “future utility scale projects with or for Virginia’s electric cooperatives and is working on expanding AEC into Energy Management and Storage.” He notes that peak power usage typically occurs at times when the sun is not shining, thus “integrating control software and storage…[could] reduce the peak power usage that drives demand charges…[and] help utilities more effectively use solar energy.”

With work all over the state of Virginia, Wall is also looking to contract with schools and universities in the near future.

AEC’s new location will allow them to have additional office and storage space for equipment and bulk products, which in turn reduces costs. Wall also hopes to showcase cutting edge technology such as “Building Integrated Photovoltaics,” which are materials “used to replace conventional building materials such as the roof, skylights, or façades.”

Looking ahead, Wall sees numerous growth opportunities for AEC. Licensed for electrical and solar in South Carolina, the business is planning to expand into the state where incentives are very favorable towards solar energy. Wall adds, “We also want to provide operations and maintenance for solar farms owned by big solar developers; we are also working on energy management and storage systems that work well with solar systems…we hope to be a leader in this industry in the next three to five years.”

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By Jennifer Redmond