Doyle Tenney is the Owner of DT Solar, based in French Creek, West Virginia. DT Solar delivers solar power systems to meet the unique needs of residential or business customers. Tenney began DT Solar to bring solar technology to the people in French Creek, West Virginia, and surrounding areas. He believes in the cost savings and environmental benefits that solar technology provides.
Tenney talked with Jim Matuga, host of the Positively West Virginia Podcast, about his solar business, his plans for the future and his advice to young entrepreneurs.
What is your 30-second pitch for DT Solar?
“My solar company is about providing the best quality service that can be provided by people that are as qualified as possible and making sure we can save you as much money as possible,” said Tenney.
What is the thing you’re most excited about for your organization?
“It’s growing at a ridiculous rate. I’m having a hard time keeping up with it honestly. The ups and downs in the solar industry make the growth part hard because you don’t know if there is going to be like a tariff hit or something like that. In the past three months, I’ve hired three new employees,” said Tenney.
What is the cost of your average project?
“It’s more of what you use because if you think about it some people will have natural gas for heating and maybe all of their windows are on the north-facing side of the house which means they will be cooler in the summer. There are a lot of aspects that go into an electric bill. You can have a five hundred square foot home with a $500 electric bill or you can have a seven thousand square foot home with a $100 electric bill, so it comes down to your usage. If you have a one $100 electric bill you are going to pay about $20,000 to get solar, roughly. It depends on where you are in the state as well. Mon Power is cheaper than Appalachian Power for power right now, which means that the cost to go solar isn’t quite as good or the return on investment isn’t quite as good,” explained Tenney.
What’s the long-term vision for your company?
“My goal is to become the most qualified in this state. But, as time moves on, I need to get more of my guys more qualified and have a more steady business plan so that if and when bigger companies like SolarCity finally move into this state, I have to be able to compete with that,” said Tenney.
“The long-term plan is to establish educational programs for tech students that will teach instructors how to teach solar so that as I need installers it’s not a three-month learning curve. That is the eventual goal as far as training goes but as far as DT Solar goes as a business, the plan is to grow as much as possible, as fast as possible, and as big as possible.”
Tenney was a guest on the Positively West Virginia Podcast. Listen to his full podcast here.
PWV QUICK BITS
- RECOMMENDED BOOK: “There is no book that can prepare you for it,” advised Tenney. “You just have to go do it.”
- RECOMMENDED RESOURCE: Education and Experience
- PIECE OF ADVICE: “Weigh your education level before you go into something but do it. You don’t sit around and dream or overthink it. But, if you think you are smart enough to do it, just do it!”