Rudy Wright: Owner, Wright-Way
Rudy Wright is the owner of Wright-Way, a company that offers property management, home repairs and maintenance, real estate, green building, and solar power services in East Texas. The company was founded in 1982, first as a maid and custodial service and then as a property management and home repair company, but it was only recently that Wright-Way ventured into solar.
“Back in 2008, I was trying to get quotes for solar for my parents’ house, and I wasn’t getting the kind of response and information that I wanted,” Rudy says. “At the time, my company was transitioning from property management to focusing more on construction, especially green building. It was clear to me that there was an opportunity here to provide more local solar options, so I looked into training, which led me to take an introductory course with NABCEP (the North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners). Let me tell you—it was tough. I told my wife after the second day in training that I might have bitten off more than I could chew, because so many of the other people in the class were master electricians or journeymen…but I kept up with the training until I passed my NABCEP certification.”
Rudy says the time he put into solar training is now paying off. “In our first five years offering solar, about half of our projects came from adding solar onto construction projects that we already had planned or from clients that we already had in the fold. 2017 was our biggest year for solar demand so far, and I think it’s due to the fact that we are able to install at $2.20/watt here in Texas. Wright-Way is one of the few companies offering solar within a 100-mile radius that has been able to stay put. We don’t have to mark up our solar offerings as much because we already have the clients, and we have a company that offers so many other services.”
Looking to the future, Rudy says that continued training is key to making his business successful. “In a rural area, I have found that one key factor for staying profitable in this industry and having job stability is to learn as many different types of skills as possible. I started out in home repairs with an accreditation in residential management, and when I started working in solar, I found that many of the things I previously learned gave me a breadth of resources to refer back to. Training and certifications are valuable too. I am a certified green REALTOR® and a Master Certified Green Professional, as well as being HVAC and NABCEP-certified. I recommend that anyone working in solar seek out some NABCEP training. Even if you don’t go for the certification, the classes are awesome.”