FLS Energy, Inc. is a rapidly growing designer and installer of solar thermal (hot water heating) and solar photovoltaic (electric generation) systems for residential and commercial customers. The company also provides consulting services to help businesses evaluate their energy use and maximize the return on their investment in a solar energy system. Building designer Hardy LeGwin together with Dale Freudenberger, a general contractor, and Michael Shore, an engineer, incorporated FLS Energy in the Spring of 2006 to “make solar energy mainstream, sooner rather than later.” Over the last two years, the company has installed more than 70 commercial and residential systems across North Carolina.
In 2008 FLS’ accelerating growth led it to seek $250,000 to hire additional installers and provide working capital for growth. NCIF partnered with Mountain BizWorks of Asheville, NC to provide the working capital infusion. In addition, NCIF assisted the company with developing a business plan and a financial strategy to raise $7 Mil to build a seven acre solar photovoltaic facility.
FLS products and services provide families and business owners with concrete ways to reduce their consumption of electricity and non-renewable fossil fuels. In addition to expanding efficient alternative energy options for consumers, FLS is creating good jobs in the local community. The company has created 13 jobs over the past 12 months, including a manager of its new energy efficiency services. The company provides a stipend for employee health insurance and is committed to providing health insurance for all employees as it grows.