Alternative Energy Discount has taken a unique approach to the solar industry. Even the company’s founding has an interesting story behind it. Alternative Energy Discount was founded by Larry Bell, a proponent of off-grid living. Bell had utilized solar energy for two decades without paying an electric bill. He even started his own online solar business, shipping solar equipment to clients around the world. Following his wife’s passing, Bell decided to take on a new challenge and opened his brick and mortar store, Alternative Energy Discount. While he discontinued his online work, Bell threw himself into providing an in-person experience for those interested in harnessing the power of solar.
Aside from running the occasional advertisement in Outdoors SW Magazine, Alternative Energy Discount has no other online or advertising presence. The store stays busy thanks to positive word of mouth reviews. The goal is not to sell individuals solar equipment, but to help them transition to an off-the-grid lifestyle among the rising uncertainty around energy production.
While anyone can take advantage of what Alternative Energy Discount has to offer, prospective buyers will need to travel to the physical store in Arizona to use the service. Solar customers on the fence about where to turn for solar energy production will likely find the answer by working with the team at Alternative Energy Discount.
The Alternative Energy Discount team is responsible for creating the “Energy Building,” a complete off-grid solar solution. The energy building looks like a shed and is 4’ x 8’ in size. Inside these buildings are complete solar systems including all necessary components.
These buildings are completely insulated and vented to provide ideal conditions for energy production. The system includes controllers that will deliver the sun to the batteries, inverters that will convert DC energy into AC energy, and breakers with space to store extra batteries.
Additionally, batteries can be stored on multiple sides of the building, allowing for up to eight batteries. Outlets are located on the back of the building which allows users to plug directly into the building and access power. The Alternative Energy Discount team claims that these buildings will produce far more electricity than a majority of people will need.
All clients need to do is load up the building (they can fit in most truck beds), set them on the property facing south, place the solar panels on top, and immediately access instant energy. No other company is creating anything like this, which is why clients are flocking to the Alternative Energy Discount store to pick up their own “energy building.”
The goal behind the Alternative Energy Discount service is to help people achieve off-the-grid living through education. After determining what is needed for proper energy production, the Alternative Energy Discount team will identify exactly what equipment each client needs. Not many solar providers are willing to take the time to individually consult the client directly instead of sending out a professional to do a consultation and analysis.
Breakdowns of wattage needs are a huge service offered to clients by Alternative Energy Discount. The team will assist clients in determining just how much wattage is used by a client and figure out off-grid solutions from there. This analysis will also determine whether or not energy is heavily used at night or throughout the day. This analysis will inform clients of the number of needed batteries while also taking into consideration how much sun a property receives depending on the season.
While some solar companies will offer this analysis prior to installation, Alternative Energy Discount is not trying to sell clients on an installation. Instead, the company is providing an informative and educational service to those interested in utilizing solar power.
Once wattage is determined and equipment needed is identified by an Alternative Energy Discount team member, the staff will sit down with each client and walk them through the installation process. The team can provide all necessary information for clients interested in self-installing all equipment or recommend quality professional installation services.
Clients interested in what Alternative Energy Discount offers will not be able to purchase products online or from a dealer. Instead, clients must travel to the physical location to access the Alternative Energy Discount products and service. Most solar companies have some sort of online platform used for purchasing or quoting purposes, but Alternative Energy Discount does not.
It is unclear what off-grid equipment is provided through Alternative Energy Discount or what products are used in the Energy Building. It is public information that the energy buildings include all necessary components: batteries, inverters, breakers, outlets, and panels.
However, it is not disclosed whether or not this equipment is purchased from a manufacturer or self-made. Most solar companies are quick to disclose equipment information as it plays a role in the purchasing decision.
Additionally, there is no known warranty information. This is of particular importance to customers interested in buying an energy building. Warranties are relatively standard in the solar industry, but it is unclear whether or not Alternative Energy Discount offers one on products or services.