Our History

Our Story

Serving Central PA for Over
35 Years

Rick Fortney, owner of Absolute Energy Solutions, has become a staple in the Harrisburg, Pennsylvania area as an honest, hardworking businessman, but it has taken decades for him to earn that reputation. In 1984, Rick took a leap of faith when he left a secure job as a union carpenter to begin his own construction company.

REFCO Builders (named after Rick’s initials) was born when Rick began his first job in Avalon, New Jersey. Temporarily moving his wife and three small children a hundred miles away from their home was no easy task, but it gave Rick the motivation to continue in his business and to work for himself.

Moving back to the Harrisburg area, Rick developed a name for himself as a reputable contractor that delivered impressive workmanship. He focused on residential renovations and additions and was able to grow his client base through referrals and repeat customers.


35 Years of Business Experience

Business Partnership

In 1994, Rick entered into a business partnership with Bob Getz. Rick and Bob were longtime friends and neighbors who both shared a passion for construction. REFCO builders soon became Fortney-Getz Construction.

The two men increased their client base and hired more carpenters. They even moved their office from the basement of Rick’s house to an office space right in the square of Hummelstown, the center of their service area.

The partnership accomplished the goal of growing the business and taking on more work, but in 2000, Rick and Bob decided to go their separate ways. Although the partnership was dissolved, Rick and Bob remained good friends and industry companions up until Bob’s passing only a few years later.

With the close of this chapter, Rick decided to again change the name of the business. This time, he kept it simple, going with Fortney Construction. That name would stick as Rick grew his construction company for the next 20 years.

Fortney Construction wasn't dubbed a family business lightly.

Fortney Construction was a family business at heart. With Rick’s wife doing the bookkeeping and all four of their children working in the business at one point in their lives, the name was well-earned. From carpentry to painting to home shows and marketing, Rick has happily utilized the skills of his grown children. Today, some of Rick’s children still work in the business. You can check out our TEAM MEMBERS to read more about them. It’s not unusual for one of the grandkids to come over to the office looking for some work to do!

In the summer of 2010, Rick began to broaden his services. While working as an estimator in the construction business, Rick’s son, Devin, developed an interest in solar energy. Devin attended several classes on renewable energy and became increasingly intrigued by the technology. Discovering the economic value of installing such a system for your home or business prompted Devin to partner with his father, Rick, and his sister Emily, to start a solar installation company. So, in late 2010, Absolute Solar and Energy Solutions was born.

The trio spent all of 2011 installing their first several solar projects. They teamed up with other solar professionals and learned the ins and outs of permitting, interconnection agreements, and the solar products.

Strategic Alliances

By the end of 2011, after numerous requests from existing customers, Absolute Solar had also installed its first Generac automatic generator. Within the first few years of the solar business, generator customers started knocking at the door. Rick had unknowingly discovered a gap in the market that he was excited to fill.

Over the next decade it would become apparent to Rick that the generator business should take priority. Although he installed many solar projects during those years, in early 2023, he decided to change his business name one more time. He dropped the solar and became Absolute Energy Solutions, showing his dedication to the generator needs of central Pennsylvania.

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