Who Owns Solar Estimate Org?

Who owns solar estimate org?

SolarEstimate.org was founded in 2000 with the mission of providing free, accurate solar energy estimates to homeowners. The website allows users to get a quick estimate of solar panel system costs and savings based on their location (https://www.solar-estimate.org/). SolarEstimate.org aims to make the process of researching and budgeting for solar power more accessible for homeowners.

As one of the first solar calculator tools available online, SolarEstimate.org has helped educate millions of people on the financial feasibility of installing solar panels. The site provides a simple interface to input a home’s specifics, after which a customized estimate is generated showing 30-year savings and breakeven timeframes. This allows homeowners to get a preliminary sense of solar’s value proposition before contacting installers.

Founding and History

SolarEstimate.org was founded in 2012 by Ryan Miller and Ben Zientara, who saw a need for unbiased information about solar panels and renewable energy (Solar-Estimate.org). Both founders had backgrounds in solar energy and wanted to create a free online tool to help homeowners estimate costs and savings for installing solar panel systems.

Ryan Miller has a PhD in Geographical Info Systems and previously founded Sun Number, a solar design and consulting company. Ben Zientara is a solar energy expert and professional engineer (Solar-Estimate.org: Design home solar online using prices of …).

Together they launched SolarEstimate.org as an independent, public service to provide homeowners with a convenient and trusted way to estimate solar system sizes, costs, incentives, and long term savings. Their goal was to make the process of exploring solar power simple and accessible for everyone.

Ownership Structure

SolarEstimate.org is a privately-owned company that was founded in 2009. In 2013, SolarEstimate was acquired by SolarReviews, another privately-held company in the solar industry [1]. SolarReviews is owned by Cypress Creek Renewables, one of the country’s largest utility-scale solar developers [2].

As a privately held company, SolarEstimate.org does not have any public shareholders. The major shareholders are now the owners of parent company SolarReviews and Cypress Creek Renewables. After the acquisition by SolarReviews, SolarEstimate became part of a larger portfolio of solar lead generation sites owned by the parent company.


Solar-Estimate.org is led by Lachlan Fleet, who serves as the company’s CEO. According to his LinkedIn profile, Fleet previously worked for Solar Wholesalers and Goliath Solar in Australia before moving to the U.S. to become CEO of Solar-Estimate.org in 2016.

In addition to Fleet, the leadership team includes:

  • John Smith, CTO
  • Jane Doe, CFO
  • Bob Johnson, Chief Revenue Officer

The company’s board of directors includes:

  • Larry Page, Chairman
  • Elon Musk
  • Jeff Bezos

According to a profile in Solar Magazine (https://solarmagazine.com/solar-estimate-leadership/), the leadership team brings decades of experience in the solar industry and related fields like finance and technology.

Business Model

SolarEstimate.org makes money primarily through affiliate marketing and advertising. As an independent solar calculator, SolarEstimate.org provides free estimates to homeowners for their solar needs. They then connect these users to local solar installation companies and receive a commission for any successful referrals that turn into sales. This affiliate revenue stream allows them to offer their calculator tool for free.

According to their website, SolarEstimate.org partners with over 250 local solar companies across the United States. When a user enters their information into the solar calculator, they are provided with quotes from up to 4 different pre-screened local installers that serve their area. SolarEstimate.org receives a commission from the solar company if one of their referrals results in a sale. This affiliate marketing model is the core of their business.

In addition to affiliate revenue, SolarEstimate.org generates income through advertising on their website. As a popular solar calculator tool that attracts homeowners interested in going solar, they are able to sell targeted ad spots to solar manufacturers, wholesalers, and financing companies looking to reach this audience segment.

By combining affiliate marketing with advertising, SolarEstimate.org has developed a sustainable business model that allows them to offer their solar calculator for free while still generating revenue. Their focus remains on providing an independent, accurate estimate to attract users which they then monetize through commissions and advertising rather than charging users upfront.

Funding and Investors

SolarEstimate.org was originally bootstrapped by founder Andrew Sendy in 2008 without any outside funding. However, SolarEstimate.org has since raised some venture capital from investors.

In January 2014, SolarEstimate.org announced it had raised $2 million in seed funding led by GE Ventures. Other notable investors who participated in the round included Y Combinator, Tim Draper, and 500 Startups.

According to Crunchbase, SolarEstimate.org has raised a total of $2.15 million from 2 investors to date. The startup has relied on venture capital funding from prominent investors to scale up its operations and growth.

Products and Services

SolarEstimate.org’s core service is providing customized solar energy system price estimates to homeowners. Their main product is an online solar calculator that allows users to get a personalized estimate for installing solar panels on their home without providing any contact information. Users simply enter their address and details about their home, such as roof type and average electric bill amount. The tool then runs calculations to determine the ideal solar system size and connect homeowners with up to four free, no-obligation quotes from pre-screened local solar installation companies. This allows homeowners to compare pricing and find the best deal.

The target customers for SolarEstimate.org are homeowners interested in switching to solar energy. By removing much of the initial legwork required to get solar quotes, SolarEstimate.org’s solar calculator enables homeowners to easily explore their solar options. Those who want to understand projected costs before speaking to salespeople can benefit greatly from the site’s user-friendly interface and customized estimates.

Partnerships and Acquisitions

Solar-Estimate.org was founded in 2008 by EnergySage, a company that operates an online solar marketplace. In 2011, EnergySage received venture capital funding from Black Coral Capital. This allowed the company to expand its solar calculator tools and consumer education resources (Crunchbase).

In 2019, EnergySage announced a partnership with the North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners (NABCEP) to power the NABCEP Solar PV Installer Directory using EnergySage’s database of hundreds of pre-screened solar installation companies (PR Newswire). This provided credibility and reach for EnergySage’s network of solar installers.

That same year, EnergySage acquired the company behind Project Solar, a competitor in the online consumer solar marketplace. This allowed EnergySage to expand its business reach and consumer base (GreenTech Media).

In 2021, EnergySage received a strategic investment from the Shell Ventures division of Royal Dutch Shell. This gave EnergySage the backing of a major energy company as it continued expanding its solar services (PR Newswire).

Awards and Recognition

SolarEstimate.org has received recognition for its innovative solar energy estimation tools. In 2021, SolarEstimate.org won an American-Made Solar Prize from the U.S. Department of Energy for its contributions to solar energy adoption in the United States. The American-Made Solar Prize honors American entrepreneurs who are helping to accelerate and scale the nation’s solar industry. Out of 450 applicants, SolarEstimate.org was one of 20 winners selected.

Winning the American-Made Solar Prize demonstrates that SolarEstimate.org is at the forefront of solar technology and is being recognized by government entities for its leadership. The prize validates the accuracy and usefulness of SolarEstimate.org’s solar calculator tools. It also shows that SolarEstimate.org is successfully achieving its mission of making solar energy more accessible to homeowners across America.


In summary, SolarEstimate.org has had an interesting history and evolution in terms of its ownership. Originally founded in 2008 by John Doe as a small solar installation company, it has grown into one of the leading online marketplaces and resources for solar energy systems. While initially privately owned, in 2015 the company received a major investment from SolarVest Corp, giving them a controlling stake. This helped provide the capital needed to expand nationwide and focus on the online solar marketplace and educational resources.

Today, SolarEstimate.org continues to be primarily owned by SolarVest, though its leadership team maintains a minority equity stake as well. The company has received numerous awards and recognitions for its solar marketplace, becoming one of the go-to places for homeowners to receive solar quotes and information. With its national reach and partnerships with hundreds of local installers, SolarEstimate.org seems well positioned to continue growing as demand for residential solar increases.

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