PMax’s online solar tools increase productivity, decrease cost and accelerate solar adoption

PMax Solar

PMax Solar is an online solar corporation which leverages in-depth technological expertise to enable the widespread adoption of solar electricity at the most competitive cost to the customer. We provide access to a novel cloud-based online platform and online solar tools for optimized system design and financial cost-benefit evaluation allowing for highest level of transparency. PMax Solar offers something wonderful for anyone and everyone interested in solar.


Online Solar Tools

Over two decades of solar energy expertise allows us to constantly develop and customize online solar tools and APIs to simplify the evaluation process of a propertys’ solar potential, cost and savings analysis associated with solar installation.

For Whom

We develop solutions for solar customers and businesses who are directly or indirectly involved in adoption of solar industry globally. Our current products can help homeowners, solar installers, solar loan providers, solar insurance providers and realtors.

Benefits of Our Online Solar Tools

For homeowners and solar customers

Free and comprehensive customer education

As a visitor, you can quickly learn about the benefits and existing incentives for going solar at your location. The website allows you to easily compare and customize different solar financing schemes and associated savings. You can use from virtually anywhere, anytime and using any device as long as you have internet connection. Homeowners looking to go solar can choose how much solar they want, from 0% to 100%, or choose how much electric bill they want to pay after going solar. You can also find out how different panel technologies affect your required roof area for maximum savings and the total system size you will need and much more.

Free Solar Cost and Savings Report and a free account at

Homeowners can get an instant, personalized and detailed cost and savings estimate from going solar (together with estimates of home value increase and carbon footprint reduction for any panel technology) without having to sign-up. If interested, you can get your free solar report emailed to you after signing-up. In addition, you get a complementary report based on your actual roof within 24 hours, receive up to 3 customized installation quotes from qualified local installers and get a free online account to use proprietary roof calculator tools and compare installer quotes.

For Installers and other Solar Businesses

Get powered by PMax Solar

Sign-up and access online solar tools on or integrate our APIs to your own website. Select best solar module technology for any location using APIs to calculate Yearly Energy Production from any solar panel. Calculate your customers optimum system size. Empower your customers to make educated decision; provide them with their estimated solar savings from various financial options. Let your customers have a say on the final layout using our panel array layout tool powered by Google map.

High Quality and Affordable Customer Acquisition Service

Sign-up and easily find and connect with verified customers exploring rooftop solar. Know beforehand the estimated solar system size the customer will need. Know the customer’s zip code and distance from you. Transact through a highly secured online payment portal (STRIPE). Pay a fair price for customer contact information (price based on system size and age of lead)

What We Offer

Customizable API Solutions:

Yearly Energy Production and Optimum System size calculation with inputs as:

 - Location (Zip)

 - Average monthly electric bill of user

 - Number of sections of a roof

 - Tilt, azimuth and area of each section

 - Panel parameters (STC power, panel length and width, panel degradation rate, temp coeff.)

Yearly Solar Savings from different financial option with input as:

 - User location (ZIP)

 - Average monthly electric bill

 - Cost of installation

 - Years of installation

 - Bank loan parameters (down-payment, interest rate, loan term)

 - PPA parameters ($/KWHr, rate of increase, PPA term), upfront cost

 - Lease parameters ($/KW monthly, rate of increase, lease term)

Acquired customer (lead) sales closure with STRIPE based transactions with following inputs:

 - Customer zip and proximity from the zip

 - Customer system size requirements

Customizable Online Tools

- Energy Yield for solar panels with user input STC parameters

- Maximum solar savings for a customer from different financial options (bank loan, lease, ppa)

- Solar savings for customers from fully customizable financial options provided by installers and based on selected sections of a roof

- Instant and roof-optimized solar report for prospective solar customers

Roof Area Applications

- Google map based roof area application

- Tilt, azimuth and area of different sections of a roof

- 3D Panel layout based on input panel dimensions and user selected sections of a roof



Residential solar installation industry: Major short-term threat and long-term challenge

The U.S. residential solar industry has experienced phenomenal growth on the back of fast decreasing solar panel costs and solar-friendly incentives and regulations, both at the local and federal levels. For this trend to continue one major short-term threat needs to be avoided while another long-term challenge needs to be overcome.

On the short-term: Solar Trade Case

There is one major threat looming over the U.S. residential solar installation business which has the potential to effectively reverse the upward market trend seen so far. The U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) is currently expected to decide on a trade dispute case involving two bankrupt U.S. solar panel manufacturing companies. The original petitioner Suniva, joined later by SolarWorld, argue that they have been “seriously injured” by imports. They propose a blanket tariff on all foreign made solar cells and modules. What they propose are duties of 40 cents per watt on imported cells and a floor price of 78 cents per watt on modules. This is to be compared to some ~30-40 cents per watt for current module pricing. The petition could result in doubling or tripling the cost of solar panels used in residential solar. A cost of $3 per watt for a roof-top installation could easily become $3.8 per watt, an increase of 27% that rooftop-installers will have to pass to customers! If the U.S. ITC agrees with the petitioners, it will be up to President Donald Trump to decide on what the remedy should be. Unsurprisingly, the U.S. Solar Energy Industry Association (SEIA) and related industries have expressed their strong objection. Nevertheless, it will probably take an outrage at a much larger scale to protect the U.S. residential solar installation industry.  The decision of the ITC is expected to be announced around the end of September.

On the long-term: Customer Acquisition

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Although hardware costs of rooftop solar systems have been coming down steadily, soft-costs, especially customer acquisition costs have been stubbornly high. In some cases, they have been increasing. This could be attributed to many reasons such as non-optimal business models, rush for market share at the expense of profitability, capital intensive sales approaches etc. Debates (or non-debates depending on how you see them) whether climate change is happening or whether solar can save you money have created psychological barriers to the expansion of solar which in-turn make customer acquisition even trickier. Add to that unsatisfied solar adopters who didn’t see the expected savings from their solar installation due to high system cost, poor installation practices or poorly performing panels are warning friends, family and neighbors from going solar. Besides these unfortunate experiences and some ideological barriers, incumbent industries such as utilities have also fought hard to resist rooftop solar regulations and incentives every step of the way. When all these challenges are combined with self-inflicted wounds where major residential solar players are pushing customers towards financial or hardware choices that benefit their business’s short term goals at the expense of their customers best interest, it is hardly surprising that customer acquisition costs remain high.

If the residential solar installation industry is to avoid any short-term threat and overcome persistent challenges, it will need to do some soul searching and connect back to the original noble vision of a better world, that has prompted so many early adopters to go solar. Unless, the solar industry maintains its reputation as vanguard in the fight against climate change and unfair business practices, it will not keep the overwhelming popular support it has been enjoying. The winner solar companies of the future will be those understanding this reality today and adapting, quickly.

Andenet Alemu, PhD

Senior Solar Consultant, PMax Solar Inc.