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About this course

"The Marginator" is an excel tool developed by Keith Cronin to help solar companies estimate and track the profitability of solar projects. You can download this tool when you enroll in the course. Keith will teach you how to use the tool and answer your questions as you customize it for your business.

Predicting profitability is the difference between a growing company or a shrinking one. The solar industry is struggling with low margin projects. Every dollar counts in a highly competitive business.
Instead of guessing if you are going to make money, don’t you want to know, in advance?
Solar projects are essentially 3 components: materials, labor and profits. Yes, there is overhead. Yes, there are sales commissions. Yes, there are taxes. But ultimately companies thrive or die because the difference between what they sell a project for and what it costs them is unclear. And when that delta shrinks, it is even more essential to know why.
Gross margin is the one (and often) only metric to give you a sense of how you are doing. Like going to the doctor to get a checkup. This is the one thing the doctor will say to you: “How are your gross margins?”. This applies to all businesses.
If you know what they are, then you can manage the busy times and the slow times. You will be able to determine the difference between taking work because you are slow or turning away work because it won’t make financial sense to do this. Using this simple yet powerful excel tool will revolutionize how you and your company think. This tool takes the emotion out of decisions.
And when you share this knowledge with your team, something else happens. There is a shift in their ability to understand the business. They know they can influence outcomes. Ownership thinking is born. 
Now the sales team works more closely with the ops team. They share information (actually they share knowledge). The ops team knows how long things really take. The sales team incorporates that vital knowledge into their proposals. 
Managers know how to pull the information together and make short and long-term decisions. The health of the company goes beyond numbers. People feel their input matters and are part of the solution. 
Come grab the “Marginator” excel tool and video training. You’ll know how to use the tool with the step by step video training. Everything is done for you. All you need to do is enter information and the outputs will show you where you are at and more importantly- where you want to be.
This tool will take the guesswork out of estimating a solar projects profitability. Your thinking will change about only looking at what something is installed for in the usual language of “cost per watt”. You won’t be just talking about how many million in sales you did but more importantly, how many million did you get to keep.
Important: You will need to have a copy of MS Excel 2013 or newer (for PC or Mac) as we will be using slicers and pivot tables for the calculations.

Ready To Sign Up Today? Click Here to Enroll

Course outline

1 module • 21 assignments • 1:33 hours of video lectures

Welcome • 3 assignments
Orientation Materials

This course is self-paced, so you don’t need to be logged in at any specific time. You can get started immediately after you enroll and the course materials will remain in your account with minimum guaranteed access for 12 months (1 year) after enrollment.

  • Set up email notifications and your student profile
  • Introduce yourself on the discussion board
  • Marginator Demo Video (11:13 minutes)
Module 1 • 14 assignments
Solar Cost Estimating ScoreCard

Want to know the difference between sales and profits? You've come to the right place. This is an extensive excel tool to help you wrap you and your team around performance. It will help you make better team decisions from this day, forward.

  • The Marginator 1 - Introduction (04:42 minutes)
  • The Marginator Excel File (.xlsm)
  • The Marginator 2 - Workbook Layout (06:34 minutes)
  • The Marginator 3 - How to Share Profits (04:51 minutes)
  • The Marginator 4 - How to Use Each Worksheet (04:36 minutes)
  • Marginator 5 - Estimating your first project (09:28 minutes)
  • The Marginator 6 - Data Validation and Macros (04:12 minutes)
  • The Marginator 7- Name Ranges and VBA (04:32 minutes)
  • The Marginator 8 - Macros and the formulas (08:41 minutes)
  • The Marginator 9- Client Data Saving and Retrieving (04:11 minutes)
  • The Marginator 10 - Did You Make Money (07:00 minutes)
  • The Marginator 11 - Index - Match and Finding Information (09:32 minutes)
  • The Marginator 12 - Slicers and Sorting Data (05:25 minutes)
  • The Marginator 13 - Deep Analysis - Pivot Tables (08:17 minutes)
Conclusion • 4 assignments
Feedback and Additional Resources

This is our last module but you still have access to the all of course materials for 12 months (1 year), so keep working and you'll be able to complete the course at your own pace. After your year of access expires you can optionally extend access with a HeatSpring Membership. Enjoy the course and keep in touch!

  • 1 Year of Access to Course Materials
  • Feedback: 2-minute Exit Survey
  • Consider Joining as a HeatSpring Member
  • Certificate of Completion: Request a Certificate


  • Keith Cronin

    SunHedge LLC
    View profile

    What kind of world do you want to live in? Two plus decades of cleantech experience on our journey together to sequester carbon in meaningful ways. Blessed with a multidisciplinary skill set of development, finance, business, and deep connections globally. The road to your destiny is often a curved line. After a decade on the East Coast, it catapulted me to Hawaii to... Learn more

Frequently asked questions

How does this course work?
You can begin this online course instantly upon enrollment. This 1 module course is delivered entirely online. This course is self-paced and you can set your own schedule to complete the materials. You can begin the lecture videos and other course materials as soon as you enroll. During your year of access the instructor will be in the course answering questions on the discussion board. After successfully completing the course, you will be able to generate a certificate of completion.
How long do I have access to the materials?
Students get unlimited access to the course materials as soon as they enroll and for one year (365 days) after enrollment. Rewatch videos and review assignments as many times as you want. View updates the instructor makes to the course as the industry advances. Return to your course anytime with online access from anywhere in the world. After the one year of access expires, access can be extended by joining as a HeatSpring member. A single membership extends access to course materials for all past enrollments.
Is there a certificate of completion?
Yes, when you complete this course you are eligible for a certificate of completion from HeatSpring. You can download your certificate as soon as you have completed all of the course requirements. Students can easily share their verified certificates on their LinkedIn profiles using our LinkedIn integration.
Can I register multiple people?
Yes please visit our HeatSpring for Teams page to get a group discount.


Based on 4 reviews
students have taken this course

This course was phenomenal, I would recommend this course for solar contractors or Lead Gen companies it simplifies the database process.

Rashaad El
Eric R
Bob S

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