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Solar Universe is the leading solar franchising concept bringing solar power to consumers through its network of locally owned and operated franchises.

Using a scalable franchise model, Solar Universe is changing the face of the solar industry by giving consumers a local choice to produce their own more affordable power for their homes and businesses. Since it was founded in 2008 by CEO Joe Bono, Solar Universe has been revolutionizing the solar market by matching innovative technology with consumer needs. Forbes recently described Solar Universe as “Silicon Valley meets clean tech, with the consumer in mind.”

Meet our team

  • Joseph Bono - Founder and Chief Executive Officer

    Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Joseph Bono, has been applying his leadership and strategic knowledge at Solar Universe since January 2008. Bono has had the privilege of working in several successful business ventures and brings his diverse background in software, consumer lending, construction and franchising to Solar Universe. Prior to his career in the solar industry, Bono was a DRE licensed broker where he funded hundreds of new home purchases and construction builds from 2003 to 2007. He was also the owner and franchisee of two Bay Area Quiznos franchises, one in San Francisco and one in Walnut Creek, Ca. from October 2002 through August 2005. In his first career, from 1996 to 2002, Bono worked as a software consultant for KPMG Consulting based in Palo Alto, successfully started his own consulting business, ICSG Consulting based in San Francisco, and further worked for a venture backed mobile startup ViaFone, based in Redwood Shores. Bono earned his bachelor’s degree from the University of California, Los Angeles where he studied economics and computer science.

  • Joe Miller - EVP Channel and Sales

    Mr. Miller heads our consumer facing marketing, sales and network development efforts. Miller and his team are focused on driving revenue and expanding the Solar Universe network while creating a branded experience for our customers. Prior to working for Solar Universe, Mr. Miller was SVP of Consumer Marketing and Sales for TiVo. As an early employee Miller led the companies go-to market strategy, created distribution and helped turn TiVo into a household brand. Before TiVo, Miller was a pre-market launch employee for (USSB) DIRECTV driving early sales and marketing strategies. Miller has also held key management positions at Cox Satellite, leading consumer sales and marketing efforts.

  • Stephen M. Schmidt - Vice President of Corporate Development

    Mr. Schmidt has been our Vice President of Corporate Development since July 2012. Mr. Schmidt was a corporate and securities lawyer with Wilson Sonsini Goodrich Rosati in Palo Alto for 8 years, representing numerous technology companies in all aspects of their businesses, from start-ups and acquisitions to the Initial Public Offering stage and beyond. Before Wilson, Mr. Schmidt was a corporate lawyer working on leveraged buyouts with Winston Strawn in New York. Mr. Schmidt graduated from Dartmouth College with an A.B. in History and Religion, and graduated from Northwestern University School of Law with a J.D. Mr. Schmidt is licensed to practice law in New York and California.

  • Chadwick T. Forrest - Vice President of Finance

    Mr. Forrest has been Solar Universe’s Director of Finance since December 2012. Prior to joining Solar Universe, he served as Director of FP&A for Blinkx, Inc. from 2011 and held the same position at Triformix, Inc. from 2009. From 2005 to 2009, he was VP of Acquisitions and Finance for Heisman Properties where he oversaw project underwriting, development and financing. From 2001 to 2005, he was a Principal at Regent Pacific Management Corp, where he worked on multiple tech and Internet projects assisting clients with process improvement, restructuring and financing. Mr. Forrest holds a BA in Political Science from UCLA.

  • Elton Hart - Vice President of Sales

    Prior to joining the Solar Universe team, Mr. Hart spent five years at Comcast leading the company's business sales and field marketing teams and has over 13 years of management experience. At Solar Universe, Hart is responsible for driving the company's growth and presence throughout the U.S. and abroad and fostering relationships with franchise owners and customers. This latest hire is indicative of Solar Universe's continued growth since its founding in 2008 and positions the company for success to support its national and global expansions.

In the News

Press Releases


April 02, 2014

Solar Universe Partners With GHS Interactive Security, LLC. to Make Smart Home Automation More Energy-Efficient

Solar Universe partners with GHS Interactive Security to make it easier to lower overall home energy costs and allow users to smartly manage their homes. Read more >

December 19, 2013

Solar Universe Exceeds Growth Expectations Capping Off Successful 2013 Year

Key Acquisitions and an Increase in Franchise Offices Across the Country Lead to Impressive Year for Bay Area Company Read more >

October 2, 2013

Solar Universe Expands Reach Throughout East Coast with New Franchises

Leading solar provider announces two new locally-owned and operated businesses in New Jersey and New York. Read more >

September 5, 2013

Solar Universe Becomes Top Player in Solar Industry with Acquisition of Gen110

Acquisition Equips Solar Universe with the Ability to Reach Potential and Existing Customers in Multiple Ways to Drive Growth in New Franchise Markets Read more >

June 05, 2013

Solar Universe Announces New Online Design Center to Meet Growing Demand for Improved Solar Shopping Experience

Leading solar provider develops seamless estimate and design process for consumers Read more >

May 30, 2013

Solar Universe Names Elton Hart as New Vice President of Sales

Former Comcast Director of Field Sales Will Help Foster Solar Universe’s Presence in Communities Read more >

May 22, 2013

Solar Universe Announces Franchise Expansion in Key Solar Markets Across the United States in Boston, Denver and Northern California

Leading solar provider announces three new locally-owned and operated businesses in Boston, Denver and Northern California Read more >

May 1, 2013

Solar Universe Enters International Market and Debuts First Franchise in Puerto Rico

The leading U.S. solar company opens its doors in Puerto Rico, offering a critical energy solution for the economically emergent island Read more >