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Solar Installation Directory*
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*The Solar Installation Directory is designed to offer easy access to information and directory listings about solar installer specialists all across the U.S.

Solar installers are people with contracting and electrical licenses that qualify them to work safely with photovoltaic (PV) systems, conduct a site assessment, calculate system capabilities, select a system design, adapt the mechanical design and the electrical design, install subsystems and components at the site, perform a system checkout and inspection, and maintain and troubleshoot a PV system.

In every state, installers are required to obtain licensing pursuant to state and federal regulations but there are also national certification bodies creating and implementing a series of quality and credentialing programs for professional installers. The North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners (NABCEP), for example, is comprised of a volunteer board of renewable energy stakeholder representatives.

Certification programs like the ones offered by NABCEP do not take the place of local, state or federal licensing regulations, but offer a sort of insurance that the installer being chosen to work on your home meets and exceeds a stringent set of criteria. Someone applying for certification with NABCEP is someone who is already licensed and who possesses the job experience installing solar PV or who has been educated to perform such.

NABCEP believes that given basic instructions, major components, schematics and drawings, a PV installer is “required to specify, adapt, implement, configure, install, inspect and maintain” PV systems that meet reliability and performance needs of the client, employs quality craftsmanship, and complies with all necessary standards, codes and safety requirements.

Certification requirements for NABCEP also make certification distinction between solar PV system installers and solar thermal installers.

Actual licensing for installers varies by state. In Oregon, for example, all contractors who install any kind of solar electrical system must have an Electrical Contractors License as well as a Construction Contractors Board (CCB) license. Additionally, Oregon issues two types of licenses for solar electric installers: General Electrical Contractor and Limited Renewable Energy Contractor. The State of Oregon also requires that solar hot water system installers possess a plumbing business registration.

In California, an electrical, solar or plumbing contractors license granted by the California State Licensing Board is required.

In Florida, solar energy systems are required to be installed by a licensed contractor. While the installer performing the actual installation does not need a license, they are required only to be employed by and work under the supervision of a contractor with a license.

In Florida there are two solar contractor categories: Certified Solar Contractor (CV) and Residential Solar Water Heating Specialty Contractor (CW). The CV license qualifies the holder to perform residential and commercial solar water heating, solar pool heating and photovoltaic (solar electric, or PV) systems. The CW license is no longer offered, but those who currently hold that license are permitted to continue operating. The CW license was limited to residential solar water heating and residential solar pool heating systems only. The CW license holder is not authorized to install PV systems and is not authorized to install solar water heating or pool heating systems on commercial buildings.

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