If you live in the USA, you probably need to be licensed to install solar PV systems. There are a few reasons for this, but most importantly it is to protect homeowners. Unlicensed installers may cause unnecessary damage to homes and endanger those living there. As a result, most states require an electrician's license at minimum, and many recommend or require further solar installer certification. Here's what you need to know.
What level of qualification is required by your state?
You can determine what qualifications are required to set up shop in your state by checking the Interstate Renewable Energy Council's (IREC) National Solar Licensing Map. This useful tool allows you to check requirements by state. It outlines the licensing requirements, electric codes, and incentive requirements for all states in the US.
Why get licensed?
1. The legal right to install
In most states, it is illegal to install solar PV systems without an electrician's license. However some, such as Alaska, only require general contractor licenses. If you already do solar installations you will know this (of course), but if you are looking to get into the industry, check what is required in your state on this map. Further certifications may not be required for legal reasons, but there are certainly benefits.
2. Increased incentives for customers
In some states, homeowners will not be eligible for certain incentives or rebates if the company performing the installation has PV certifications. For instance, in Pennsylvania, homeowners may not be eligible for certain rebates unless their installer is NABCEP, ISPQ Accredited, or NECA certified.
3. Make the sales process easier by creating trust
Certification above & beyond the minimum can be very helpful when it comes to sales. These certifications help reduce stress and worry for homeowners, leading to an easier sales process. Even better, NABCEP certified installers get listed on the Certified Installer Locator (see: Finding your competition as a solar installer). You can also display the certification badge on your website so it is clear to all prospective customers that you are trained professionals.
So should you and your team get certified?
There are many things to do to get ahead as a solar installation company, but having a team of installers with recognized certifications is a great way to increase trust with customers. It may also increase the quality of your installations, leading to faster installs and less frequent post-installation maintenance.
Is your team certified? How has it helped your sales & installation process? Let us know in the comments!