In the four years since Malta, N.Y.-based North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners (NABCEP) launched its Solar PV Installer Certification, a voluntary national certification program for solar PV installers, more than 300 installers have become certified. Now, in response to the growing number of electrical contractors entering the solar electric industry, the volunteer board of renewable energy stakeholder representatives is reaching out to that demographic.

“Just like when they started to do data cabling or other forms of wiring than just straight AC, electrical contractors need to learn special skills and get special endorsements on their licenses,” says Ezra Auerbach, NABCEP chair. “A very good way to start a crew is to make sure they go out and find themselves an NABCEP-certified crew leader. That's a great way to get your crews broken in without stumbling through a new technology.”

Auerbach assures electrical contractors that the certification process isn't much different than what they've already been through to become licensed contractors. “Certification isn't new to them,” he says. “They're used to it from other industries that they work in, and this is an endorsement that's an important part of a solar electrician's career so it behooves them to support it if they want to grow their businesses in a rational, sustainable way.”

For more information on the NABCEP Solar PV Installer Certification, visit the organization's Web site at