Solar Licensing Database

The Interstate Renewable Energy Council, Inc. (IREC), supported by the US Department of Energy (DOE), has created a Solar Licensing Database as a resource for policy makers, practitioners, consumers, and anyone else looking for solar licensing information in the U.S.  The state-by-state information offers a handy comparison for reviewing the different approaches across state lines, and identifies various practices for regulating the solar installation industry.

In the database, licensing requirements for installing photovoltaic and solar thermal systems are documented for each state. These are organized alphabetically. Today, only 14 states have established specific solar license classifications, usually sub-classifications of electrical or plumbing licenses, and often specifically defined to limit the scope of work to direct solar installations and maintenance tasks.   For additional information, resource links to state-specific websites and documents are included. IREC will update the database to keep pace with those changes as they become available.

“As licensing requirements emerge and change in individual states, IREC felt that it could contribute by providing this resource of existing requirements that can be used as a reference tool,” said IREC’s Director of Operations, Pat Fox.

“IREC is broadly recognized as a unique resource and conduit for change in the renewable energy arena. This database is just one of many IREC resources it offers free of charge to the public,” said Fox.

As always, we welcome comments, feedback or contributions of information. Please email Pat Fox with any thoughts, and thanks for your input on this important topic.

Acknowledgements

IREC would like to thank all of the contributors to this document with special thanks to those who spent time reviewing the initial drafts including Mark Frickel of Suntech Inc., Jim Dunlop of Jim Dunlop Solar, Jane Weissman of the Interstate Renewable Energy Council, Inc., Chuck Marken of the U.S. Department of Energy , Ezra Auerbach of the North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners, Amy Heineman of DSIRE, Joe Sarubbi, formerly with Hudson Valley Community College, and Brian Hurd of Hands On Solar.

Compiled by Pat Fox, Director of Operations
Interstate Renewable Energy Council, Inc. (IREC)


This  report  was  prepared  as an inventory of information provided by State and Local governments and licensing boards.  Neither  the   United   States  Government, nor any State or Local Governments,  nor  any  agency  thereof,  nor  any  of  their  employees,  makes  any  warranty,  express  or  implied,  or  assumes   any  legal  liability  or  responsibility  for  the  accuracy,  completeness,  or  usefulness  of  any  information,  apparatus,  product,  or   process  disclosed,  or  represents  that  its  use  would  not  infringe  privately  owned  rights.    Reference herein  to  any  specific   commercial  product,  process,  or  service  by  trade  name,  trademark,  manufacturer,  or  otherwise  does  not  necessarily  constitute   or  imply  its  endorsement,  recommendation,  or  favoring  by  the  United  States  Government, State or Local Governments,  or  any  agency  thereof.    The  views   and  opinions  of  authors  expressed  herein  do  not  necessarily  state  or  reflect  those  of  any Government or  any  agency  thereof.

The  Interstate  Renewable  Energy  Council  does  not  assume  any  legal  liability  or  responsibility  for  the  accuracy,  completeness,  or   usefulness  of  any  information,  apparatus,  product  or  process  that  is  referred  to  in  this  document.


The Challenges

Growth of market: The volume of PV installations is increasing rapidly.  Annual US PV installed capacity grew by 40% in 2009 compared with installations in 2008. This intense growth is driven by policies such as the adoption of Renewable Portfolio Standards (RPS) and the funding of incentives.  This growth is expected to continue into the future.

Installers with variable experience: The rapid growth of the market is driving an increase in the number of individuals and businesses offering installation services.  As a result, the installers in the field come from a wide variety of backgrounds.  There are several practitioners across the country who have been completing quality installations since the 1970s and 1980s.  Many of them have learned from experience and have an in depth knowledge of all of the aspects of the technology, design, and installation.  However, there are also many newcomers to the field.  These include career changers who have taken PV or solar thermal courses, but have very limited hands-on experience.  They include skilled trades people such as electricians who have a solid understanding of the electrical aspects involved, but limited or no training in other aspects such as calculating snow and wind loads or structural roof mounting.  And they include general contractors who see a business expansion opportunity, but have limited knowledge of current solar technologies.

This diversity of background and experience has proven to add complexity for states as they determine licensing and certification requirements.  The challenge is to ensure installers have the knowledge, experience and skills for the job without creating insurmountable barriers for workers looking to enter the industry.

 

Addressing the Challenges

State regulating bodies are looking for ways to promote safe, high-quality installations that are completed by properly trained and qualified people without setting up barriers to market growth or unreasonable barriers to becoming an installer.  Consumer protection and protection of the grid need to be confirmed while the path to enter the field of solar installations does not become constricted.  The need for establishing structures for quality and safety is intensifying.

Across the U.S. there are many methods being used to regulate solar installations including a variety of license classifications, practitioner certifications, and managing the market through incentive requirements.  Currently 14 states have defined specific solar license classifications while 17 states have included language regarding practitioner certification in the state solar incentive programs; only one state (Utah) does both.

How best to address the challenge of ensuring that the people involved in an installation have the required skills for the job is complicated by the diverse set of skills that are needed.  In addition to electrical skills, a photovoltaic installation can require multiple specialized trades, including glaziers, masons, sheet metal workers, millwrights, roofers and welders.  Some PV installation tasks are non-electrical and include skills dealing with roof dead loads, snow and wind loads, structural attachment, membrane integrity, weatherproofing, and operational safety.  Depending on the design of the installation, it can be difficult to distinguish between the mechanical parts and the electrical parts.  PV modules are energized as soon as they are illuminated (right out of the box) and the mechanical mounting can all be part of the electrical grounding system.

Solar thermal installations can require many of the same skills or specialized trades as PV.  In addition, for systems which connect to potable water, the safety and integrity of the water system must be considered and protected.

In general, three basic approaches have been taken by the states to regulate solar installations through licensure or certification.  One approach is to make no specific provisions for solar installations other than a requirement to be a licensed electrician to install PV or a licensed plumber to install solar thermal.  While regulators look to insure that solar installations are designed and executed by practitioners with the required skills, they need to recognize that this approach can be as much of a hindrance to the market as establishing requirements that are too difficult to meet.  A lack of definition for solar licensing requirements other than a requirement to be a licensed electrician to install PV or a licensed plumber to install solar thermal, can lead to electricians and plumbers, who have no training or experience with solar, completing installations while installers with years of solar experience are barred from the trade.  This definition can also prove to be a barrier to entry for contractors who aspire to install solar, but are not licensed as an electrician or plumber.  Rapid growth of an installation workforce in states requiring a trade license may be slower than in other states.

A second approach has been to regulate the requirements for an installer through the criteria set for incentive programs.  This approach opens a career pathway for individuals who desire to become solar installers, but are not licensed trades people.  The criteria established in these states typically requires the installer to achieve professional certification as proof of their knowledge and skills.  Currently, this criteria indicates the certification that can be acquired through the North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners (NABCEP) and requires practical experience as well as passing an exam.  (Please note:  there are other certifications that have become available for solar practitioners such as the certification offered by UL University for electricians.)  The exam is based on knowledge and skills which have been identified in a Job Task Analysis developed by industry experts.  As additional or competitive practitioner certifications are developed, this approach may need to be expanded.

Finally, the third approach taken by 14 states has been to establish a specific solar license classification.  These licenses may be sub-classifications of an electrical or plumbing license and are typically defined to specifically limit the scope of work to direct solar installations and maintenance tasks.

Licensing and Certification

In constructing the parameters to ensure that photovoltaic and solar thermal installations are designed and implemented with quality and safety, licensure and certification are not mutually exclusive.  These two approaches can be used to complement each other.

Licensure refers to a mandatory system of standards, usually controlled by state government, to which a practitioner must conform in order to practice a given profession.  Certification refers to a voluntary system of standards, usually set by key stakeholders that practitioners can choose to meet in order to demonstrate accomplishment or ability in their profession.

The advantages of using licensure are that states can control the selection and enforcement of a standard and that the concept of state regulation is understood and accepted by the consumer.

The advantages of using certification are that it is standardized for a specific job based on common measures of competence to verify skills and that it is portable across regions, states and employers.

The use of both licensure and certification can provide a solution of complementary components which balance the enforcement of standards through regulation and the assurance of quality through measured competency.


State Licensing Requirements – How to use this database

In the sections that follow, licensing requirements for installing photovoltaic and solar thermal systems are documented for each state (states are listed alphabetically).  Specialized tables include:

U.S. Required Licensing Summary (general contractor, electrical, plumbing, solar PV, solar thermal)

State Solar Snapshot (states with specific solar provisions)

States with Specific Solar Licenses

To find the available information for your state, simply scroll to the appropriate section.  Within each section, several links are provided under Resources.  For additional information, follow the resource links to the state specific websites and documents.


 

 

Alabama

 

 

Incentive notes

  • To qualify for the income tax credit enacted in Alabama under the Energy Efficiency Act of 2009, a solar installation must be done by a Certified Installer where ‘Certified Installer’ is defined as:  one who has been certified by the North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners (NABCEP) as a Certified Solar PV Installer or a NABCEP Certified Solar Thermal Installer or certified as a solar installer by the manufacturer of the SRCC certified systems or collectors being installed.

Electric code: NEC 2005 edition

Reciprocal relationships

  • If you have an unrestricted electrical contractor’s license from Arkansas, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, or Virginia, you can get a license from the Board by reciprocity. You must have passed their exam with a grade of at least 70 to get the license and hold it in good standing.

Resources

  1. The Energy Efficiency Act of 2009
  2. Homebuilders Licensure Board
  3. Alabama Electrical Contractors Board
  4. Alabama Plumbers and Gas Fitters Examining Board

 


Alaska

 

Licensing

  • A residential or non-residential contractor’s license is required to install solar thermal or PV.
  • The Alaska Department of Labor requires a Certificate of Fitness for plumbers, electricians, and workers with asbestos abatement, hazardous paint, explosives, and boilers.
  • Solar Licensing Table for Alaska

Education/testing

  • Residential Contractors must complete the Alaska Craftsman Home Program (ACHP), or a post-secondary course in Arctic engineering or its equivalent. The course must be completed within two years of applying for the license.
  • www.energyfinancecompany.com

 

Electric code: NEC 2005 edition

Reciprocal relationships for journeyman electrician:

CO, MN, MT, NE, ND, SD, UT, WA, WY, NM, OK, NH, TX, AR

Required training or experience: none

Exam: no

Certificate good for 2 years

 

Resources

  1. ACHP (Alaska Craftsman Home Program)
  2. Department of Community and Economic Development/Professional licensing
  3. Department of Community and Economic Development/Alaska Business Licensing Program
  4. Alaska Department of Labor/Mechanical Inspection
  5. Alaska Department of Labor and Workforce Development

 

 

Arizona

 

Licensing

  • General: A contractor must possess the general license that is appropriate to the type of solar device being installed.  Installers of a solar water heater or a photovoltaic device shall possess an appropriate contractor’s license.   A contractor must qualify as a solar contractor to install, alter or repair a solar device.
  • PV – An installer must have an electricians license (C11, L11 or K11)
  • Solar thermal – An installer of solar thermal must possess a plumbers license (C-37, C-37R, K-77, K-78, L-77, L-78)
  • Solar License Table for Arizona

  • Roofing tile that function as solar collectors must be installed by a C-42, L-42 or K-42, roofing contractor. However, connection of these tiles to the electrical system can only be performed by a licensed electrical contractor
  • If a solar energy device is designed or installed by the final owner, license requirements are waived.
  • Exams are administered by Prometric

Electric code: No statewide code; check local municipality

Licensing body: Arizona Registrar of Contractors

Reciprocal relationships: California, Nevada, Utah

Resources

  1. Arizona Registrar of Contractors

Arkansas

 

Licensing (general)

  • Arkansas requires a commercial or residential contractor’s license.

Licensing (PV)

  • An Electricians license is required.  A state license is required to do any electrical work in Arkansas including PV.
  • Must be a Master Electrician or a Journeyman Electrician under direct supervision of a Master Electrician.

Licensing (solar thermal)

  • A Plumbers license is required.  A restricted specialty classification is offered.
  • Arkansas offers limited licenses for solar thermal installations
    • Restricted Solar Mechanic License:  May perform installation and/or maintenance for the purpose of heating domestic hot water
    • Supervising Solar Mechanic license:  any person skilled in the planning superintending and practical installation and/or maintenance for the particular phase of solar and hydronic heating and for the purpose of solar heating of domestic hot water.
    • Solar Mechanic Trainee means any person who is engaged in learning, acquiring experience and assisting the Solar Mechanics in order to become a Solar Mechanic.
    • Persons holding a Restricted Solar Mechanic Plumber’s License for the particular phase of Restricted Solar Mechanic plumbing shall not perform any plumbing service other than the restricted phase for which he is licensed.
    • Persons holding a Restricted Solar Mechanic Plumber’s License shall not be eligible to use experience gained under such license to obtain credit toward other forms of licenses issued by the Department.
    • Persons holding a Restricted Solar Mechanic Plumber’s License shall not transfer a license from one phase of plumbing to any other phase or move from one restricted area to another without first resubmitting a new application to the Department

Education/experience requirement

  • The applicant for a Restricted Solar Mechanic Plumber’s License shall produce evidence of his training and experience in the phase of plumbing for which he is requesting a license.
  • Applicants for a Restricted Supervisor Solar Mechanic Plumber’s License shall have a minimum of five (5) years solar mechanic plumbing experience or its equivalent, with a least one (1) year as a licensed Restricted Solar Mechanic Plumber.
  • Applicants for a Restricted Solar Mechanic Plumber’s License shall have served four (4) years as a registered Restricted Solar Mechanic Apprentice.
  • Restricted Solar Mechanic Trainees shall register with the Department in order to record the training and experience gained under the Restricted Supervising Solar Mechanic Plumber’s License.

Electric code: NEC 2008 edition

Licensing body

Reciprocal relationships: Tennessee, Mississippi, Alabama, Louisiana

Resources

  1. Contractors Licensing Board
  2. Arkansas Department of Health/Protective Health Codes
  3. Arkansas Board of Electrical Examiners

 

 

 

California

 

Licensing (general)

  • A contractor’s license is required:  a C-46 Solar Contractors License or “A” General Contractors or “B” General Building Contractors License.
  • C-46 is the Solar Contractor licensing classification for solar (PV and thermal) installations and maintenance.  The C-46 Solar Contractor license covers active solar water and space heating systems, solar pool heating systems, and photovoltaic systems.
    • Education/testing requirements:  include written examinations (Law and Business as well as the trade examination) and 4 years experience; (note:  technical training, apprenticeship training and education may be credited instead of experience, however at least 1 year needs to be practical experience.  See CSLB guidelines for maximum allowable credit from training)

Licensing (PV and Solar Thermal): California offers the following specialty classifications:

  • C-4. Boiler, Hot Water Heating and Steam Fitting (for solar thermal systems)
  • C-10. Electrical (for photovoltaics only)
  • C-20. Warm-Air, HVAC (HVAC systems that utilize solar energy)
  • C-36. Plumbing (solar thermal systems)
  • C-53. Swimming Pool (for solar pool heating)

Electric code: NEC 2005 with California amendments

Licensing authority: California Contractors State License Board

Reciprocal relationships: Arizona, Nevada (C-37), and Utah

Permitting notes: Permitting requirements vary by City – check local rules and regulations.

Resources

  1. California Contractors State License Board
  2. California Contractors State License Board/C46 Solar Contractor
  3. Blueprint for Becoming a California Licensed Contractor (2006)

Colorado

 

Licensing (general)

  • Colorado does not issue a contractor’s license specific to solar at the state level.  However, there are local solar specific requirements in some counties (such as El Paso County).  All contractors should check with the Authority Having Jurisdiction for solar specific requirements.
  • Colorado issues licenses for electricians and plumbers at the state level.

Licensing (PV)

  • All work performed on the AC side of the inverter must be done by an electrical contractor who employs a licensed Journeyman Electrician or a licensed Residential Wireman who will do the work.

Incentive notes

  • Effective July 1, 2011 – NABCEP certification (or equivalent) is required:  electrical work related to PV installations, the installation of PV modules, and the installation of PV module mounting equipment is subject to on-site supervision by a Certified Photovoltaic Energy Practitioner as designated by NABCEP or other nationally recognized professional organization designated by the Colorado State Electrical Board.
    • The performance of all photovoltaic electrical work, the installation of photovoltaic module mounting equipment shall be subject to on-site supervision by a certified photovoltaic energy practitioner as designated by the North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners (NABCEP) or another nationally recognized professional organization designated by the Colorado State Electrical Board by rule.

Electric code: NEC 2007 edition

Licensing body: State Electrical Board

Reciprocal relationships: Alaska, Arkansas, Idaho, Minnesota, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oregon, South Dakota, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming

Resources

  1. House Bill 10-1001 concerning the incentives for installations

 


 

 

 

Connecticut

Licensing (PV)

  • A contractor (employer) must have a Home Improvement Contractors (HIC) license as well as PV-1 or E-1 license and must be listed with the Connecticut Clean Energy Fund (for rebate eligibility)
  • A PV installer must have a PV-1 license to perform installations or an E-1 master electrician’s license for electrical work; or the installer must have an E-2 electrician’s license or a PV-2 license and be in the employ of a licensed electrical contractor.
  • An employee of any company installing PV systems must have PV-1, PV-2, E-1, or E-2 license or be an apprentice to  one of the licenses and working under their direct supervision
  • An employee of a licensed contractor may do hoisting, placing and attachment of modules without a license.
  • The Connecticut Clean Energy Fund (CCEF) requires all approved eligible PV contractors to have at least one permanent employee successfully complete and pass the NABCEP entry level PV exam.

Licensing (Solar Thermal)

  • ST-1 Solar Thermal Contractor license: may perform work only on solar thermal systems; requires 2 years experience as a solar journeyperson or equivalent experience and training.  The licensing exam covers Business & Law (licensing, estimating and bidding, lien law, financial management, tax laws, labor laws, project management, contractors, business organization, risk management, environmental safety) and Solar Thermal Installation (piping, system design, pumps and storage systems, collectors, system valves and controls, safety)
  • ST-2 Solar Thermal Journeyperson license: may perform work only on solar thermal systems, but only while in the employ of a contractor licensed for such work; requires completion of an apprenticeship program which includes instruction in solar thermal work or equivalent experience and training.  The licensing exam topics are the same as for the ST-1 license.
  • Solar thermal apprentice permit: for the performance of solar-thermal work for the purpose of training. Such work may be performed only under the supervision of a licensed solar thermal contractor or journeyman. Any apprenticeship program established to provide education and training for those seeking licensure for plumbing and piping work or for heating, piping and cooling work must provide all people entering the program with education and training in solar thermal work.
  • In October 2009, a new law authorized the Dept of Consumer Protection to issue a solar thermal work “certificate” to any person who holds a Plumbing & Piping License (P-1, P-2, P-3, P-4), or Heating, Piping & Cooling License (S-1, S-2, S-3, S-4) license (issued by the Department) as long as that person has also completed an approved solar thermal installation training course and has passed an approved solar thermal work exam.

 

Licensing body: The Connecticut Department of Consumer Protection (DCP) is authorized to issue licenses for solar-thermal work, solar-electric work and wind-electric work.

Electric code: NEC 2005 edition

Resources

  1. Connecticut General Statutes Section 20-330
  2. Regulations Conn. State Agencies 20-332-2 and 20-332-5
  3. State of Connecticut Department of Consumer Protection
  4. Approved Solar Thermal Education Provider list

Delaware

 

Licensing (PV)

  • Delaware requires an electricians license to do electrical work; PV installations are considered to be electrical work
  • Note:   NABCEP certification is preferred if applying for state rebates.

 

Electric code: NEC 2005 edition

 

Incentive notes

  • Regulations for the Green Energy Program: 5.6.2 Education and Licensure:  Participating Contractors shall maintain appropriate education and licenses to insure that only professionally designed systems are installed within the Program. The Participating Contractor must be licensed in the State of Delaware.  Where industry certification programs have been promulgated, grant recipients are encouraged to use industry certified contractors.
    • Proposed changes:  5.6.2 Education and Licensure

Participating Contractors shall maintain appropriate education and licenses to insure that only professionally designed systems are installed within the Program. The contractor must maintain on staff field personal that have received appropriate training for the installation of that particular renewable energy system. Each contractor must submit annually a list of personnel on staff that has received the appropriate training to qualify them to conduct the installation of renewable energy systems. The Participating Contractor must be licensed in the State of Delaware. Copies of all renewed licenses must be submitted to the Department within 60 days of expiration. If all new licenses are not provided, the contractor will be suspended from participation with the Green Energy Program until a new license is provided. All installations performed during the suspension will not be eligible for funds until the suspension is lifted.

Where industry certification programs have been promulgated, grant recipients will be required to obtain the highest industry recognized training within three (3) years of becoming an approved contractor. Thereafter the contractor must continue to become certified in the highest industry recognized training every three (3) years. If a new certificate is not provided, the contractor will be suspended from participation with the Green Energy Program until a new certificate is provided. All installations performed during the suspension will not be eligible for funds until the suspension is lifted.

 

Resources

  1. Division of Revenue
  2. Division of Professional Regulation
  3. Delaware Green Energy Program

 


 

 

 

Florida

 

Licensing (PV and Solar Thermal)

  • Certified Solar Contractor (CV) License or an Electrical Contractors License is required
  • Florida has established the following licenses:
    • CV – Certified Solar Contractor; scope of work covers residential and commercial solar water heating, solar pool heating and photovoltaic (solar electric, or PV) systems. The CV license holder is exempt from subcontracting certain roofing, plumbing and electrical work on residential installations.
    • CW – Residential Solar Water Heating Specialty Contractor; this license is no longer offered, but contractors holding this license may continue to use it; the CW license is limited to solar water heating and solar pool heating systems on residences only.
    • EC – Electrical Contractors are also authorized to install PV systems, but may be required to subcontract roofing work if the local building department so requires
    • CF – Plumbing Contractors are also authorized to install solar water heaters and pool heaters, but may be required to subcontract roofing and electrical work if the local building department so requires. Plumbing contractors are not authorized to install PV systems.
    • CP, RP – Solar Pool Contractors:  may install solar pool heaters.
    • Several local licensing jurisdictions have established a solar contractor certificate of competency that is usually designated as an RX license. These are limited to the installation of solar water or pool heaters only within the jurisdiction that has granted the license, and generally will not be authorized to install PV systems.

 

Educational requirement: All state licenses require 4 years of field experience.  One year of which is supervisory experience.  Up to 3 years of college credit hours may be substituted for experience.

Testing: First must pass the trade exam (PV or thermal); then must pass a Business and Financial Management exam

 

Licensing body: Construction Industry Licensing Board (CILB)

Electric code: Latest NEC edition

 

Resources

  1. Florida Solar Energy Center
  2. Legal Citations:  Rule 61G4-15.012, FAC, Certification of Residential Solar Water Heating Specialty Contractors.  Rule 61G4-15.021, FAC, Certification of Solar contractors.  Section 489.105(3)(o), Fla. Stat.; Section 489.113(3)(f), Fla. Stat.
  3. Florida Solar Energy Industries Association
  4. Department of Business and Professional Regulation, Electrical Contractors Licensing Board
  5. Department of Business & Professional Regulation

Georgia

 

No state licensing requirements

 

Solar installations are not regulated by the State Licensing Board.

 

Electric code: NEC 2005 edition with amendments

 

Reciprocal relationships: Georgia will accept the electrical licensing exam results from Florida, North Carolina, and South Carolina

Resources

  1. State Construction Industry Licensing Board

 

 

 


 

 

 

Hawai’i

 

Licensing (general)

  • General engineering contractors (“A” classification) automatically hold the Solar Energy Systems Contractor (C-61) specialty license without having to take a further exam or pay additional fees.
  • A Solar Contractor’s license alone does not permit a contractor to install a complete solar energy system and may require that he or she subcontract with Electrical and/or Plumbing Contractors.
  • Electrical and Plumbing Contractors may subcontract with Solar Contractors to install components of PV and SWH systems

Licensing (PV)

  • C-60– Solar power systems contractors may assemble and install photovoltaic panels, batteries, controls, and related low voltage DC wiring
  • C-13- Electrical contractor license includes the work of the C-60 solar power systems contractor license
  • Any electrical work must be performed by a licensed electrician

Licensing (Solar thermal)

  • C-61 – Solar energy systems contractors may assemble and install solar hot water systems in residential and commercial buildings and swimming pools, provided that this shall not include the installation of heat pumps or water heaters.  This license classification also allows the contractor to install solar heating and cooling systems in residential, commercial, and industrial buildings; includes the work of C-61a and C-61b
  • C-61a- Solar hot water systems contractors may assemble and install collectors, storage vessels, controls, pumps, and piping in connection therewith
  • C-61b- Solar heating and cooling systems contractors may install solar heating and cooling systems provided that all specialty work requiring a license is subcontracted to contractors licensed to perform that work
  • Any plumbing work must be performed by a licensed plumber
  • C-37- Plumbing contractors are allowed to install solar hot water heating systems

Licensing body: Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs

Electric code: NEC 2008 edition

Reciprocal relationships: none

Resources

  1. Professional and Vocational Licensing
  2. Professional and Vocational Licensing/Licensing area: contractor
  3. Professional and Vocational Licensing/HAR Chapter 77: contractors

 


 

 

 

Idaho

 

Licensing (PV)

  • A photovoltaic installation requires an Electrical Contractor license and a Master Electrician License.

Licensing (Solar Thermal)

  • A solar thermal installation requires a Plumbing State Certificate of Competency; A plumbing contractor must be certified as competent by the Idaho Plumbing Board and the administrator of the Division of Building and Safety.

Licensing body: Division of Building and Safety

 

Electric code: NEC 2008 edition

Resources

  1. Plumbing Board Packet
  2. Division of Building Safety web site
  3. Plumbing Bureau web site
  4. Idaho Office of Energy Resources

 


 

 

 

Illinois

 

Licensing (PV)

  • Illinois does not offer contractor licenses for electricians at the state level; check with local municipality.
    • Chicago:  You must be a licensed electrical contractor to install PV in Chicago.

Licensing (Solar Thermal)

  • Any connection to the potable water system must be done by a licensed plumber.  All other parts of the installation do not require a license.

Resources

  1. Illinois Department of Public Health (plumbing)

 


 

 

 

 

Indiana

 

Licensing (general). Check with local municipality for licensing requirements

Resources

  1. Indiana Professional Licensing Agency web site

________________________________________________________________________

Iowa

 

Licensing (general)

  • Iowa requires that all individual contractors and businesses performing “construction” work within Iowa be registered with the Division of Labor if they earn at least $2,000 a year from that work. Individuals or businesses making less than $2,000 a year on “construction” work, or who work only on their own real estate or property, are not required to register.

Licensing (PV)

  • State Electrical Contractors License or a Journeyman’s License under the supervision of an Electrical Contractor is Required

Licensing (Solar Thermal)

  • State Plumbers License and an Electrical Contractors License is Required

Electric code: NEC 2005 edition

Resources

  1. Iowa Workforce Development web site

Kansas (last updated 2/3/2010)

No state licensing requirements

Licensing (general)

  • Kansas does not offer contractor licenses at the state level; check with local municipality.

 

Electric code: NEC 2008 edition


Kentucky

Licensing (general)

  • Electrical and Plumbing licenses are not required to install solar in Kentucky.

Licensing (PV)

  • A licensed electrician is required to pull the permit and be responsible for the final connection to the meter.

Licensing (Solar Thermal)

  • A licensed plumber is required to make any connections to the potable water system. For SWH systems, those components which are not connected to the potable water system (typically, the solar loop beyond the heat exchanger) can be worked on by people who are not licensed plumbers.

 

Electric code: NEC 2008 edition

 

Incentive notes

  • The Kentucky State Tax Credits for solar electric and solar water heating systems require the system to be installed by a NABCEP certified installer.
  • Solar Photovoltaics – Tax Credit = $3 per watt direct current, capped at $500 for residential taxpayers and $1,000 for commercial taxpayers. Must be installed by NABCEP certified installer, meet requirements of Article 690 of the National Electric Code, and use UL-listed solar photovoltaic panels and inverters.
  • Solar Water Heating, Solar Space Heating, Passive Solar Space Heating, & Combination Active Solar Space Heating/ Water Heating Systems: Tax Credit = 30% of installed cost, capped at $500 for residential taxpayers and $1,000 for commercial taxpayers. Solar water heating and active solar space heating systems must be installed by a NABCEP certified installer and must use solar thermal collectors certified by the SRCC under OG-100.

 

Resources

  1. Department of Housing, Buildings, & Construction, Division of Fire Protection, Electrical Licensing Web site
  2. Department of Housing, Buildings, & Construction Division of Plumbing
  3. The Kentucky Solar Partnership

Louisiana

Licensing (general)

  • Louisiana offers a specialty classification of ‘Solar Energy Equipment’

Licensing (PV)

  • Requires a State Electrical Contractor’s License and a ‘Solar Energy Equipment’ classification
  • The Louisiana Board of Contractor’s Study Reference Guide for the Electrical Work examination has this within it, “Electrical contractors who intend to do photovoltaic panel and windmill installations must, in addition to getting their Electrical Work classification, also obtain independently the classification of “Solar Energy Equipment” and meet other requirements in order for their customers to be eligible for certain state tax credits.

Licensing (Solar Thermal)

  • Requires a State Plumbing License and a ‘Solar Energy Equipment’ classification.

Electric code: NEC 2005 edition

Licensing body: Louisiana Contractors Licensing Board

Reciprocal relationships: Alabama, Arkansas, Mississippi, North Carolina, Tennessee, Texas (electrical only) or Utah.  Reciprocity is not automatic. 

 

Incentive notes

  • All installations must be performed by a contractor duly licensed by and in good standing with the Louisiana Contractors Licensing Board with a classification of Solar Energy Equipment and a certificate of training in the design and installation of solar energy systems from an industry recognized training entity, or a Louisiana technical college, or the owner of the residence. 1

Resources

  1. Income Tax Credits for Wind or Solar Energy Systems (LAC: 61:I.1907)
  2. Louisiana State Licensing Board
  3. State of Louisiana
  4. State Plumbing Board of Louisiana
  5. Louisiana Solar Energy Society
  6. Louisiana Board of Contractors

 


 

 

 

Maine

Licensing (PV)

  • Maine does not license PV installers.  However, any person installing PV systems in Maine must hold an electrician’s license suited for the project issued by the Electricians’ Examining Board.

 

Electric code: NEC 2008 edition

 

Incentive notes

  • PV: Rebate incentives require a Qualified Solar Photovoltaic System Installer; where a “Qualified Solar Photovoltaic System Installer” is a Master Electrician who is certified by the North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners (NABCEP) or is working in conjunction with a person who is certified by NABCEP.
  • Solar Thermal: Rebate incentives require a Qualified Solar Thermal Water System Installer.   “Qualified Solar Thermal Water System Installer” is a technician in good standing with the Public Utilities Commission who has successfully completed an approved solar thermal training course and carries a current license as a Master Plumber, Master Oil Burner Technician or Propane and Natural Gas Technician or is a class 2 or 3 nationally certified refrigeration technician.
  • To become a Certified Solar Thermal Installer, a licensed professional must take the 2 day workshop offered by Maine PUC and pass the exam.

Resources

  1. State of Maine, Public Utilities Commission Rebate Program
  2. Electricians’ Examining Board
  3. Plumbers’ Examining Board

 

 


 

 

 

Maryland

 

Licensing (PV)

  • An electrician’s license is required to connect to the grid.
  • A Master Electrician’s license is required to pull the electrical permit
  • Maryland does not require an individual to hold a State license while the individual provides electrical services as an employee or subordinate of a Master Electrician licensed by the State Board if the individual provides electrical services while under the control and supervision of the licensee; and the licensee is responsible for the electrical services that the individual provides
  • There may be additional local jurisdiction requirements
    • Somerset and Caroline Counties offer additional licenses for
      • Electrician, General – requires at least 3 years of practical experience; training in a technical school or related field may be substituted for not more than 1 year of experience
      • Electrician, Limited – requires at least 2 years of practical experience

Education/experience requirement:

  • All applicants for a Master Electrician’s license must be regularly engaged in or employed to provide electrical services for all categories of electrical equipment for at least seven years, while under the direction and supervision of a Master Electrician.
  • The State Board may allow an applicant up to 3 years of credit toward the experience required, if the State Board determines that the applicant has completed a formal course of study or professional training in electrical installation comparable to the required experience.

Examination: Yes.  Administered by State Board of Master Electricians.

 

Licensing (Solar Thermal)

  • A Master Plumber’s license is required to pull the plumbing permit which is required to make connections to potable water system
  • You must be a licensed apprentice, journey or master plumber to work in the state.  Apprentices must be licensed, supervised and under the control of a master or journey level state licensee present on the jobsite and are not permitted to do any plumbing work alone.

License duration: 2 years

Electric code: Set by individual counties; Annapolis County has adopted NEC 2002 edition; Baltimore and Frederick Counties have adopted NEC 2008 edition; Somerset County utilizes the most current version of the NEC

 

Permitting notes

  • A building permit is required to mount panels on the roof.
  • Solar installations are regulated through state and county building inspectors offices like any home improvement. All systems require a building permit, and solar electric systems that are grid-connected or for back-up emergency power require electrical permits. Systems for solar water heating or space heating require plumbing or mechanical permits

 

Resources

  1. Maryland Energy Administration
  2. Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation, Division of Occupational and Professional Licensing, State Board of Master Electricians
  3. Maryland, DC, Virginia – Solar Energy Industries Association (MDV-SEIA)

 

 

 

Massachusetts

Licensing (general)

  • A building permit is required to install PV or solar thermal
  • Massachusetts requires a Construction Supervisors License or a Home Improvement License to pull a building permit.  A building permit may be required depending on the overall scope of work (roofing, etc.).  However, a construction supervisor’s license is not required for the erection of rooftop solar collectors if you are a licensed electrician or licensed plumber.

 

Licensing (PV)

  • All aspects of a PV installation are considered electrical work and must be done by a licensed electrician.  Mass building code states that any electrical generating equipment and ancillary equipment must be installed by a licensed electrician.
  • Interconnection with the electrical service requires the services of a licensed electrician and an electrical permit is required.

 

Electrical code: NEC 2008 edition with modifications

Resources

  1. Massachusetts Renewable Energy Trust, Commonwealth Solar Program
  2. Commonwealth of Massachusetts
  3. Department of Public Safety

 

 

 


 

 

 

Michigan

 

Licensing (general)

  • A mechanical contractor’s license is required to obtain a mechanical permit for a commercial building.

Licensing (PV)

  • Requires an electrical contractor’s license to secure the permit to install a PV system.  Anyone performing electrician work in the State of Michigan must be a resident of the State of Michigan and licensed by the State of Michigan unless exempted
  • According to Public Act 217 of 1956 338.885, Section 5(1), a person must be licensed to do electrical work.

Licensing (Solar thermal)

  • Michigan offers a solar heating contractor specialty license to individuals who have at least three years of experience installing solar equipment under the direction of a licensed solar contractor and have passed the state examination. Contact the Michigan Department of Labor and Economic Growth Mechanical Division to apply
  • Contractors licensed in HVAC systems are able to work on solar thermal systems without the need for a specialty license.

Electrical code: NEC 2008 edition with modifications

 

Permitting notes

  • A mechanical permit is required for the installation or alteration of systems using solar energy as an energy source.

Resources

  1. Bureau of Construction Codes/Administration
  2. Department of Natural Resources and Environment
  3. Michigan Department of Labor and Economic Growth, Mechanical Division

 

 


 

 

 

Minnesota

 

Licensing (PV)

  • All electrical contractors and electricians performing work within the state must be licensed by the Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry. There is no city or county licensing.
    • Education/testing: Master electrician, journeyman electrician, and power limited technician applicants must meet a work experience threshold based on years of experience and then pass a written or oral examination; an oral examination shall be administered only to an applicant who furnishes a statement that he or she has a reading disability which would prevent satisfactorily performance on a written test
    • As a general rule the Department of Commerce State Energy Office recommends installation by a trained licensed electrical contractor or licensed electrical professional.
  • All plumbing contractors and plumbers performing plumbing work within the state must be licensed by the Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry
    • Education/testing: Master plumber and journeyman plumber applicants must meet a work experience threshold based on years of experience and then pass a written or oral examination; an oral examination shall be administered only to an applicant who furnishes a statement that he or she has a reading disability which would prevent satisfactory performance on a written test
  • All mechanical contractors must file a $25,000 mechanical bond with the Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry to perform work covered by the State of Minnesota Mechanical Code (MR 1346)
  • Any contractor that contracts with an owner to construct or improve dwellings for habitation by one to four families and performs two or more special skills must be licensed by the Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry as a residential building contractor or residential re-modeler.
    • Education/testing: Contractor’s qualifying person must pass an examination administered based on the International Building Code, Minnesota State Building Code, and Minnesota statutes

 

Licensing body: Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry

Reciprocal relationships: Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Iowa for master and journeyman electrical licenses. For journeyman electrical licenses only, Minnesota has reciprocal agreements with Alaska, Colorado, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota,  and Wyoming. If you’ve received a license by examination in one of these states and held it for one year or more, you can get a reciprocal license in Minnesota.

Incentive notes

  • Need to be a NABCEP certified installer to qualify for maximum rebate ($2.00 per watt)

Resources

  1. Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry
  2. Office of Energy Security, Minnesota Department of Commerce

 

 


 

 

 

Mississippi

 

Licensing (PV)

  • The Mississippi Electrician license covers unlimited commercial electrical work
  • No state level license is required for residential work, only city or county licenses.

Licensing (Solar Thermal)

  • The Mississippi Plumbing license covers unlimited commercial and residential plumbing NOT including fuel gas or boiler systems

 

Licensing body: MS State Board of Contractors

 

Reciprocal relationships: Alabama, Arkansas, Louisiana, Tennessee, South Carolina(building contractors and master electrician exams only)

Resources

  1. Mississippi State Board of Contractors

 

 


 

 

 

Missouri

 

Licensing (general)

  • Missouri does not have a general contractors license. General contractors are licensed and regulated at the local level, Contact your local (county, city, township) government offices for specifics regarding local licensing and regulations

Permitting notes

  • County commissions issue building permits.

 

Resources

  1. Missouri Small Business and Technology Developmet Centers, General Contractors

 

 

Montana

Licensing (PV)

  • The Montana State Electrical Board does not have requirements for installations on Solar projects.  However, if the electrical work exceeds 90 volts, then a Montana licensed electrician will be needed to perform the work.
    • Education requirements:

Residential electrician:

  • Completion of an approved residential apprenticeship program in the electrical trade or completion of an appropriate training program conducted by a bona fide union or trade association

Journeyman electrician

  • Completion of an approved residential apprenticeship program in the electrical trade or completion of an appropriate training program conducted by a bona fide union or trade association

Master electrician

  • Written evidence of being a graduate as an electrical engineer of an accredited college or university and having minimum of (2,000) hours of legally obtained practical experience.
  • A homeowner may wire his/her own home, garage and premises using a State homeowner’s electrical permit. Inspections are conducted by State Electrical Inspectors and permits are obtained from the BUREAU

Licensing (Solar Thermal)

  • The service of a Montana licensed Master Plumber is required on all public/commercial buildings.

 

Electrical code: NEC 2005 ed.

Licensing body

  • Montana Board of Plumbers
  • Montana State Electrical Board

Reciprocal relationships: Plumbing license:  Montana has reciprocal agreements with Oregon, Idaho, North Dakota and South Dakota for Journeyman licensure ONLY.

Permitting notes

  • Any person who is engaged in the business, trade or work having to do with the installation, removal, alteration, or repair of plumbing and drainage systems or parts thereof must obtain a plumbing permit from the Bureau of Building and Measurement Standards if you are in the States jurisdiction.
  • Homeowners do not need to obtain a plumbing permit provided he/she is doing the plumbing installation themselves and the residence is for the owner’s personal use and not built on speculation of resale or intended as a rental property
  • State electrical permits are required on all electrical work performed in Montana, except in cities, counties and towns certified to issue electrical permits and conduct inspections

Resources:

  1. Montana, Department of Labor and Industry, Business Standards
  2. Montana Code Annotated 2009
  3. State Electrical Board

Nebraska

Licensing (PV)

  • To do electrical work in Nebraska you need to be licensed by the Nebraska State Electrical Division. Some cities in the state require an additional license.

 

Licensing body: Nebraska State Electrical Board

Reciprocal relationships

  • Electrical contractor:  Minnesota and South Dakota
  • Journeyman electrical license:  Alaska, Arkansas, Colorado, Minnesota, Montana, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Utah, Wyoming

Resources

  1. Nebraska Government Website

 

 

 

Nevada

Licensing (general)

  • Nevada law requires that solar energy system installers be licensed by the Nevada State Contractors Board.
  • Contractors may be licensed under License Classification C-37 (solar contracting), or perform solar work under License Classification C-1 (plumbing and heating) for solar thermal installations.

Licensing (Solar Thermal)

  • NAC 624.540 Classification C-37:  Solar contracting:  A person who holds a classification C-37 license may design, fabricate and install systems for the collection of solar energy to heat and cool water, air and chemicals.
    • The subclassifications of the classification C-37 license and the work authorized for persons licensed in the respective subclassifications are:
    • (a) WATER HEATING (subclassification C-37a): The installation of systems for the collection of solar energy to heat water for potable uses, but not the installation of pipes or fixtures other than water heaters and storage tanks designed for the use of water so heated.
    • (b) SPACE HEATING (subclassification C-37b): The installation of systems for the collection of solar energy to heat water or air which is in turn used to heat structures which house persons, animals or inanimate objects including storage, piping and heat exchangers, but excluding equipment for pools.
    • (c) AIR-CONDITIONING (subclassification C-37c): The installation of the collectors, piping, storage and other equipment used in the conversion of solar energy to energy used for the control of air temperatures.
    • (d) HEATING OF POOLS (subclassification C-37d): The installation of the collectors, piping and heat exchangers used to heat swimming pools and spas with solar energy, but not the plumbing of swimming pools or the installation of their equipment.
    • A License Classification C-1 (plumbing and heating); subclassification j:  (j) SOLAR WATER AND SPACE HEATING (subclassification C-1j): The installation, replacement and repair of systems for the collection of solar energy to heat potable water, swimming pools and spas, and air which is used to heat structures which house persons, animals or inanimate objects.
    • NAC 624.380  Classification C-21: Refrigeration and air-conditioning; subclassifications. (NRS 624.100, 624.220)
      • (e) SOLAR AIR-CONDITIONING (subclassification C-21e): The installation of the collectors, piping, storage and other equipment used in the conversion of solar energy to energy used for the control of air temperatures

Licensing (PV)

  • NAC 624.200 Classification C-2: Electrical contracting; subclassifications. (NRS 624.100, 624.220)  (g) PHOTOVOLTAICS (subclassification C-2g): The installation, alteration and repair of photovoltaic cells, batteries and invertors used in the conversion of solar energy into electricity, but not the installation, alteration or repair of electrical wires beyond the service panel.
  • In June 2005, Assembly Bill 3 amended the Nevada Revised Statutes, Chapter 618, to create a mandatory licensing program for contractors installing and maintaining photovoltaic systems, beginning January 1, 2007. Under these rules, a PV installer must hold a license as a photovoltaic installer, issued by the Department of Business and Industry, Division of Industrial Relations, Occupational Safety and Health. A PV installer is defined as a person who is directly engaged with the electrical connection and wiring of a photovoltaic system project in a capacity other than as an inspector, management planner, consultant, project designer, contractor or supervisor for the photovoltaic system project.
    • NAC 618.459   Requirements for examination for licensure as a photovoltaic installer. ( NRS 618.295 , 618.918 )   For the purposes of NRS 618.922 , an examination which is approved by the Enforcement Section must test a person’s knowledge on subjects which are consistent with the guidelines, standards and training suggested by the Interstate Renewable Energy Council, Inc., the North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners or any other nationally recognized organization involved in developing guidelines, standards and training to improve the quality of services provided by photovoltaic installers

Licensing/testing body: NV OHSA

Resources

  1. Nevada State Contractors Board

 


 

 

 

New Hampshire

 

Licensing (PV)

  • A master electrician’s license is required, although a journeyman in the employment of a master electrician could perform the installation but the master is ultimately responsible.  The master electrician is responsible for the entire installation.
  • The Board issues Master and Journeyman electrician’s licenses and apprentice ID cards
    • Education/experience:
      • To qualify for the master’s licensing exam you must work as a New Hampshire-licensed journeyman for at least one year
      • To qualify for the journeyman’s licensing exam you need 8,000 hours of work experience and an Associate Degree in Electricity (or Board-approved equivalent). You can use your schooling for up to one year of the work experience requirement.
      • To qualify for an apprentice electrician identification card you need to register as an apprentice with the Bureau of Apprenticeship and Training of the U.S. Department of Labor or a state apprenticeship agency. The Board may accept out-of-state work experience and education for any of these requirements.

 

Licensing (Solar Thermal)

  • A plumbing license is not required for persons engaged in the installation of any solar heating, cooling, air conditioning or domestic water heating systems.

 

Reciprocal relationships: Massachusetts, Vermont, Maine

  • NH reciprocates with MA, ME and VT for the journeyman and master licenses and with Alaska, Arkansas, Colorado, Minnesota, Montana, Nebraska, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Dakota, Utah, and Wyoming under the Multi-State Electrical Reciprocal Licensing Group agreement for the journeyman license only.

Resources

  1. Office of the State Fire Marshal, Electrician’s Licensing Board
  2. State Board for Licensing and Regulating Plumbers

 


New Jersey

Licensing (general)

  • Registration with the state is required to do business in New Jersey.  A home improvement contractor is any person engaged in the business of selling goods or making home improvements.
  • Plumbers, electricians and home improvement contractors are licensed in New Jersey
  • License duration:  electricians = 3 years; plumbers = 2 years

 

Licensing (Solar Thermal)

  • A Master Plumber’s license is required to install solar hot water because you are working with the domestic potable water.  The solar panel can be installed without a plumbers license, but the tank and the piping has to be done by a licensed master plumber.
  • Solar Heat Transfer Tank and the Solar Piping require a Master Plumber’s License.
  • The installation of solar panels requires a Home Improvement Registration.
  • A Licensed electrician is required to wire the pumps to circulate the glycol and any other low voltage wiring involved.
    • Education:  There is no education requirement specific to solar.

 

Incentive notes

  • If you are a participating renewable energy vendor in the New Jersey Clean Energy Program’s (NJCEP) Customer Onsite Renewable Energy (CORE) program and/or its successor program, the NJCEP’s Renewable Energy Incentive Program (REIP) and because you offer services installing renewable energy systems on residences, you are required by law to register with the Division of Consumer Affairs (in the New Jersey Department of Law and Public Safety) as a Home Improvement Contractor (HIC). Without this registration, you may not legally participate as an installer in the CORE or REIP rebate program.

 

Resources

  1. Office of the Attorney General, Division of Consumer Affairs, Office of Consumer Protection, Regulated Business Section
  2. Board of Examiners of Electrical Contractors
  3. Department of Law and Public Safety, Division of Consumer Affairs, Board of Examiners of Master Plumbers

 


 

 

 

New Mexico

Licensing (General)

  • Solar installations (PV and solar thermal) are included under electrical and mechanical licenses.
  • A company must have a Qualifying Party (Master Electrician or Master Plumber) of the appropriate trade to contract for a solar installation and a person with a Journeyman license is expected to do the hands-on work.
  • Solar licensing in New Mexico

Licensing (PV)

  • A journeyman certificate of competence in the appropriate trade classification for the work to be performed is required of all individuals performing electrical wiring
  • An apprentice may work under the direct supervision of a validly certified journeyman, who is employed by a validly licensed person, or a holder of a valid annual permit. Journeyman certifications shall be issued such that the certificates parallel the electrical license classification scopes.

Licensing (Solar Thermal)

  • A journeyman certificate of competence in the appropriate trade classification for the work to be performed is required of all individuals performing mechanical and plumbing work.  An apprentice may work under the direct supervision of a validly certified journeyman who is employed by a validly licensed person or a holder of a valid annual permit. Journeyman certifications shall be issued such that the certificates parallel the mechanical and plumbing license classification scopes.

 

 

There are journeyman classifications for each EE and MM license in the above table.  A journeyman license requires 2 years experience.

Resources

  1. New Mexico Administrative Code

 

 

 

New York

Licensing (PV)

  • New York State does not issue license at state level.  Licensure is regulated at county level.

 

Licensing (Solar Thermal)

  • New York State does not issue license at state level.  Licensure is regulated at county level.

 

Incentive notes

  • To be on NYSERDA’s list of PV installers, Journeylevel Electricians need to:
    • Provide certificate confirming the following requirements are met:
      • 1. Graduated from an IBEW/NECA sponsored NYS registered electrical apprenticeship between 2002 to the present
      • 2. Attended a 40-hour photovoltaic course, including:
        • name and location of training center/facility
        • lead role during the hands-on completion of at least a 2KW system
        • use of shading analysis tools such as Solar Pathfinder or equivalent.
        • 3. Within the last 7 years, attended a 10 hour National Electrical Code update course that included discussion on Article 690

Resources

  1. New York State Energy Research and Development Authority

 

 

 


 

 

 

North Carolina

Licensing (PV)

  • Board Certified Electrical Contractor’s License Required
  • Must become a “Registered Solar Photovoltaic (PV) Contractor” for participation in the Go Solar NC Initiative.
    • Valid for 2 years, subject to annual CEUs
    • After 2 years, must provide proof that at least one employee has passed the NABCEP exam for Solar Photovoltaic Installer
    • must have on staff a licensed electrical contractor whose license is held under the companies’ name
    • Education
      • Option A:  35 hours of solar photovoltaic (PV) training and pass the NABCEP Entry-Level PV exam; must provide proof that they have installed at least two solar photovoltaic (PV) systems—both systems using a minimum of 1kWDC and inverter. The installer must have taken a lead role in the installation of the non-training system.
      • Option B:  Either hold a letter from NABCEP stating they are qualified to sit for the “NABCEP PV Installer Certification Exam” (you must submit an application to NABCEP to sit for this exam- contact NABCEP directly) or hold a certificate verifying they have passed the “NABCEP PV Installer Certification Exam.”
  • For companies which have not yet achieved NABCEP certification to maintain their status as Registered Contractors, the same employee who originally completed Educational Requirement Option A must document the completion of at least six (6) contact hours of continuing education/training each year
  • Continuing education courses should have Institute of Sustainable Power Quality (ISPQ) Accreditation designation offered by the Interstate Renewable Energy Council, Inc. (IREC), or a similar accreditation.
  • Registered Contractors planning to work on commercial-scale systems are encouraged to complete a 10 hour OSHA Construction Certification course
  • NCGS 87-43 requires that a license as an electrical contractor be obtained by any person “… engaging or offering to engage in the business of installing, maintaining, altering or repairing any electric work wiring devices, appliances or equipment.” The performance of same electrical work under special circumstances may be exempted under NCGS 87- 43.1. None of those exemptions appear to apply to solar photovoltaic electrical energy systems. Thus, a licensed electrical contractor must install as well as contract to install such systems. This means that only the electrical contractor may have a contract with a property owner for this work. License classifications that may engage or offer to engage in the described electrical work are Limited,  Intermediate or Unlimited. Additionally, the SP-SFD (Special Restricted Single Family Dwelling) license classification is permitted to perform this work for single family residential dwellings.

Licensing (Solar Thermal)

  • North Carolina Plumbing, heating and fire sprinkler license required
  • Must be a Registered Solar Contractor for participation in the Go Solar NC Initiative
    • Valid for 2 years, subject to annual CEUs
    • After 2 years, must provide proof that at least one employee has passed the NABCEP exam for Solar Thermal Installer Certification
    • Required: under the Go Solar NC Initiative the business must have on staff a licensed general contractor or plumbing contractor in the state of North Carolina
    • Education
      • Option A:  35 hours of solar thermal training and have installed at least two solar thermal systems using a minimum of 64 square feet (or equivalent) of collectors. The installer must have taken a lead role in the installation of these systems.  After providing proof of the two installations (see below), the employee must then pass a “Registered Contractor Qualifying Exam” developed by the North Carolina Solar Center, based on the NABCEP task analysis for solar thermal technologies
      • Option B:  Either hold a letter from NABCEP stating they are qualified to sit for the NABCEP Solar Thermal Installer Certification Examination, or hold a certificate verifying they have passed the NABCEP Solar Thermal Installer Certification examination.
      • Continuing education courses should have Institute of Sustainable Power Quality (ISPQ) Accreditation designation offered by the Interstate Renewable Energy Council, Inc. (IREC), or a similar accreditation.
      • Registered Contractors planning to work on commercial-scale systems are encouraged to complete a 10 hour OSHA Construction Certification course

 

Resources

  1. North Carolina Licensing Board for General Contractors
  2. State Board of Examiners of Plumbing, Heating, and Fire Sprinkler Contractors
  3. State Board of Examiners of Electrical Contractors

 


North Dakota

 

Licensing (general)

  • A contractor must have a license in North Dakota to work on any job costing $2,000 or more

Licensing (PV)

  • To do electrical work in North Dakota, you need to be licensed as a master, journeyman, or class B electrician
  • All the wiring would need to be done by a North Dakota electrical contractor which is licensed with the North Dakota State Electrical Board.  For other tasks such as roof mounting you do not need to be an electrician, but must pull a building permit.

Licensing (Solar Thermal)

  • To do plumbing work in North Dakota, you need to be licensed as a journeyman or master plumber.

 

Resources:

  1. Secretary of State, State of North Dakota
  2. North Dakota State Electrical Board
  3. North Dakota State Plumbing Board

 

 


Ohio

Licensing (General)

  • The state only has jurisdiction over commercial buildings in Ohio.  Residential buildings are regulated by the local building departments.

Licensing (PV – Commercial)

  • If the solar panel is being used strictly for energy purposes, it would only require a State Contractor’s Electrical License.
  • To obtain the Hydronics or Electrical License, please go to our website for application and instructions.

Licensing (Solar Thermal – Commercial)

  • If the solar panel is being used to heat the building, it would require a State Contractor’s Hydronics License.  It would also require a State Contractor’s Electrical License for any wiring to the panel.

Reciprocal relationships: Kentucky and West Virginia (electrical only)

 

Incentive notes

  • PV – must hold an Electrical Contractors License or be NABCEP certified

 

Resources

  1. Ohio Department of Development
  2. Ohio Department of Commerce, Ohio Construction Industry Examining Board

 

 


 

 

 

Oklahoma

Information pending.

 

 


 

 

 

Oregon

Licensing (general)

  • Oregon requires trade licenses for people installing solar energy equipment, and contractor licenses for the companies that do construction.
  • Companies with an electrical contractor license may engage in the business of making electrical installations. Similarly a plumbing contractor license allows a company to engage in the business of making plumbing installations. Companies must also meet licensing and bonding requirements by the Construction Contractors Board.

Licensing (PV)

  • Individuals doing installations must hold a trade license. Solar electric installers must either hold an Electrical Journeyman’s License or a Limited Renewable Energy License (LRT). General Journeymen can do all aspects of solar electric work, whereas the LRT license is limited to the DC side of systems under 25kW.
    • Education/experience:  The Journeyman’s license requires 8,000 hours of on-the-job training whereas the LRT requires only 4,000 hours of on-the-job training.
    • License duration:  3 years or less depending on the date of issue; During Each three-year license period, all licensees shall compete a minimum of 4 hours of approved code change continuing education, unless otherwise directed by the board

 

Licensing (Solar Thermal)

  • Solar thermal installers must either hold a Plumbing Journeyman’s License or a Solar Heating and Cooling System Installer License (STL). General Journeymen can do all aspects of solar plumbing work, whereas the STL license is limited to the non-potable side of systems.
    • Education/experience:  The Journeyman’s license requires 8,000 hours of on-the job training whereas the STL requires only 2,000 hours of on-the-job training.
    • License duration:  3 year cycle

Training for the solar specialty licenses (LRT and STL) are provided through the Renewable Energy Joint Apprenticeship Training Committee (RE JATC) in Oregon. They offer three apprentice programs that are approved by the Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries: (1) Limited Renewable Energy Technician (LRT) program, (2) the Solar Thermal License (STL) program, and (3) the Combined Renewable Energy program (which combines the LRT and STL). For more information about the apprentice programs, check the Oregon Solar Energy Industries Association website.

 

Resources

  1. Oregon Building Codes Division (Electrical)
  2. Oregon Building Codes Division (Plumbing)

 

 

 

 


 

 

Pennsylvania

Incentive notes

  • To participate in the Pennsylvania Sunshine Rebate program, an installer has to be NABCEP certified or successfully installed a minimum of three PV systems and completed an IREC ISPQ accredited training program, a PV manufacturing training program or an IBEW/NECA apprenticeship training program that included a PV installation course.
  • To be approved, a solar thermal installation company must employ at least one qualified employee on staff.  A qualified employee is one who meets or exceeds:
  1. Is a certified NABCEP solar thermal installer, or
  2. Has completed an Interstate Renewable Energy Council, Inc. (IREC) Institute for Sustainable Power Quality (ISPQ) accredited solar thermal training program or a solar collector manufacturer’s training program and has significant experience including a minimum of three solar thermal installations.  If an installer has completed an IREC ISPQ accredited solar thermal training program and met all other program requirements but not yet installed three solar hot water systems, they may be accepted on a probationary basis.

 

Resources

  1. Pennsylvania Sunshine Solar Program

 

 

 

 


 

 

Rhode Island

Licensing (PV)

  • A State Electrical Contractor’s License, Certificate A, is required.  An electrician’s license is also required.  A Journeyperson’s License, Certificate B, is required.
    • Testing:  must pass an exam to become a journeyperson electrician
    • Duration:  Two years; license expires on the holder’s birthday

Resources:

  1. Rhode Island Department of Labor and Training (electrician), Division of Professional Regulation
  2. Rhode Island Department of Labor and Training (mechanical), Division of Professional Regulation
  3. Rhode Island Department of Labor and Training (plumbing), Division of Professional Regulation

 


South Carolina

Licensing (PV)

  • Commercial:  Mechanical Contractor – Electrical Classification required for systems 50 – 600V; if system is greater than 600V then a General Contractor license with the Public Utility Classification is required.
  • Residential:  A company must have a Certificate of Authorization in electrical work; to qualify, the company must have a licensed electrician at each location who can do the work

Licensing (Solar Thermal)

  • Commercial:  S.C. Code of Laws, 40-11-410. License classifications for MECHANICAL CONTRACTORS includes ‘Plumbing”  “Plumbing” which includes the installation, replacement, alteration, and repair of all plumbing including solar water heating when performed solely within property lines and not on public easements or rights of way except to make connections to water meters or sewer taps as allowed by the utility owner1
  • Residential: A company must have a Certificate of Authorization in plumbing work; to qualify, the company must have a licensed plumber at each location who can do the work.

 

Resources:

  1. South Carolina Energy Office
  2. South Carolina Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation, South Carolina Contractors’ Licensing Board

South Dakota

Licensing (PV)

  • Anyone doing electrical work in South Dakota must have an Electrical Contractor license

Licensing (Solar Thermal)

  • The South Dakota Plumbing Commission does not regulate the solar installationitself.  However, when the tie in is made to the domestic water distribution system that would require a licensed plumbing contractor.

Resources

  1. South Dakota Electrical Commission
  2. South Dakota State Plumbing Commission

Tennessee

Licensing (prime and subcontractor)

  • For projects $25,000 and over, a CE contractor’s license is acceptable for installing solar systems.
  • The Board assigns  specialty licenses based upon experience, and uses this information to determine the size (monetary limit) of projects they may perform.
  • As with any size project, you must fulfill local code requirements for permits and inspections.  Each jurisdiction has their own process before allowing work to be performed in their county/city.
  • All of the required classifications can be listed on the same Tennessee Contractors License

 

Licensing (PV)

  • Any electrical installation requires the CE classification on the Tennessee Contractors License.
  • A contractor who contracts with the owner to provide the solar systems may obtain an S-Solar Installation license, however, they would be required to hire a licensed electrical contractor to actually perform connections.

 

Licensing (Solar Thermal)

  • Any plumbing installation requires CMC or CMC-A classification on the Tennessee Contractors License.
  • A local license is required regardless of the amount of the project, in areas where there is a codes office.  This type of licensing is referred to as journeyman/master, etc.  Every jurisdiction is different, and you must adhere to their local requirements.  In municipalities without a local codes office, the state performs inspections for residential projects through the Division of Fire Prevention. If you have a state contractors CMC or CMC-A license, you will not be required to take the local plumbing exam, but will need to pay their fees

Reciprocal Relationships: Alabama, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Arkansas, Georgia,Louisiana

 

Resources

  1. State of Tennessee, Board for Licensing Contractors

Texas

Licensing (Solar Thermal)

  • A license is required to install and make connections to the potable water system. Each plumbing company must have a Master plumber that over sees all work. However, the master may delegate tasks to others. Typically these installations would be done by a Journeyman Plumber.

Incentive notes

  • Austin: Must use a solar installer from the Austin Energy Registered Installer List. Solar installers must be certified by the North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners (NABCEP) within two years of becoming a Registered Installer with Austin Energy.
  • Austin – Requirements for participating companies:  Have at least one employee with a certificate verifying they have passed the NABCEP (North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners) test.

 

Resources

  1. Texas State Board of Plumbing Examiners
  2. Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation
  3. Austin Energy

 


 

 

Utah

Licensing (general)

  • You must be a licensed contractor to install solar systems in Utah.

Education requirement:

  • To become a licensed solar contractor in Utah, an installer must have a minimum of two years of experience as an employee of a contractor licensed in the license classification applied for, or the substantial equivalent of a contractor licensed in that license classification, and NABCEP certification.  
  • Shall have within the past 10 years a minimum of two years of experience as an employee of a contractor licensed in the license classification applied for, or the substantial equivalent of a contractor licensed in that license classification as determined by the Division.

 

Licensing (PV)

  • An S202 Solar PV License or S200 Electrical Contractor License or S201 Residential Electrical Contractor is required
  • Solar Photovoltaic Contractor (S202) is licensed for the fabrication, construction, installation, and repair of photovoltaic cell panels and related components including battery storage systems, distribution panels, switch gear, electrical wires, inverters, and other electrical apparatus for solar photovoltaic systems.

Licensing (Solar Thermal)

  • Solar Thermal: Solar Thermal Systems Contractor (S215) is licensed for the construction, repair and/or installation of solar thermal systems up to the system shut off valve or where the system interfaces with any other plumbing system.

 

Licensing body: Utah’s Division of Occupational and Professional Licensing

Resources:

  1. Utah Administrative Code, section R156-55a-301 and R156-55a 302b
  2. Utah Division of Occupational and Professional Licensing

 

 

 

 

Vermont

Licensing (PV)

  • Currently, the State of Vermont does not offer or require a specific license for installing PV.  Renewable Energy Vermont and other industry leaders have proposed the creation of a Renewable Energy Specialty (S) license which would be required for the electrical portion of a PV installation which includes the wiring from the panels up to and including the AC interconnection.

Licensing (Solar Thermal)

  • The Vermont Energy Efficiency and Affordability Act (H.520, Section 28) establishes a Solar System Installation Specialty License, a new plumbing specialty license for solar hot water heating installations
  • Solar System Specialist:  Installation, replacement and repair of residential, industrial or commercial domestic solar heating systems for use as a supplemental or pre‑heat source.  Systems shall include; passive or active design, collectors, storage tanks, heat exchangers, piping, safety devices and related materials.  The Solar System Specialist shall only connect to new or existing domestic hot water supply tanks, including instantaneous heaters, as well as tanks or heat exchangers supplementing hydronic space heating systems.  At no time shall a Solar System Specialist install, replace and repair any other part of a domestic hot water supply or hydronic space heating system.

Resources

  1. Renewable Energy Vermont
  2. State Electricians Licensing Board
  3. State Plumbers Licensing Board
  4. Vermont Statutes

Virginia

Licensing

  • The Virginia Department of Professional and Occupational Regulation offers an Alternative Energy Systems (AES) specialty.  A licensed contractor (Class A, B, C) may declare the AES specialty, however it is not a stand-alone license.  “Alternative energy system contracting” (Abbr: AES) means that service which provides for the installation, repair or improvement, from the customer’s meter, of alternative energy generation systems, supplemental energy systems and associated equipment annexed to real property. No other classification or specialty service provides this function. This specialty does not provide for electrical, plumbing, gas fitting, or HVAC functions.

Resources

  1. Department of Professional and Occupational Regulation, Board for Contractors
  2. Title 18.  Professional and Occupational Licensing

 


Washington

Licensing (PV)

  • To perform electrical work, on property other than your own, all electrical work must be performed by an appropriately licensed electrical contractor using certified electricians
  • Most electrical work needs a permit and inspection. The Washington Department of Labor and Industries conducts inspections for the permits they issue.  Some cities use their own permits and conduct inspections. If you’re not sure if your work requires a permit, check the Washington State Legislature Website
  • The State of Washington does not have specific solar license or worker certification classifications
  • Electrical contractor licensing and electrical worker certification work scopes can be found in the Washington State Legislature Website

 

Resources

  1. Department of Labor and Industries, Electrical Section
  2. Department of Labor and Industries, City Electrical Inspectors Section

Washington DC

 

Information pending

Resources

  1. Department of Consumer & Regulatory Affairs, Occupational and Professional Licensing
  2. Department of Consumer & Regulatory Affairs, Occupational and Professional Licensing
  3. Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs, Business and Professional Licensing Administration

West Virginia

Information pending.

 


 

 

Wisconsin

Licensing

  • Madison, Wisconsin is an example of a local government that has adopted licensing requirements for solar thermal installations in the absence of state regulation. Madison recently changed its building regulations for solar technology for the first time since the 1970s. The city previously required installers to have a city license for solar water heating, but NABCEP’s Solar Thermal Installer certification is now accepted as an equivalent.

Incentive notes

  • Need to be NABCEP certified installer to qualify for maximum rebate ($2.00 per watt)

Resources:

  1. Department of Commerce, Safety and Buildings Division
  2. Department of Commerce, Safety and Buildings Division

 


 

 

 

Wyoming

Resources

  1. State of Wyoming, Department of Fire Prevention & Electrical Safety

 

 

Puerto Rico

Information pending.

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