NABCEP partners with Solar Insure to provide insurance coverage to qualified solar installers

NABCEP new logo

The North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners (NABCEP) announced a strategic partnership with Solar Insure, Inc. to provide insurance coverage to NABCEP Board Certified Professionals and Accredited Companies. This is a unique partnership that merges NABCEP’s expertise providing quality assurance within the renewable energy market with Solar Insure’s vast experience providing advanced risk management policies for growing alternative energy companies.

Solar Insure specializes in providing insurance and risk transfer solutions for the renewable energy sector. Through this arrangement, Solar Insure will provide insurance solutions for NABCEP Board Certified Professionals and use NABCEP certification as an underwriting qualification.

“In our experience with strategic partnerships like this, it’s crucial that we partner with companies that truly understand the renewable energy industry,” said Shawn O’Brien, Executive Director of NABCEP. “With their 15 years in the industry, Solar Insure has a more profound understanding of the industry than other potential partners, which is why we’re excited to work with them to provide insurance coverage at affordable rates to our Board Certified Professionals. We’re deeply committed to quality assurance in the industry, and we’re excited to partner with a company like Solar Insure that recognizes the level of quality Board Certified professionals bring to the table.”

“We chose to partner with NABCEP because of their commitment to expanding renewable energy through their quality credentialing and certification programs,” says Ara Agopian, CEO of Solar Insure, Inc. “Our goal has been to provide solar professionals the best risk management, insurance, and safety programs available in the market. We’re confident NABCEP will help us continue to meet that goal.”

— Solar Builder magazine

Five takeaways from the Solar Installer Survey from EnergySage, NABCEP

solar installer survey

Results of the fourth annual Solar Installer Survey from EnergySage and NABCEP are now available. Here are the five takeaways that most stood out to us from the responses of 870 residential and commercial installers across the country.

● Consumers demand Tesla as storage installations rise: According to installers, more than one in three solar shoppers are also interested in a home battery, resulting in more solar-plus-storage installations in 2018. However, responses also illustrate a gap between consumer brand preference and what installers stock. While over 55% of installers reported that their customers specifically request Tesla battery solutions, only 12% of solar installers surveyed actually carry and quote the Tesla Powerwall.

● Installer confidence in the industry continues to rise: Nationwide, more than half of the installers surveyed indicated that they’ve grown more confident in the solar industry in the last twelve months. At the state level, installer confidence rebounded in New York and California as governors in those states pushed for 100% renewable futures.

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● Installers choose growth over margins: For the fourth straight year, a growing majority of installers (67%) stated that gaining market share is more important to their business than increasing the gross margins of each installation. When combined with the falling price of equipment, this finding signals the solar industry is likely on a path of increased competition.

● For the third year in a row, the top challenge reported in closing sales was confusion and lower consumer confidence created by competitors. Nearly half of all installers surveyed identified this as a major obstacle. Interestingly, customer hesitation created by utility and regulatory uncertainty leap-frogged the high cost of installation to become the second most common challenge in closing sales in 2018.

● In 2017, around ten percent of installers indicated that they planned to add energy storage and electric vehicle (EV) charging to their offerings in 2018. In fact, in 2018 the percentage of installers offering energy storage increased by 6% while the percentage offering EV charging products increased 8%, nearly achieving installer plans from 2017. This year, an additional 8% and 9% of installers say they will add EV charging and energy storage, respectively, to their new product offerings in 2019.

EnergySage fielded this survey between December 17th, 2018 and January 18th, 2019. Read the full report right here.


roof top reportDownload the new Residential Rooftop Report to heat up your solar sales

The Residential Rooftop Report for the first quarter of 2019 is now available for download. The theme is “Heating Up Sales,” and we’ve teamed up with report sponsor Aurora Solar to examine ways for residential solar installation companies to lower customer acquisition costs, close more leads and overall run a more streamlined, efficient local solar business. Just fill out the form below to access your free report.

— Solar Builder magazine

Solar site inspection made easy and fun in new IREC online training video

If you think online training has to be dry and boring, think again, says the independent Interstate Renewable Energy Council (IREC). The group launched a new online interactive video solar training for local code officials, which developers say has a “This Old House” approach. Take a look:

“There is a lot of important information in this training, so we created it to be enjoyable, not just informative,” says Kristen Ferguson, IREC’s associate director of training.

The online viewer learns alongside IREC’s own Joe Sarubbi, an experienced technical education, training and workforce development specialist, as seasoned building and electrical inspectors guide him through the finer points of five different solar inspections, each highlighting different types of systems and technologies.

RELATED: Win a YETI 45 Cooler! | 2018 Giveaway Rules and Regulations

“This is an important learning opportunity for new and experienced code officials responsible for inspecting residential rooftop solar installations in local jurisdictions across the U.S.,” says IREC Workforce Development Director Laure-Jeanne Davignon. “Presented in an engaging, easy-to-watch video format that can be completed in just a handful of lunch-hour sessions, the training is geared for residential inspectors and useful for residential PV installers,” adds Davignon. “This way, they are all on the same page with the most current building, safety and fire codes.”

The new course is updated to the 2017 National Electrical Code (NEC) and the most current international building, residential and fire codes. It is available online free of charge for a limited time.

“The new PV Inspector Online Training course for Code Officials brings together a remarkable group of experienced PV system inspectors from across the country to present a wide variety of PV system types and technologies,” according to Rebekah Hren, a member of the NEC’s Code Making Panel 4. “The high quality videos – interspersed with key inspection takeaways and knowledge checks – make this training not only easily accessible, but a thoroughly enjoyable learning experience.”

The online training was developed by IREC in conjunction with the International Association of Electrical Inspectors (IAEI) and International Code Council (ICC) with funding from the U.S. Department of Energy. CEUs are available from the IAEI, ICC and the North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners (NABCEP).

— Solar Builder magazine

Advance Solar & Energy earns Company Accreditation from NABCEP

NABCEP new logo

Advance Solar & Energy has just received Company Accreditation by the North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners (NABECP). NABCEP awards accreditation to companies that meet a rigorous set of standards around installation, employee training and qualification, safe work practices, and customer accountability.

Advance Solar has been providing solar services, including solar electric, solar hot water and solar pool heating in south Florida since 1983. Advance Solar is a 5 Star Rated Solar installation company, with locations in Fort Myers, Fort Lauderdale and Sarasota. Fully licensed, insured and carry workman’s compensation on every member of the staff, they pride themselves in solar education with their own onsite training facility, while developing solar educational courses for the Florida Department of Education.

“We are very fortunate to have a great name in the community with over 35 years in business, but we are in an industry that is constantly changing as solar is on the rise, not only in the state of Florida, but across the country. We understand the value of education and certifications to our staff and what it means to our customers, and that is why we have taken the NABCEP Company accreditation so seriously. This accreditation challenged us to look deeper into our operations to ensure that we are operating with integrity, with best installation practices, placing safety and quality as a priority. Furthermore, it helped us to develop a Standard of Excellence that we are proud to present with confidence to our customers,” said Rick Vaske, Director of Operations at Advance Solar.

— Solar Builder magazine

NABCEP hat trick: Fronius’ William Burkert first to earn these three PV certifications


After becoming a NABCEP Certified PV System Inspector, William Burkert, Solar Application Engineer of Fronius USA, became the first and only person to be a NABCEP certified PV System Inspector, PV Installation Professional and PV Technical Sales Professional.

“Receiving NABCEP’s PV Solar Inspector Certification is personally very satisfying,” Burkert said. “More important it means I can offer customers the added confidence of knowing that their photovoltaic system installations will be inspected to the highest standards in the solar industry.”

NABCEP is the most well established national certification organization for renewable energy professionals. Designation as a NABCEP PV System Inspector is widely recognized to be the most important and meaningful certification of its kind in the solar industry.

To earn his NABCEP certification, Burkert was required to first document relevant education and experience related to PV system installations. Then he had to pass a rigorous exam that covers the breadth of the multi-craft knowledge, skills, and abilities required to competently design, install, inspect and maintain PV systems. The exam assesses knowledge on subjects as diverse as electrical and mechanical system design, job site safety, the National Electrical Code, roofing and construction techniques, and system maintenance and troubleshooting.

“Anyone who makes the considerable effort required to earn NABCEP certification has documented their training and experience as part of the eligibility process,” said Richard Lawrence, Executive Director of NABCEP. “They have also made a very real commitment to upholding high standards of ethical and professional practice. I am delighted to again welcome William Burkert of Fronius to the ranks of the industry’s leading solar professionals.”

To earn his NABCEP PV Technical Sales Professional certification, Bill was required to first document relevant education and experience. Then he had to pass a rigorous exam that covers the breadth of the knowledge, skills, and abilities required to competently perform a solar site assessment, conduct performance and financial analysis, develop a preliminary system design, and prepare a detailed sales proposal for the customer. The exam assesses knowledge on subjects as diverse as financial incentives, utility bills and rate structures, electric load analysis, fundamentals of electrical and mechanical system design, and PV system types and components.

— Solar Builder magazine