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  • Layne

What is NABCEP Certification in the Solar Industry?

Updated: Jan 16

Why is it Important to Look for a NABCEP Certified Installer?

North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners PV Installation Professional Certification New Farm Solar

The North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners (NABCEP) is the gold standard certifying organization for professionals in the field of solar energy. NABCEP’s certifications are accredited and widely recognized. By promoting a set of standards in the solar industry, NABCEP adds value for solar professionals and instills confidence in consumers. NABCEP-certified professionals are thoroughly trained in skill, safety, and ethical practices.

NABCEP offers several levels of certifications for solar professionals, including certifications like the PV Installer Specialist and PV Commissioning & Maintenance Specialist. There are 8 Board Certification Programs and 3 Associate credentials offered through NABCEP. The highest certification offered by NABCEP, and consequently, the highest certification in the solar industry is the PV Installation Professional. In other words, you should seek out a solar professional that has this certification if you want a top-notch design and installation. At the time of this writing, there are only 5 board-certified PV Installation Professionals in Arkansas, Patrick Villines, owner of New Farm Solar, being one of them. Patrick earned his PVIP certification in 2013. You can read more about his solar training and the company’s origin story on our about page.

New Farm Solar installer stands on roof next to solar panels and racking

The PVIP certification requires 58 hours of training and 40 of those must be advanced, as well as 10 completed hours of an OSHA (Occupational Health and Safety Administration) Outreach Training Program for the construction industry. Additionally, to obtain PVIP certification, one must pass an extensive board test. The test encompasses all aspects of electrical and solar projects. One must demonstrate solid knowledge and experience in solar, from design and installation to commissioning and maintenance.

sunset and solar array

Not only is achieving this certification a rigorous process but recertification is required every 3 years. To recertify, a professional must demonstrate that they have completed 18 hours of relevant continuing education and 6 project credits with a decision-making role (project credits are awarded based on the size of the system installed). Thus, an individual must be actively designing and installing systems and continuously learning within the solar industry to achieve and maintain this professional certification. Candidates that have gone through the training requirements, passed the exam, and updated their certification truly know the ins and outs of solar design and installation. With the required continuing education, they are sure to be up-to-date in a rapidly advancing industry.

New Farm Solar solar installer connecting inverter to electric meter

In summary, when choosing your solar installer, you will want to go with someone that can be found in the NABCEP Professional Directory. New Farm Solar stands behind every installation with a 25-year warranty. Previous customers repeatedly express, through reviews and conversations, their appreciation for the care and no-sales-gimmicks approach that New Farm Solar takes with each installation. Patrick’s training and passion for solar have set the tone for New Farm Solar’s company culture, and we are dedicated to providing quality and affordable solar systems with a good return on investment for the customer.

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