As the U.S. continues to install more solar than any other new generation source, the role of quality solar installation companies cannot be overstated. With the growing demand, the need for skilled and qualified professionals in the industry has become more critical than ever. This is where the North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners (NABCEP) Company Accreditation Program shines. In this article, we’ll delve into why residential solar companies are beginning to eagerly pursue NABCEP Company Accreditation and the nitty gritty about the application process. We’ll let you in on a little secret: it’s a lot simpler than you might think!
What is NABCEP Company Accreditation?
While NABCEP offers certification programs for individuals, it also offers accreditation specifically designed for residential solar companies.
NABCEP Company Accreditation Program provides a way for companies to distinguish themselves by adhering to a set of industry recognized best practices. The program establishes a set of benchmark requirements with respect to staffing and policies.
The NABCEP Company Accreditation Program provides consumers a way to find residential PV installation companies that are committed to: high quality installation standards; having fully trained and qualified staff; safe work practices; and customer accountability.
Why Solar Companies Are Seeking NABCEP Company Accreditation
- Credibility and Trustworthiness: Achieving NABCEP Company Accreditation immediately establishes a solar company as a credible and trustworthy player in the market. Accreditation demonstrates that the company adheres to the highest industry standards and employs qualified professionals.
- Quality Assurance: NABCEP Company Accreditation ensures that a solar company consistently delivers high-quality workmanship and services. This level of quality assurance not only benefits the company itself but also translates to customer satisfaction and positive word-of-mouth referrals.
- Competitive Edge: In an increasingly competitive market, NABCEP Company Accreditation provides a significant edge. It differentiates accredited companies from their peers, making them the preferred choice for prospective solar customers seeking reliable and well-qualified solar installation services.
- Preferred Solar Employer: Accredited solar companies invest in training and development for their employees to maintain certification standards. This results in a team of highly skilled and knowledgeable professionals who can tackle complex solar projects with confidence.
NABCEP Company Accreditation Program Requirements
While there’s a whole 24-page NABCEP Company Accreditation Handbook most recently published in 2013, we’re going to hit the highlights on what’s relevant and required today.
To be eligible for NABCEP Company Accreditation, the company must meet the following requirements:
- Personnel Qualifications Requirements
- Minimum 1 staff member with the NABCEP PV Technical Sales certification
- Minimum 1 staff member with the NABCEP PV Installation Professional certification
- At least 3 staff members with the NABCEP PV Associate credential or have taken training, like the Solar PV Boot Camp + NABCEP PV Associate Exam Prep course, to qualify for the PVA exam
- Documentation of OSHA training will also need to be submitted
- Policy Requirements – written policies and procedures including:
- Customer Service
- Company Administrative
- Health and Safety
- Operation Requirements
- Operating for at least one year in compliance with all laws, regulations, and the policies in the NABCEP Company Accreditation Handbook
- Insurance and Tax Filing Requirements
- Maintain current and appropriate business insurances
- Confirm all required governmental tax filings are completed and submitted
- Must maintain OSHA total case incident rate (TCIR) of 5.00 or less
NABCEP Fee Schedule
Companies that operate in multiple states must submit separate applications for each state in which they operate.
Companies who qualify for accreditation will have to meet all the requirements set forth and pass a minimum of 3 randomly selected inspections of completed installations. Previously, the inspections were onsite. Currently, it is completed by the company submitting detailed documentation and installation photos.
Initial Application $500
Site Audit (each) $375
Renewal Application $300
Annual Fees (based on gross company sales)
Sales $100,000-$999,999 | $500
Sales $1M – $2,999,999 | $1,000
Sales $3M – $4,999,999 | $2,000
Sales $5M – $9,999,999 | $3,500
Sales $10M+ | $5,000
- Complete the Company Accreditation Application.
- Send completed application or any questions to Eric Filante, Project Coordinator at NABCEP, at EFilante@nabcep.org.
- NABCEP will notify company representatives if there is any pertinent information missing.
- Once the application is considered complete, NABCEP will request installation documentation and photos for a minimum of 3 installed solar projects in lieu of an onsite inspection (previously required and still listed in NABCEP Company Accreditation Handbook).
- Once the company has satisfactorily completed all the requirements, they will be considered a NABCEP Accredited Company. At that point, they can use their digital badge and announce their new accreditation in their marketing materials.
With so many new players joining the solar industry, the NABCEP Company Accreditation Program is emerging as an advantageous distinction for solar companies. Its tangible benefits, from establishing credibility to fostering skilled teams and ensuring compliance, make it a strategic investment that aligns with the evolving demands of both the market and the competitive environment.
As solar companies work to meet the rapidly growing demand for clean energy, NABCEP Company Accreditation serves as a framework, guiding the path to professionalism, reliability, safety, and success in the dynamic and competitive landscape of residential solar energy.