Support Center NABCEP Certification Exams and Credentials Why NABCEP Certification? Information on...

Why NABCEP Certification? Information on licensing, incentives, manufacturers, state resources

NABCEP credentials can be valuable for many different reasons. Depending on your state, they may help with licensing, incentives or being on a list of qualified professionals. NABCEP credentials can also be a valuable marketing tool and differentiator for your business to establish trust with customers. In addition, some manufacturers and distributors require some level of NABCEP credential.

The first thing to clarify is the difference between certification and licensing.


The North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners (NABCEP) is a well recongnized independent certification program for photovoltaic (PV) professionals, with various certifications and credentials for PV professionals. To become NABCEP certified, professionals must have a certain amount of work experience and must document all training and installations. Professionals must also pass a rigorous exam, sign a code of ethics, and take continuing education courses for re-certification every three years.

HeatSpring is an approved, accredited provider and certificates of completion from our approved NABCEP courses can be used as documentation with NABCEP to qualfy for PV Certfication exams. In addition to full PV Certification exams, NABCEP also offers the PV Associate Credential and our Solar PV Boot Camp + NABCEP PV Associate Exam Prep course is an approved prerequisite to sit for that exam.


State regulation and licensing of solar contractors continues to evolve as the industry grows. The contractor licensing requirements described here refer to solar-specific licensing requirements, rather than general electrical contractor licenses. Most states require a licensed electrical contractor for PV installation.

Some states require solar installers to obtain a separate, specialized solar contractor’s license. In most cases, solar is a specialty classification under the general electrical licenses and all appropriately licensed contractors can install solar systems without the solar specialty license. However, contractors may be able to obtain a solar specialty license and install systems without having the full electrical license. This reduces the cost of licensure for contractors who only install solar systems.

In addition, NABCEP credentials can help you qualify for state incentive programs or to be added to a list of qualified solar professionals.

A helpful resource is IREC's national database of solar licensing and incentive requirements for the United States. Keep in mind that certain local jurisdictions within each state may have different requirements than what is listed by IREC.  For the most accurate understanding of licensing requirements it is best to talk to your local Authority Having Jurisdiction (AHJ) or building department.

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