Historically, NABCEP has been used as a project pre-qualification. I have been critical of this practice, because solar subsidies should encourage mainstream adoption of a technology rather than create a specialty resource. The result has been that most mainstream electrical contractors and builders are still ignorant of solar.

The NABCEP PV Installers have project experience in the industry such that they can understand the cost benefits of optimized solar design. They are the fleet and procurement managers, design engineers, and construction supervisors of a rapidly growing industry. However, across the nation, solar import tariffs and utility rate reform has shown that renewable subsidies are dead in the United States.  Solar business models are about to change.

It is unfortunate that our resulting policy is that only those with high tax bills can overcome the added expenses of import tariffs. Federal carbon dumping permits for the largest emitters would result in a more fairly distributed solar policy. But batteries, not solar, will be driving the future of our industry and NABCEP PV installers are well-prepared to assist that transition which is particularly focused on the untapped commercial rooftop sector. In the residential market, a voluntary “self-supply” customer is emerging, satisfied with long-term paybacks in exchange for the “off-grid” feeling despite a marginal payment for grid connection.

I teach solar design to architects, engineers, and contractors so they can better plan their projects, with a goal of reducing soft project cost. Sometimes, that means being tough on the existing solar industry. But only a few years ago, solar advocates in Arizona were fighting APS on high demand charges – but the same high demand charges today would represent the quickest solar payback in Arizona had they been mandated across all residential customers. We need to be smarter about our project design and its impact on economics to trim the fat, and get the industry price point down to the point where long-term financing can take over without a bubble. Solar financing is more difficult than other kinds of financing. It’s much harder to repossess a solar array than a car or house for that matter.

The NABCEP PV Installer license has never been more relevant than today, to assist the mainstream with these projects. The “mass market” solar design industry is amateurish in their racking placements, ignorant of balance-of-system material selection, and perhaps even dangerous with regard to structural evaluation. At the very least, the role of the NABCEP PV Installer on a jobsite is quality control and solar knowledge expertise. This course has been described as “a good refresher” of your existing skill set. I hope it opens your mind to alternative solar designs that might provide better value in your marketplace.

Cost should not be an issue in maintaining your NABCEP PV certificate.

My Glass-Slapper’s Guide to Solar Design meets 100% of your both Installer + Technical Sales recertification, including

  • 18 hours of continuing education credit including 6 hours of NEC
  • projects if you need lead design experience
  • architect, engineering, and contractor continuing education – just ask!!
  • All for $189.

We welcome your input and want to be your solar training resource!


John Cromer

Course Author + Instructor

NABCEP PV-041214-004628