When the number of solar residential permit applications jumped from “a few here and there” to 4,000 in one year, Los Angeles Chief of Green Building Osama Younan knew he had to do something to get more of the city’s residential building inspectors prepared with the right knowledge to meet that demand. That’s when he approached IREC and asked for help.

Local building inspectors spend most of their time in the field so carving out time for in-depth training is always a challenge. That’s the beauty of photovoltaic online training for code officials — the training can be done remotely at whatever time is convenient. But Chief Younan had a unique request: could a training be set up so all of the 70-plus “combination inspectors” responsible for one- and two- family dwellings could take the online course at “virtually” the same time?

As is common, the inspectors have varied backgrounds, from electrical and plumbing to roofing and framing. The city has a robust ongoing training program, but only a few inspectors had experience with solar installations. So in most cases, a general inspector had to call in a specialized colleague when solar was involved — which added to the time and cost of the inspection process. Chief Younan’s goal was to get all of them the quality training they needed in solar.

“The solar training program is simple and to the point — and makes it fun and understandable,” says Younan. “I now have great confidence in the quality of our work and the ability to handle the volume of solar work we get. IREC helped us make this happen.”

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