National Solar Licensing Database

With the tremendous growth of solar installations and the continuing evolution of licensing requirements for photovoltaic and solar installers, IREC’s National Solar Licensing Map provides the latest licensing, certification and other requirements impacting the solar industry. This comprehensive tool is designed for policymakers, stakeholders, practitioners, students, consumers, and anyone looking for solar licensing information in the United States.

States establish licensing requirements for contractors to protect consumers from unsafe practices and to ensure systems are installed properly. As these requirements continue to develop and evolve, researching state-specific information can sometimes be complicated and time-consuming. Fortunately, IREC does the hard work of keeping current with these requirements, so you always have current information at your fingertips.

Requirements for each state are listed in alphabetical order. Find your state below!

Alabama

Licensing

Electrical Contractor

Persons applying for statewide electrical contractor examination must demonstrate a minimum of four (4) years experience that show that you have designed, planned, laid out, and directly supervised electrical construction activities and the installing of electrical components. The work supervised must be commercial or industrial. The license is unlimited in voltage and bid requirements. Applicants may substitute one (1) year education in electrical curriculum for one-half (1/2) year electrical experience for a maximum of two (2) years credit of the four (4) years experience requirement. The applicant must submit a copy of the diploma or certificate. 

Journeyman Electrician

Persons applying for statewide journeyman examination must demonstrate a minimum of four (4) years experience that show the necessary qualifications, training and technical knowledge to install electrical wiring, apparatus or equipment, light, heat or power. Applicant must demonstrate his or her ability to do the work according to plans and specifications furnished to him or her and in accordance with standard rules and regulations governing such work. A substantial part of the work performed must have been commercial or industrial. Applicants may substitute one (1) year of education in an electrical curriculum for one-half (½) year electrical experience for a maximum of one (1) year credit of the four (4) years experience required.

Electric code: NEC 2008 edition

Reciprocity
If you have an unrestricted electrical contractor’s license from Arkansas, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, or Virginia, you can get a license from the Board by reciprocity. You must have passed their exam with a grade of at least 70 to get the license and hold it in good standing.

Resources

  1. Alabama Electrical Contractors Board
  2. Alabama Plumbers and Gas Fitters Examining Board

Alaska

Licensing

Electrical Contractor

Contractors must be registered with the Department of Community & Economic Development and must also be, or have in their employ, a person currently licensed as an electrical administrator.

Electrician

The Department of Labor and Workforce Development issues licens upon passage of an examination for journeyman electrician, journeyman power lineman, residential electrician, maintenance electrician, and apprentice/learner. Requires 8,000 hours of experience in the trade.

Electric code: 2011 NEC

Reciprocity
Arkansas, Colorado, Idaho, Minnesota, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming

Resources

  1. ACHP (Alaska Craftsman Home Program)
  2. Alaska Department of Labor/Mechanical Inspection
  3. Alaska Department of Labor and Occupational Safety and Health
  4. Alaska Department of Commerce, Community, and Economic Development

Arizona

Licensing (General)
A contractor must possess the general license that is appropriate to the type of solar device being installed.  Installers of a solar water heater or a photovoltaic device shall possess an appropriate contractor’s license.   A contractor must qualify as a solar contractor to install, alter or repair a solar device.

Licensing (PV)
An installer of PV must have an electrician’s license (A-17, C11, L11, K11)

Licensing (Solar thermal)
An installer of solar thermal must possess a plumbers license (C-37, C-37R, K-77, K-78, L-77, L-78)

Notes
Residential and Commercial General Contracting and Remolding Licenses may contract for solar installations. However, all work pertaining to the installation must be subcontracted to a properly licensed solar plumbing, air conditioning, boiler, electrical or swimming pool contractor. An exception is that the A-General, B-4 General and KA-Dual Engineering Licenses may perform solar installations. Roofing tile that function as solar collectors must be installed by a C-42, L-42 or K-42, roofing contractor. However, connection of these tiles to the electrical system can only be performed by a licensed electrical contractor. If a solar energy device is designed or installed by the final owner, license requirements are waived. Additionally, any devices (solar or otherwise) mounted on the roof that significantly impacts, may compromise the roof components or may void the existing roof warranty, may require inspection and/or installation by a licensed roofing contractor.

Electric code: No statewide code; check local municipality. Residential, commercial, and industrial work must be performed in accordance with the FHA Minimum Property Standards and Manual of Acceptable Practices.

Licensing body: Arizona Registrar of Contractors

Reciprocity: California, Nevada, and Utah

Arkansas

Licensing (General)
Arkansas requires a commercial or residential contractor’s license.

Licensing (PV)
An electricians license is required and a state license is required to do any electrical work in Arkansas, including PV. Must be a master electrician or a journeyman electrician under direct supervision of a master electrician.

Licensing (solar thermal)

  • A Plumbers license is required.  A restricted specialty classification is offered
  • Arkansas offers limited licenses for solar thermal installations
    • Restricted solar mechanic license:  May perform installation and/or maintenance for the purpose of heating domestic hot water
    • Supervising solar mechanic license:  any person skilled in the planning superintending and practical installation and/or maintenance for the particular phase of solar and hydronic heating and for the purpose of solar heating of domestic hot water
    • Solar mechanic trainee means any person who is engaged in learning, acquiring experience and assisting the solar mechanics in order to become a solar mechanic
    • Persons holding a restricted solar mechanic plumber’s license for the particular phase of restricted solar mechanic plumbing shall not perform any plumbing service other than the restricted phase for which he is licensed
    • Persons holding a restricted solar mechanic plumber’s license shall not be eligible to use experience gained under such license to obtain credit toward other forms of licenses issued by the Department
    • Persons holding a restricted solar mechanic plumber’s license shall not transfer a license from one phase of plumbing to any other phase or move from one restricted area to another without first resubmitting a new application to the department

Education/experience requirements

  • The applicant for a restricted solar mechanic plumber’s license shall produce evidence of his training and experience in the phase of plumbing for which he is requesting a license
  • Applicants for a restricted supervisor solar mechanic plumber’s license shall have a minimum of five (5) years solar mechanic plumbing experience or its equivalent, with a least one (1) year as a licensed restricted solar mechanic plumber
  • Applicants for a restricted solar mechanic plumber’s license shall have served four (4) years as a registered restricted solar mechanic apprentice
  • Restricted solar mechanic trainees shall register with the department in order to record the training and experience gained under the restricted supervising solar mechanic plumber’s license

Electric code: NEC 2008 edition

Reciprocity: Alabama, Louisiana, Tennessee, and Mississippi

Resources

  1. Contractors Licensing Board
  2. Arkansas Department of Labor and Licensing

California

Licensing (general)

  • A contractor’s license is required:  a C-46 Solar Contractors License or “A” General Contractors or“B” General Building Contractors License
  • C-46 is the Solar Contractor licensing classification for solar (PV and thermal) installations and maintenance.  The C-46 Solar Contractor license covers active solar water and space heating systems, solar pool heating systems, and photovoltaic systems
  • Education/testing requirements:  include written examinations (Law and Business as well as the trade examination) and 4 years experience; (note:  technical training, apprenticeship training and education may be credited instead of experience, however at least 1 year needs to be practical experience.  See CSLB guidelines for maximum allowable credit from training)

Licensing (PV and Solar thermal): California offers the following specialty classifications:

  • C-4. Boiler, Hot Water Heating and Steam Fitting (for solar thermal systems)
  • C-10. Electrical (for photovoltaics only)
  • C-20. Warm-Air, HVAC (HVAC systems that utilize solar energy)
  • C-36. Plumbing (solar thermal systems)
  • C-53. Swimming Pool (for solar pool heating)

Electric code: All jurisdictions in the State of California, are required to adopt and enforce the following codes:

  • 2007 California Building Code (Incorporates by adoption and reprints the 2006 International Building Code with California amendments)
  • 2007 California Fire Code (Incorporates by adoption and reprints the 2006 International Fire Code with California amendments)

Reciprocity: Arizona, Nevada (C-37), and Utah

Permitting notes: Permitting requirements vary by City – check local rules and regulations

Resource(s):  California Contractors State Licensing Board

Colorado

Licensing (General)
Colorado issues licenses for electricians and plumbers at the state level. Colorado does not issue a contractor’s license specific to solar at the state level.  However, there are local solar specific requirements in some counties (such as El Paso County).  All contractors should check with the authority having jurisdiction for solar specific requirements.

Licensing (PV)
All work performed on the AC side of the inverter must be done by an electrical contractor who employs a licensed journeyman electrician or a licensed residential wireman who will do the work.

Electric code: 2011 NEC (no amendments)

Licensing body: State Electrical Board

Reciprocity: Alaska, Arkansas, Idaho, Minnesota, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oregon, South Dakota, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming

Resources

  1. Department of Regulatory Agencies
  2. Colorado Electrical Board

Connecticut

Licensing (PV)

  • A contractor (employer) must have a Home Improvement Contractors (HIC) license as well as PV-1 or E-1 license and must be listed with the Connecticut Clean Energy Fund (for rebate eligibility)
  • A PV installer must have a PV-1 license to perform installations or an E-1 master electrician’s license for electrical work; or the installer must have an E-2 electrician’s license or a PV-2 license and be in the employ of a licensed electrical contractor
  • An employee of any company installing PV systems must have PV-1, PV-2, E-1, or E-2 license or be an apprentice to  one of the licenses and working under their direct supervision
  • An employee of a licensed contractor may do hoisting, placing and attachment of modules without a license
  • The Connecticut Clean Energy Fund (CCEF) requires all approved eligible PV contractors to have at least one permanent employee successfully complete and pass the NABCEP entry level PV exam

Licensing (Solar Thermal)

  • ST-1 Solar Thermal Contractor license: may perform work only on solar thermal systems; requires 2 years experience as a solar journeyperson or equivalent experience and training.  The licensing exam covers Business & Law (licensing, estimating and bidding, lien law, financial management, tax laws, labor laws, project management, contractors, business organization, risk management, environmental safety) and Solar Thermal Installation (piping, system design, pumps and storage systems, collectors, system valves and controls, safety)
  • ST-2 Solar Thermal Journeyperson license: may perform work only on solar thermal systems, but only while in the employ of a contractor licensed for such work; requires completion of an apprenticeship program which includes instruction in solar thermal work or equivalent experience and training.  The licensing exam topics are the same as for the ST-1 license
  • Solar Thermal Apprentice permit: for the performance of solar-thermal work for the purpose of training. Such work may be performed only under the supervision of a licensed solar thermal contractor or journeyman. Any apprenticeship program established to provide education and training for those seeking licensure for plumbing and piping work or for heating, piping and cooling work must provide all people entering the program with education and training in solar thermal work
  • In October 2009, a new law authorized the Dept of Consumer Protection to issue a solar thermal work “certificate” to any person who holds a Plumbing & Piping License (P-1, P-2, P-3, P-4), or Heating, Piping & Cooling License (S-1, S-2, S-3, S-4) license (issued by the Department) as long as that person has also completed an approved solar thermal installation training course and has passed an approved solar thermal work exam

Licensing body: The Connecticut Department of Consumer Protection (DCP) is authorized to issue licenses for solar-thermal work, solar-electric work and wind-electric work.

Electric code: NEC 2005 edition

Reciprocity: None

Resources

  1. State of Connecticut Department of Consumer Protection
  2. Approved Solar Thermal Education Provider List

Delaware

Licensing (PV)
Delaware requires an electricians license to do electrical work; PV installations are considered to be electrical work.  North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners (NABCEP) certification is preferred if applying for state rebates.

Electric code: NEC 2005 edition

Proposed changes:  5.6.2 Education and Licensure
Participating contractors shall maintain appropriate education and licenses to insure that only professionally designed systems are installed within the Program. The contractor must maintain on staff field personal that have received appropriate training for the installation of that particular renewable energy system. Each contractor must submit annually a list of personnel on staff that has received the appropriate training to qualify them to conduct the installation of renewable energy systems. The Participating contractor must be licensed in the State of Delaware. Copies of all renewed licenses must be submitted to the department within 60 days of expiration. If all new licenses are not provided, the contractor will be suspended from participation with the Green Energy Program until a new license is provided. All installations performed during the suspension will not be eligible for funds until the suspension is lifted.

Where industry certification programs have been promulgated, grant recipients will be required to obtain the highest industry recognized training within three (3) years of becoming an approved contractor. Thereafter the contractor must continue to become certified in the highest industry recognized training every three (3) years. If a new certificate is not provided, the contractor will be suspended from participation with the Green Energy Program until a new certificate is provided. All installations performed during the suspension will not be eligible for funds until the suspension is lifted.

Reciprocity: Maryland, Michigan, North Carolina, and Wyoming

District of Columbia

Licensing (PV)
Electrical contractors are required to hold an electrician’s license. Building permits are required for installations.

Applicants for master and journeyman licenses are required to pass an examination prior to licensure.

Licensing (Solar thermal)
Plumbers/gasfitters are required to hold a plumbers/gasfitters license and refrigeration and air conditioning mechanics contractors are required to hold a mechanical license. Building permits are required for installations.

Electric code: Installations must conform to the 2005 National Electrical Code.

Reciprocity: None

Resources: District of Columbia Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs

Florida

Licensing (PV and Solar thermal)
Florida has established the following licenses and here are the solar technologies that fall within their scope of work:

  • CV – Certified solar contractor; scope of work covers residential and commercial solar water heating, solar pool heating and photovoltaic (solar electric, or PV) systems. The CV license holder is exempt from subcontracting certain roofing, plumbing and electrical work on residential installations
  • CW – Residential solar water heating specialty contractor; this license is no longer offered, but contractors holding this license may continue to use it; the CW license is limited to solar water heating and solar pool heating systems on residences only
  • EC – Electrical contractors are also authorized to install PV systems, but may be required to subcontract roofing work if the local building department so requires
  • CP, RP –  Several local licensing jurisdictions have established a solar contractor certificate of competency that is usually designated as an RX license. These are limited to the installation of solar water or pool heaters only within the jurisdiction that has granted the license, and generally will not be authorized to install PV systems.

Educational requirement: All state licenses require four years of field experience.  One year of which is supervisory experience.  Up to three years of college credit hours may be substituted for experience.

Testing: First must pass the trade exam (PV or thermal); then must pass a Business and Financial Management exam.

Licensing body: Construction Industry Licensing Board (CILB) and Electrical Constractor’s Licensing Board

Electric code: Latest NEC edition

Reciprocity: Alabama, Georgia, and North Carolina

Resources

  1. Florida Solar Energy Industries Association
  2. Department of Business and Professional Regulation, Electrical Contractors Licensing Board

Georgia

Georgia does not have any state licensing requirements. Solar installations are not regulated by the State Licensing Board.

Electric code: NEC 2005 edition with amendments

Reciprocity: Alabama, Florida, North Carolina, and South Carolina

Resources: Georgia Construction Industry Licensing Board

Hawaii

Licensing (general)

  • General engineering contractors (“A” classification) automatically hold the Solar energy systems contractor (C-61) specialty license without having to take a further exam or pay additional fees
  • A solar contractor’s license alone does not permit a contractor to install a complete solar energy system and may require that he or she subcontract with electrical and/or plumbing contractors
  • Electrical and plumbing contractors may subcontract with solar contractors to install components of PV and SWH systems

Licensing (PV)

  • C-60– Solar power systems contractors may assemble and install photovoltaic panels, batteries, controls, and related low voltage DC wiring
  • C-13- Electrical contractor license includes the work of the C-60 solar power systems contractor license
  • Any electrical work must be performed by a licensed electrician

Licensing (Solar thermal)

  • C-61 – Solar energy systems contractors may assemble and install solar hot water systems in residential and commercial buildings and swimming pools, provided that this shall not include the installation of heat pumps or water heaters.  This license classification also allows the contractor to install solar heating and cooling systems in residential, commercial, and industrial buildings; includes the work of C-61a and C-61b
  • C-61a- Solar hot water systems contractors may assemble and install collectors, storage vessels, controls, pumps, and piping in connection therewith
  • C-61b- Solar heating and cooling systems contractors may install solar heating and cooling systems provided that all specialty work requiring a license is subcontracted to contractors licensed to perform that work
  • Any plumbing work must be performed by a licensed plumber
  • C-37- Plumbing contractors are allowed to install solar hot water heating systems

Licensing body: Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs

Electric code: NEC 2011 edition

Reciprocity: None

Resources: Hawaii Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs Professional and Vocational Licensing

Idaho

Licensing (PV)
In 2012, the legislature established a solar photovoltaic specialty license.

All such installation, maintenance, and repair not exempt under the provisions of Section 54-1016, Idaho Code, performed by individuals under this subsection shall be done in accordance with the applicable provisions of the National Electrical Code. The license holder shall be employed by a licensed electrical contractor whose license shall be covered by this category. The holder of such specialty license may not countersign a contractor’s application as a supervising specialty journeyman except for work in his specialty. Applicants for this license class shall provide proof of photovoltaic installer certification by the North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners (NABCEP) or equivalent. Any person licensed in this category may perform the following types of installations:  1. Solar Photovoltaic DC Systems: Install, maintain, repair, and replace all electrical equipment, wires, and accessories up to and including the inverter. 2. Solar Photovoltaic micro-inverter/AC Systems: Install, maintain, repair, and replace all electrical equipment, wires, and accessories up to and including the AC combiner box.

Licensing (Solar thermal)
A solar thermal installation requires a plumbing state certificate of competency; A plumbing contractor must be certified as competent by the Idaho Plumbing Board and the administrator of the Division of Building and Safety.

Licensing body: Division of Building and Safety

Electric code: NEC 2008 edition

Reciprocity: Alaska, Colorado, Minnesota, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oregon, South Dakota, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming

Resources

  1. Division of Building Safety
  2. Idaho Office of Energy Resources

Illinois

The Illinois Commerce Commission has approved fives certificates of service that will enable  companies to install distributed generation facilities, including solar panels, wind turbines, natural gas generators and fuel cells, in Illinois.

As of January 1, 2014, all entities that install distributed generation facilities, with the exception of self-installers, are required to be certified by the ICC.

The rules require each certified company to ensure that its employees, agents or contractors will:

  • Comply with applicable building and electrical codes including those contained in the National Electrical Code;
  •  Install only distributed generation facilities that meet recognized industry standards and comply with manufacturers installation instructions;
  • Comply with applicable licensing and municipal bonding requirements;
  • Allow only qualified persons and/or electrical contractors or persons enrolled in training programs, who are supervised by qualified persons, to install distributed generation facilities.

Indiana

Licensing (general)
Check local  municipality for licensing requirements.

Reciprocity: None

Resources:  Indiana Professional Licensing Agency website

Iowa

Licensing (general)
Iowa requires that all individual contractors and businesses performing “construction” work within Iowa be registered with the Division of Labor if they earn at least $2,000 a year from that work. Individuals or businesses making less than $2,000 a year on “construction” work, or who work only on their own real estate or property, are not required to register.

Licensing (PV)
State electrical contractors license or a journeyman’s license under the supervision of an electrical contractor is required.

Electric code: NEC 2005 edition

Reciprocity: None

Resources: Iowa Workforce Development website

Kansas

Licensing (General)
Kansas does not offer contractor licenses at the state level; check with local municipality.

Electric code: NEC 2008 edition

Reciprocity: None

Kentucky

Licensing (General)
Electrical and plumbing licenses are not required to install solar in Kentucky.

Licensing (PV)
A licensed electrician is required to pull the permit and be responsible for the final connection to the meter.

Licensing (Solar thermal)
A licensed plumber is required to make any connections to the potable water system. For SWH systems, those components which are not connected to the potable water system (typically, the solar loop beyond the heat exchanger) can be worked on by people who are not licensed plumbers.

Electric code: NEC 2011 edition

Reciprocity: None

Louisiana

Licensing (General)
Louisiana offers a specialty classification of  ‘solar energy equipment’. In order for a contractor to obtain the specialty classification of solar energy equipment for a commercial contractor’s license, the contractor must as a pre-requisite or co-requisite obtain the classification(s) of Building Construction, Residential Building Contractor, Electrical Work or Mechanical Work.  All contractors applying for the specialty of solar energy equipment must have completed and provided proof to the Board of Training in the design and installation of solar energy systems by an entity accredited by the board. In addition, any contractor who did not hold a license with the classification(s) of Building Construction, Electrical Work (Statewide), or Mechanical Work (Statewide) as of August 1, 2014 must take an examination approved by the Board or hold the PV Installer Certification Energy Practitioners (NABCEP) in order to obtain the Solar Energy Equipment classification.

Licensing (PV)
If a contractor that holds the classification of “solar energy equipment” does not hold an electrical work classification, the contractor must use a subcontractor holding an electrical work classification to do any wiring or hookups for PV installations over $10,000 in price or cost.  Electrical contractors who intend to do photovoltaic panel installations must, in addition to their electrical work classification, also obtain independently the classification of “solar energy equipment” and meet other requirements in order for their customers to be eligible for certain tax credits.

Licensing (Solar thermal)
If the contractor that holds the classification of “solar energy equipment” does not hold a mechanical work classification, the contractor must use a subcontractor holding a mechanical work classification to do any piping or hookups for solar thermal installations over $10,000 in price or cost.  Mechanical contractors who intend to do solar thermal installations must, in addition to getting their mechanical work classification, also obtain independently the classification of “solar energy equipment” and meet other requirements in order for their customers to be eligible for certain state tax credits.

Electric code: NEC 2008 edition

Licensing body: Louisiana State Licensing Board for Contractors

Reciprocity: Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina, Ohio, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas (electrical only) , Utah, and Virginia.  Reciprocity is not automatic.   

Resources

  1. Louisiana State Licensing Board
  2. State Plumbing Board of Louisiana

Maine

Licensing (PV)
Maine does not license PV installers.  However, any person installing PV systems in Maine must hold an electrician’s license suited for the project issued by the Electricians’ Examining Board.

Electric code: NEC 2011 edition

Note: Efficiency Maine is no longer a division of the Public Utilities Commission. The Efficiency Maine Trust was established as an independent quasi-state agency in July of 2010 and retains status as an instrumentality of the state of Maine.

Reciprocity: None

Resources

  1. Professional and Financial Regulation

Maryland

Licensing (PV)

  • In most cases, any electrical work that interfaces with the utility is required to have an electrical permit which can only be obtained by a licensed master electrician
  • A Master electrician’s license is required to pull the electrical permit. Permits to provide electrical services are issued by the local jurisdiction.  You should contact the permit and inspection authority for the local jurisdiction to determine the requirements within that jurisdiction.
  • A Maryland Home Improvement Commission (MHIC) contractor license is required to install panels on residential property
  • Maryland does not require an individual to hold a state license while the individual provides electrical services as an employee or subordinate of a master electrician licensed by the State Board if the individual provides electrical services while under the control and supervision of the licensee; and the licensee is responsible for the electrical services that the individual provides
  • There may be additional local jurisdiction requirements
    • Somerset and Caroline Counties offer additional licenses for
      • Electrician, General – requires at least three years of practical experience; training in a technical school or related field may be substituted for not more than one year of experience
      • Electrician, Limited – requires at least two years of practical experience
  • Most local jurisdictions also issue electrician licenses, which are required to work in the locality

Education/experience requirement:

  • All applicants for a master electrician’s license must be regularly engaged in or employed to provide electrical services for all categories of electrical equipment for at least seven years, while under the direction and supervision of a master electrician
  • The State Board may allow an applicant up to three years of credit toward the experience required, if the State Board determines that the applicant has completed a formal course of study or professional training in electrical installation comparable to the required experience

ExaminationYes.  Administered by State Board of Master Electricians.

 Licensing (Solar thermal)

  • A master plumber’s license is required to pull the plumbing permit which is required to make connections to potable water system
  • You must be a licensed apprentice, journey or master plumber to work in the state.  Apprentices must be licensed, supervised and under the control of a master or journey level state licensee present on the job site and are not permitted to do any plumbing work alone

License duration: Two years

Electric code: Set by individual counties; Annapolis County has adopted NEC 2002 edition; Baltimore and Frederick Counties have adopted NEC 2008 edition; Somerset County utilizes the most current version of the NEC.

 Permitting notes

  • A building permit is required to mount panels on the roof
  • Solar installations are regulated through state and county building inspectors offices like any home improvement. All systems require a building permit, and solar electric systems that are grid-connected or for back-up emergency power require electrical permits. Systems for solar water heating or space heating require plumbing or mechanical permits

Reciprocity: Virginia and Delaware.  Additionally, State and master electrician licenses issued by a local jurisdiction of Maryland are reciprocal.

 Resources

  1. Maryland Energy Administration
  2. Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation
  3. Maryland, DC, Virginia – Solar Energy Industries Association (MDV-SEIA)

Massachusetts

Licensing (General)
Building permits are required any time solar thermal or solar PV is placed on a roof or ground rack due to new roof loads and/or wind issues.

A Construction supervisor’s license (either an unrestricted CSL or a restricted one and two family CSL) is required when solar thermal work is involved and the building is a one or two family, stand-alone dwelling or is a small commercial building (less than 35,000 feet of aggregate volume (L x WxH).

A CSL is not required for solar PV installs as the Board of State Examiners of Electricians has ruled that all such PV install work requires a Massachusetts licensed electrician (an example of an exemption from the CSL is when a tradesperson, licensed by another state agency, is working under the umbrella of his/her trade license).

Licensing (PV)
All aspects of a PV installation are considered electrical work and must be done by a properly permitted and licensed electrician.  Mass building code and states that any electrical generating equipment and ancillary equipment must be installed by a licensed electrician.

Interconnection with the electrical service requires the services of a licensed electrician and an electrical permit is required.

Electrical code: 2017 NEC Code and 2018 I-Codes

Reciprocity: Reciprocity with NH licensees only

Resources

  1. Massachusetts Clean Energy Center
  2. Commonwealth of Massachusetts
  3. Office of Public Safety and Inspections
  4. Division of Professional Licensure, Board of State Examiners of Electricians

Michigan

Licensing (PV)
Photovoltaic systems must be installed per manufacturers’ instructions which may include specialized training. The state of Michigan electrical licensing law, 1956 PA 217, MCL 338.887, sections 7(1) and 7(2) require persons performing electrical wiring to be properly licensed in accordance with the act except those exempted under section 7(3).

Licensing (Solar)
When solar equipment is installed as a heating element a mechanical contractors license is required in accordance with the state of Michigan Forbes Mechanical Contractors Act, 1984 PA 192, MCL 338.977, section 7(1).

Electrical code
Michigan Electrical Code (MEC) Part 8 rules which adopts by reference the 2011 NFPA70/NEC with modifications.

Permitting notes
A mechanical permit is required for the installation or alteration of systems using solar energy as a heating source. An electrical permit is required when performing electrical wiring.

Reciprocity: None

Resources

  1. Bureau of Construction Codes/Administration
  2. Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy

Minnesota

Licensing (General)
All mechanical contractors must file a $25,000 mechanical bond with the Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry to perform work covered by the State of Minnesota Mechanical Code (MR 1346)

Any contractor that contracts with an owner to construct or improve dwellings for habitation by one to four families and performs two or more special skills must be licensed by the Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry as a residential building contractor or residential re-modeler.

Education/testing: Contractor’s qualifying person must pass an examination administered based on the International Building Code, Minnesota State Building Code, and Minnesota statutes.

Licensing (PV)
All electrical contractors and electricians performing work within the state must be licensed by the Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry. There is no city or county licensing.

Education/testing: Master electrician, journeyman electrician, and power limited technician applicants must meet a work experience threshold based on years of experience and then pass a written or oral examination; an oral examination shall be administered only to an applicant who furnishes a statement that he or she has a reading disability which would prevent satisfactorily performance on a written test.  As a general rule the Department of Commerce State Energy Office recommends installation by a trained licensed electrical contractor working with a licensed electrical contractor.

Licensing (Solar thermal)
All plumbing contractors and plumbers performing plumbing work within the state must be licensed by the Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry.

Education/testing: Master plumber and journeyman plumber applicants must meet a work experience threshold based on years of experience and then pass a written or oral examination; an oral examination shall be administered only to an applicant who furnishes a statement that he or she has a reading disability which would prevent satisfactory performance on a written test.

Licensing body: Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry

Reciprocity: Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Iowa for master and journeyman electrical licenses. For journeyman electrical licenses only, Minnesota has reciprocal agreements with Alaska, Colorado, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota,  and Wyoming. If you’ve received a license by examination in one of these states and held it for one year or more, you can get a reciprocal license in Minnesota.

Resources

  1. Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry

Mississippi

Licensing (PV)
Mississippi requires a classification of  Solar and Wind Construction for someone to bid or contract to perform solar construction work if it exceeds $50,000.00. In addition, if the electrical portion of the project (solar or any project) exceeds $50,000.00, the license with the Electrical classification will be required for whoever performs the electrical work. If there is plumbing involved and it exceeds $50,000.00, whoever performs that work would need the Plumbing classification on their license.

Licensing body: MS State Board of Contractors

Reciprocity
Alabama, Arkansas, Louisiana, Tennessee, North Carolina Electrical Board, South Carolina(building contractors and master electrician exams only)

Resources: Mississippi State Board of Contractors

Missouri

Licensing (General)
Missouri does not have a general contractors license. However, contractors must register their business with the Missouri Secretary of State and have a sales tax ID# which is issued by the Department of Revenue. After registering, contractors can contact local (county, city, township) government offices for specifics regarding local licensing and regulations.

Frontenac requires North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners (NABCEP) PV Installation Professionals for solar projects. Clarkson Valley requires either a NABCEP PV Installation Professional or an electrical engineer.

Permitting notes
County commissions issue building permits.

Montana

Licensing (PV)
The Montana State Electrical Board does not have requirements for installations on solar projects.  However, if the electrical work exceeds 90 volts, then a Montana licensed electrician will be needed to perform the work. If the solar PV system is grid tied, the work must be performed by a licensed electrician.

A homeowner may wire his/her own home, garage and premises using a state homeowner’s electrical permit. Inspections are conducted by state electrical inspectors and permits are obtained from the BUREAU.

Licensing (Solar thermal)
The service of a Montana licensed master plumber is required on all public/commercial buildings.

Education requirements

Residential electrician: Completion of an approved residential apprenticeship program in the electrical trade or completion of an appropriate training program conducted by a bona fide union or trade association.

Journeyman electrician: Completion of an approved residential apprenticeship program in the electrical trade or completion of an appropriate training program conducted by a bona fide union or trade association.

Master electrician: An applicant must have either education “A” or experience “B” to apply for a license.

A. Education Requirements: Written evidence of being a graduate as an electrical engineer of an accredited college or university and having minimum of (2,000) hours of legally obtained practical experience.

B. Experience Requirements: Must be on a form prescribed by the board or as noted on the application.

  1. A third party verification of (8,000) hours of legally obtained journeyman level experience in wiring for, installing, and repairing of electrical apparatus and equipment for light, heat and power, with no less than 20 percent, but not more than 50 percent residential experience.

C. Examination Information: Applications for examination must be approved by the State Electrical Board. Currently, exams are based off the 2014 NEC.

Electrical code: NEC 2014 edition

Licensing body
Montana Board of Plumbers, Montana State Electrical Board

Reciprocity
Plumbing license:  Montana has reciprocal agreements with Oregon, Idaho, North Dakota and South Dakota for Journeyman licensure ONLY.

Permitting notes
Any person who is engaged in the business, trade or work having to do with the installation, removal, alteration, or repair of plumbing and drainage systems or parts thereof must obtain a plumbing permit from the Bureau of Building and Measurement Standards if you are in the states jurisdiction.

Homeowners do not need to obtain a plumbing permit provided he/she is doing the plumbing installation themselves and the residence is for the owner’s personal use and not built on speculation of resale or intended as a rental property.

State electrical permits are required on all electrical work performed in Montana, except in cities, counties and towns certified to issue electrical permits and conduct inspections.

Resources:

  1. Montana Department of Labor and Industry
  2. Montana State Electrical Board
  3. Montana Board of Plumbers

Nebraska

Licensing (PV)
To do electrical work in Nebraska you need to be licensed by the Nebraska State Electrical Division. Some cities in the state require an additional license.

Licensing body: Nebraska State Electrical Board

Electric code:  NEC 2011 edition

Reciprocity
Electrical contractor:  Minnesota and South Dakota

Journeyman electrical license:  Alaska, Arkansas, Colorado, Idaho, Iowa, Minnesota, Montana, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Utah, Wyoming

Resources:  Nebraska Electrical Division

Nevada

Licensing (General)
Nevada law requires that solar energy system installers be licensed by the Nevada State Contractors Board.

Contractors may be licensed under License Classification C-37 (solar contracting), or perform solar work under License Classification C-1 (plumbing and heating) for solar thermal installations.

Licensing (PV)

  • NAC 624.200 Classification C-2: Electrical contracting; subclassifications. (NRS 624.100, 624.220)  (g) PHOTOVOLTAICS (subclassification C-2g): The installation, alteration and repair of photovoltaic cells, batteries and invertors used in the conversion of solar energy into electricity, but not the installation, alteration or repair of electrical wires beyond the service panel
  • In June 2005, Assembly Bill 3 amended the Nevada Revised Statutes, Chapter 618, to create a mandatory licensing program for contractors installing and maintaining photovoltaic systems, beginning January 1, 2007. Under these rules, a PV installer must hold a license as a photovoltaic installer, issued by the Department of Business and Industry, Division of Industrial Relations, Occupational Safety and Health. A PV installer is defined as a person who is directly engaged with the electrical connection and wiring of a photovoltaic system project in a capacity other than as an inspector, management planner, consultant, project designer, contractor or supervisor for the photovoltaic system project
    • NAC 618.459   Requirements for examination for licensure as a photovoltaic installer. ( NRS 618.295 618.918 ) For the purposes of NRS 618.922 , an examination which is approved by the Enforcement Section must test a person’s knowledge on subjects which are consistent with the guidelines, standards and training suggested by the Interstate Renewable Energy Council, Inc., the North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners (NABCEP) or any other nationally recognized organization involved in developing guidelines, standards and training to improve the quality of services provided by photovoltaic installers

Licensing (Solar thermal)

  • NAC 624.540 Classification C-37:  Solar contracting:  A person who holds a classification C-37 license may design, fabricate and install systems for the collection of solar energy to heat and cool water, air and chemicals
    • The subclassifications of the classification C-37 license and the work authorized for persons licensed in the respective subclassifications are:
    • (a) WATER HEATING (subclassification C-37a): The installation of systems for the collection of solar energy to heat water for potable uses, but not the installation of pipes or fixtures other than water heaters and storage tanks designed for the use of water so heated
    • (b) SPACE HEATING (subclassification C-37b): The installation of systems for the collection of solar energy to heat water or air which is in turn used to heat structures which house persons, animals or inanimate objects including storage, piping and heat exchangers, but excluding equipment for pools
    • (c) AIR-CONDITIONING (subclassification C-37c): The installation of the collectors, piping, storage and other equipment used in the conversion of solar energy to energy used for the control of air temperatures.
    • (d) HEATING OF POOLS (subclassification C-37d): The installation of the collectors, piping and heat exchangers used to heat swimming pools and spas with solar energy, but not the plumbing of swimming pools or the installation of their equipment
    • A License Classification C-1 (plumbing and heating); subclassification j:  (j) SOLAR WATER AND SPACE HEATING (subclassification C-1j): The installation, replacement and repair of systems for the collection of solar energy to heat potable water, swimming pools and spas, and air which is used to heat structures which house persons, animals or inanimate objects
    • NAC 624.380  Classification C-21: Refrigeration and air-conditioning; subclassifications. (NRS 624.100624.220)
    • (e) SOLAR AIR-CONDITIONING (subclassification C-21e): The installation of the collectors, piping, storage and other equipment used in the conversion of solar energy to energy used for the control of air temperatures

Licensing/testing body: NV OHSA

Reciprocity:  Nevada’s reciprocity agreement with the states of Arizona, California, and Utah pertain to the trade examination only

Resources:  Nevada State Contractors Board

New Hampshire

Licensing (PV)

  • A master electrician’s license is required, although a journeyman in the employment of a master electrician could perform the installation but the master is ultimately responsible.  The master electrician is responsible for the entire installation
  • The Board issues Master and Journeyman electrician’s licenses and apprentice ID cards
    • Education/experience:
      • To qualify for the master’s licensing exam you must work as a New Hampshire-licensed journeyman for at least one year
      • To qualify for the journeyman’s licensing exam you need 8,000 hours of work experience and an Associate Degree in Electricity (or Board-approved equivalent). You can use your schooling for up to one year of the work experience requirement
      • To qualify for an apprentice electrician identification card you need to register as an apprentice with the Bureau of Apprenticeship and Training of the U.S. Department of Labor or a state apprenticeship agency. The Board may accept out-of-state work experience and education for any of these requirements

Licensing (Solar thermal)
A plumbing license is not required for persons engaged in the installation of any solar heating, cooling, air conditioning or domestic water heating systems

Reciprocity: Massachusetts, Vermont, and Maine. NH reciprocates with MA, ME and VT for the journeyman and master licenses and with Alaska, Arkansas, Colorado, Minnesota, Montana, Nebraska, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Dakota, Utah, and Wyoming under the Multi-State Electrical Reciprocal Licensing Group agreement for the journeyman license only.

Resources

  1. Bureau of Building Safety & Construction 

New Jersey

Licensing (General)

  • Registration with the state is required to do business in New Jersey.  A home improvement contractor is any person engaged in the business of selling goods or making home improvements
  • Plumbers, electricians and home improvement contractors are licensed in New Jersey
  • License duration:  electricians = three years; plumbers = two years

 Licensing (Solar thermal)

  • A master plumber’s license is required to install solar hot water because you are working with the domestic potable water.  The solar panel can be installed without a plumbers license, but the tank and the piping has to be done by a licensed master plumber
  • Solar heat transfer tank and the solar piping require a master plumber’s license
  • The installation of solar panels requires a home improvement registration
  • A licensed electrician is required to wire the pumps to circulate the glycol and any other low voltage wiring involvedReciprocity: None

 Resources: New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs  

New Mexico

Licensing (General)

  • Solar installations (PV and solar thermal) are included under electrical and mechanical licenses
  • A company must have a Qualifying Party (master electrician or master plumber) of the appropriate trade to contract for a solar installation and a person with a journeyman license is expected to do the hands-on work

Licensing (PV)

  • A journeyman certificate of competence in the appropriate trade classification for the work to be performed is required of all individuals performing electrical wiring
  • An apprentice may work under the direct supervision of a validly certified journeyman, who is employed by a validly licensed person, or a holder of a valid annual permit.Journeyman certifications shall be issued such that the certificates parallel the electrical license classification scopes

Licensing (Solar thermal)

  • A journeyman certificate of competence in the appropriate trade classification for the work to be performed is required of all individuals performing mechanical and plumbing work.  An apprentice may work under the direct supervision of a validly certified journeyman who is employed by a validly licensed person or a holder of a valid annual permit. Journeyman certifications shall be issued such that the certificates parallel the mechanical and plumbing license classification scopes.

There are journeyman classifications for each EE and MM license in the above table.  A journeyman license requires two years experience.

Reciprocity: None

New York

Licensing (PV) 
New York State does not issue license at state level.  Licensure is regulated at county level.

Licensing (Solar thermal)
New York State does not issue license at state level.  Licensure is regulated at county level.

Reciprocity: None

North Carolina

Licensing (PV)
NCGS 87-43 requires that a license as an electrical contractor be obtained by any person “… engaging or offering to engage in the business of installing, maintaining, altering or repairing any electric work wiring devices, appliances or equipment.” The performance of same electrical work under special circumstances may be exempted under NCGS 87- 43.1. None of those exemptions appear to apply to solar photovoltaic electrical energy systems. Thus, a licensed electrical contractor must install as well as contract to install such systems. This means that only the electrical contractor may have a contract with a property owner for this work.

License classifications that may engage or offer to engage in the described electrical work are Limited, Intermediate or Unlimited. Additionally, the SP-SFD (Special Restricted Single Family Dwelling) license classification is permitted to perform this work for single-family dwellings. The licensing law and Board rules can be found on the Board website at www.ncbeec.org.

Incentive notes
Go Solar NC Initiative:  For a company to become  a “Registered PV Contractor”, at least one employee of the contractor company must provide proof to the Solar Center of obtaining the following administrative requirements:

  • NC electrical contractor license
  • Liability insurance coverage
  • Business license
  • Retail license
  • Registration with NC Industrial Commission/Workers’ compensation insurance
  • Code of Ethics

For a company to become a “Registered Solar PV Contractor,”  at least one employee of the contractor company must meet one of the following requirements:

  • Provide current proof of 35 hours of solar PV training, pass the North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners (NABCEP) Entry-Level PV exam , and provide proof that they have  installed at least two solar PV systems- both using a minimum of 1 kWDC and inverter;
  • Either hold a letter from NABCEP stating they are qualified to sit for the NABCEP PV Installer Certification Exam (you must submit an application to NABCEP to sit for this exam OR hold a certificate verifying they have passed the NABCEP PV Installer Certification Exam.

Electric code:  NEC 2008 edition

Reciprocity: Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, Ohio, South Carolina, Virginia, and West Virginia

Resources:
1.    North Carolina Licensing Board for General Contractors
2.    State Board of Examiners of Plumbing, Heating, and Fire Sprinkler Contractors
3.    State Board of Examiners of Electrical Contractors

North Dakota

Licensing (General)
A contractor must have a license in North Dakota to work on any job costing $2,000 or more.

Licensing (PV)
To do electrical work in North Dakota, you need to be licensed as a master, journeyman, or class B electrician.

All the wiring must be performed by a licensed electrician.  For other tasks such as roof mounting you do not need to be an electrician, but must pull a building permit. A wiring certificate must be filed with the North Dakota State Electrical Board before electrical work is performed if it exceeds $300.00.

Licensing (Solar thermal)
To do plumbing work in North Dakota, you need to be licensed as a journeyman or master plumber.

Resources: Secretary of State, State of North Dakota

Ohio

Licensing (General)
The state only has jurisdiction over commercial buildings in Ohio.  Residential buildings are regulated by the local building departments.

Licensing (PV – Commercial)
If the solar panel is being used strictly for energy purposes, it would only require a state contractor’s electrical license.

Licensing (Solar thermal – Commercial)
If the solar panel is being used to heat the building, it would require a State Contractor’s HVAC License.  It would also require a state contractor’s electrical license for any wiring to the pane.

Reciprocity
West Virginia and North Carolina (electrical only), Kentucky (HVAC and electrical), and Louisiana (electrical, HVAC, refrigeration and hydronics), Tennessee (electrical, HVAC, refrigeration), South Carolina (electrical, HVAC and plumbing)

Resources

  1. Ohio Development Services Agency

Oklahoma

Oklahoma does not have specialized licensing requirements for photovoltaic or solar thermal systems.

Licensing (PV)
All contractors must possess their state electrician license.  Electrical contractors, journeyman electricians, and apprentices must be licensed by the Department of Health. Examinations are conducted by the State Board of Examiners.

Code
Installations must conform to the 2008 National Electrical Code, as a minimum standard.

Reciprocity
Alaska, Arkansas, Colorado, Minnesota, Montana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Dakota, South Dakota, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming.

Resources

  1. Oklahoma State Department of Health
  2. SunCity Solar Energy

Oregon

Licensing (General)

  • Oregon requires trade licenses for people installing solar energy equipment, and contractor licenses for the companies that do construction
  • Companies with an electrical contractor license may engage in the business of making electrical installations. Similarly, a plumbing contractor license allows a company to engage in the business of making plumbing installations. Companies must also meet licensing and bonding requirements by the Construction Contractors Board

Licensing (PV)

  • Individuals doing installations must hold a trade license. Solar electric installers must either hold an Electrical Journeyman’s License or a Limited Renewable Energy License (LRT). General Journeymen can do all aspects of solar electric work, whereas the LRT license is limited to the DC side of systems under 25kW
  • Education/experience:  The Journeyman’s license requires 8,000 hours of on-the-job training whereas the LRT requires only 4,000 hours of on-the-job training
  • License duration:  3 years or less depending on the date of issue; During Each three-year license period, all licensees shall compete a minimum of 4 hours of approved code change continuing education, unless otherwise directed by the board

 Licensing (Solar thermal)

  • Solar thermal installers must either hold a Plumbing Journeyman’s License or a Solar Heating and Cooling System Installer License (STL). General Journeymen can do all aspects of solar plumbing work, whereas the STL license is limited to the non-potable side of systems
  • Education/experience:  The Journeyman’s license requires 8,000 hours of on-the job training whereas the STL requires only 2,000 hours of on-the-job training
  • License duration:  Three year cycle

Training for the solar specialty licenses (LRT and STL) are provided through the Renewable Energy Joint Apprenticeship Training Committee (RE JATC) in Oregon. They offer three apprentice programs that are approved by the Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries: (1) Limited Renewable Energy Technician (LRT) program, (2) the Solar Thermal License (STL) program, and (3) the Combined Renewable Energy program (which combines the LRT and STL). For more information about the apprentice programs, check the Oregon Solar Energy Industries Association website.

Reciprocity:
General Journeyman Electrician- Arkansas, Idaho, Maine, Montana, Utah, and Wyoming
General Supervising Electrician- Arkansas, Utah
Journeyman Plumber- Idaho and Montana

 Resources

  1. Oregon Building Codes Division

Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania does not issue a contractor’s license at the state level. Please check with local municipality to see if a license is required

Puerto Rico

Licensing (PV)

In order to become an EAA-Certified PV Installer, applicants must:

  • Be a licensed professional electrician or electrical engineer (with proper, up-to-date credentials);
  • AND provide proof that he/she has taken and passed at least 30 hours of specified PV training in Puerto Rico (on topics such as Puerto Rican norms regulating sale and installation of PV, basic concepts of electricity applicable to PV, fundamentals and application of solar energy, PV installation, among others)–EAA may publish a list of approved courses in the future;
  • AND provide proof that he/she has passed the exam provided at the end of the course and that is approved by the Professional College of Engineers and Land Surveyors or the College of Professional Electricians of Puerto Rico;
  • OR provide proof that he/she has taken and passed at least 30 hours of specified PV training in the United States, plus 4 hours of training on applicable Puerto Rican laws, regulations, and codes and he/she has passed the exam provided by the North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners (NABCEP) exam, plus 4 hours of training on applicable Puerto Rican laws, regulations, and codes.

The EAA will review and make a determination (approved and certified, additional information required, or denied) of the application within 30 days. Certification is good for four (4) years and can be renewed as long as the installer completes three (3) hours of continuing education on PV panels and systems.

Rhode Island

Licensing (PV)

A State Electrical Contractor’s License, Certificate A, is required as well as an electrician’s license and a Journeyperson’s License, Certificate B.

  • Testing:  must pass an exam to become a journeyperson electrician
  • Duration:  two years; license expires on the holder’s birthday

Reciprocity:  None

Resources:

  1. Rhode Island Department of Labor and Training

South Carolina

Licensing (PV)
Commercial:  Mechanical Contractor – Electrical Classification required for systems 50 – 600V; if system is greater than 600V then a general contractor license with the Public Utility Classification is required.

Residential:  A company must have a Certificate of Authorization in electrical work; to qualify, the company must have a licensed electrician at each location who can do the work.

Licensing (Solar thermal)
Commercial:  S.C. Code of Laws, 40-11-410. License classifications for MECHANICAL CONTRACTORS includes “Plumbing” which includes the installation, replacement, alteration, and repair of all plumbing including solar water heating when performed solely within property lines and not on public easements or rights of way except to make connections to water meters or sewer taps as allowed by the utility owner.

Residential: A company must have a Certificate of Authorization in plumbing work; to qualify, the company must have a licensed plumber at each location who can do the work.

Reciprocity: Alabama, Georgia, Mississippi, North Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, and Utah

Resources:

  1. South Carolina Energy Office

South Dakota

Licensing (PV)
Anyone doing electrical work in South Dakota must have an electrical contractor license.

Licensing (Solar thermal)
The South Dakota Plumbing Commission does not regulate the solar installation itself.  However, when the tie in is made to the domestic water distribution system, a licensed plumbing contractor is required.

Reciprocity:  None

Resources

  1. South Dakota Department of Labor & Regulation (Electrical Commission)

Tennessee

Licensing (prime and subcontractor and PV) 

For projects $25,000 and more, a Tennessee state contractor’s license is required by the prime contractor (one contracting directly with the owner), as well as any electrical subcontractor.

CE (Electrical) classification is acceptable for installing solar systems.

A contractor with a specialty “S-Solar Panel Installation” classification may contract to perform the work, however, a properly licensed electrical subcontractor must be hired to perform the electrical inspections and obtain permits for inspections

For projects less than$25,000, a local journeyman/master electrician’s license is required by the electrical subcontractor to permit for inspections.

In areas without a license local agency, a state Limited Licensed Electrician (LLE) license is acceptable to permit for inspections.

If you have a CE state contractor’s license, you will not be required to retake the local license exam, but will need to pay their permit and local licensing fees.

The Board assigns “specialty” licensed based upon experience, and uses this information with their financial statement to determine the size (monetary limit) of projects they may perform.  A “specialty” license does not have a trade exam and requires only the Business and Law exam, as well as the rest of the state licensing requirements.

As with any sized projects, you must fulfill local code requirements for permits and inspections.  Each jurisdiction has their own process before allowing work to be performed in their county/city.

More than one classification may be obtained on a state contractor’s license.

Licensing (Solar thermal)

For projects $25,000 or more, a Tennessee state contractor’s license is required by the prime contractor (one contracting directly with the owner), as well as any plumbing subcontractor

CMC or CMC-A (Mechanical or Plumbing) classification is the acceptable contractors license classification.

As with any size project, you must fulfill local code requirements for permits and inspections. Each jurisdiction has their own process before allowing work to be performed in their county/city.

A local license is required regardless of the amount of the project; this type of local licensing is referred to as journeyman/master, etc.  Every jurisdiction is different and you must adhere to their local requirements.

In municipalities without a local codes office, the state performs inspections for residential projects through the Division of Fire Prevention.

For projects less than $25,000, a local journeyman/master plumber’s license is required by the plumbing subcontractor to permit for inspections.

Plumbers would need a Limited Licensed Plumbers (LLP) state license or if you have a state contractors CMC or CMC-A license, you will not be required to take the local plumbing exam, but you will need to pay their permit and local licensing fees.

Resources:  Tennessee Department of Commerce and Insurance

Texas

Licensing (PV)
A state electrical contractor license is required for any company in the business of installing, erecting, repairing or altering electrical systems, or apparatus used for electrical light, heat, power or signaling. Person(s) performing the PV electrical installation for the electrical contractor must be a licensed electrician. The Texas Electrical Safety and Licensing Act allows for municipal and regional regulation.

Licensing (Solar thermal)
A license is required to install and make connections to the potable water system. Each plumbing company must have a responsible master plumber that over sees all work. However, the responsible Mmaster may delegate tasks to others. Typically these installations would be done by a Journeyman Plumber. All work is subject to permit and inspection by the local code authority. All plumbing in Texas is licensed and regulated by the Texas State Board of Plumbing Examiners.

Resources

  1. Texas State Board of Plumbing Examiners
  2. Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation

Utah

Licensing (PV)

S202 – Solar Photovoltaic Contractor:

A contractor’s scope of practice under this Subsection (2)(i) includes
fabrication, construction, installation, and replacement of photovoltaic modules and related components, subject to the following:
(i) wiring, connections, and wire methods as governed in the National Electrical Code and Subsection R156-55b-102(1)
shall only be performed by a contractor under Subsection (2)(g) [E200 – General Electrical Contractor] or a contractor under Subsection (2)(h) [E201 – Residential Electrical Contractor]; and
(ii) a contractor under Subsection (2)(i) may subcontract or hire a contractor under Subsection (2)(g) or a contractor
under Subsection (2)(h).

The requirement for this license is a 25 hour pre-license course taken in Utah from an approved provider.

Note the following which does not require licensure in Utah: installation of standalone solar systems that do not tie into premises wiring or into the electrical utility.

Licensing body: Utah’s Division of Occupational and Professional Licensing

Reciprocity:  Utah does not have reciprocity with others states, but does accept some out-of-state licenses for licensure by endorsement.

Resources:

  1. Utah Division of Occupational and Professional Licensing

Vermont

Licensing (PV)
An electrical permit is required to install electrical wiring in public buildings.  Panels located on roofs must meet clearance requirements of 2012 NFPA 1 section 11.12.

Licensing (Solar thermal)
The Vermont Energy Efficiency and Affordability Act (H.520, Section 28) establishes a Solar System Installation Specialty License, a new plumbing specialty license for solar hot water heating installations.

Solar System Specialist:  Installation, replacement and repair of residential, industrial or commercial domestic solar heating systems for use as a supplemental or pre‑heat source.  Systems shall include; passive or active design, collectors, storage tanks, heat exchangers, piping, safety devices and related materials.  The Solar System Specialist shall only connect to new or existing domestic hot water supply tanks, including instantaneous heaters, as well as tanks or heat exchangers supplementing hydronic space heating systems.  At no time shall a Solar System Specialist install, replace and repair any other part of a domestic hot water supply or hydronic space heating system.

Statutes, Rules, and Adopted Codes:

  • NFPA 70 – National Electrical Code, Current Vermont Adopted Edition
  • NFPA 73 – Residential Electrical Safety Code, Current Vermont Adopted Edition
  • NFPA 780 – Lightning Protection Code, Current Vermont Adopted Edition
  • ANSI – C2 National Electrical Safety Code, Current Vermont Adopted Edition

Reciprocity: Maine, Massachusetts, and New Hampshire

Resources

State of Vermont Division of Fire Safety

Virginia

Licensing
The Virginia Department of Professional and Occupational Regulation offers an Alternative Energy Systems (AES) specialty.  As of  December 2012, a special exam is required  for this specialty on a contractor’s license. A licensed contractor (Class A, B, C) may declare the AES specialty.  “Alternative energy system contracting”  means that service which provides for the installation, repair or improvement, from the customer’s meter, of alternative energy generation systems, supplemental energy systems and associated equipment annexed to real property. This service does not include the installation of emergency generators powered by fossil fuels. No other classification or specialty service provides this function. This specialty does not provide for electrical, plumbing, gas fitting, or HVAC functions.

For solar systems that produce more than 100kW, the contractor would be required to hold the highway/heavy classification and not the alternative energy specialty.

Reciprocity:  None

Resources:  Department of Professional and Occupational Regulation, Board for Contractors

Washington

Licensing (PV)
To perform electrical work, on property other than your own, all electrical work must be performed by an appropriately licensed electrical contractor using certified electricians. The State of Washington does not have specific solar license or worker certification classifications.

Electrical contractor licensing and electrical worker certification work scopes are found in WAC 296-46B-920.

Most electrical work needs a permit and inspection. The Washington Department of Labor and Industries conducts inspections for the permits they issue.  Some cities have jurisdiction to issue permits and conduct inspections.

Green Power Generation System Installation: What You Should Know Before Doing Any Electrical Work Fact sheet: Explains that an electrical permit and inspection are required for most new, remodel, and maintenance electrical work. Provides information specific to the installation of green power generation systems

Hire an Electrical Contractor? Should you do it yourself or hire an electrical contractor? If you do hire a contractor, here are some helpful tips for property owners about working with an electrical contractor.

Electrical Permit Basics Most new, remodel, and maintenance electrical work requires a permit. Find out whether your project requires one and how to get it.

Electrical Inspection Basics Your electrical installation must be inspected to safeguard lives and property. Find out how to get it inspected.

Reciprocity: Oregon

Resources: Washington State Department of Labor & Industries

West Virginia

Licensing (PV)
An electrical license is not required for installing the PV system, however, an electrical license is required to make the final determinations into the electrical grid of the structure.  At minimum, a single family electrical license is required for residential occupancies and a journeyman license for commercial/industrial.

Licensing (Solar thermal)
Each person performing plumbing work must have plumbing license.

Electric code: NEC 2008 edition

Reciprocity
The West Virginia State Fire Marshal’s Office recognizes reciprocity with several jurisdictions. Regardless of the jurisdiction, each applicant must possess the minimum WV requirements for licensure.  Reciprocity can only be granted if the individual tested under the current licensing entity and with proof of successfully passing an examination. Individuals who previously held a WV electrician’s license and allowed it to expire ARE NOT eligible for reciprocity.

Virginia, master and journeyman classifications
Ohio, master classification
North Carolina, master classification
Kentucky, master and journeyman classifications
WV Division of Labor, Contractor’s Board, master classification

Resources:

1. West Virginia Fire Commission

2. West Virginia Division of Labor

Wisconsin

Licensing (PV)
If unique additional building loads are created by the addition of a solar heating system on a commercial building, which would include the movement or use of water, or the addition of weighted assemblies, building plans may be required to be submitted for review by the Division of Safety & Buildings or a certified municipality under the International Building Code. Additionally, general information on the installation of solar systems is required to be addressed under the adopted edition of the International Mechanical Code (IMC) Chapter 14.  Such installations may require plan submittal.

Licensing (Solar thermal)
If the proposed solar system should involve the installation of heating ventilation or air conditioning (HVAC), contractors in Wisconsin involved in the installing or servicing of heating ventilating or air conditioning equipment are required to hold an HVAC contractors license unless an exception listed exception under Comm 5.70 is met.

If the proposed solar system should involve potable water, a person with a master plumber license would need to have oversight or be part of the work associated with the potable portion of the installation. The requirements for such licenses are addressed under Comm 5.90.

Local municipalities may adopt requirements that are more restrictive than the State of Wisconsin, as allowed by State Statute. Those proposing to perform work in specific municipality are encouraged to contact that municipality for the actions required to be taken per the local rules.

Reciprocity: None

Wyoming

Wyoming does not have specialized licensing for photovoltaic and solar thermal systems.

Licensing (PV)
Installers of these systems must be a Wyoming licensed electrical master, journeyman, or apprentice employed by a licensed Wyoming electrical contractor. The state electrical inspector enforces electrical rules and regulations. Permits are required.

Code
2008 National Electrical Code. Local jurisdictions may adopt more stringent requirements.

Reciprocity
Arkansas, Alaska, Colorado,  Minnesota, Montana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Mexico, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Utah,  and Washington (journeyman electrician only).

To receive a Wyoming reciprocal journeyman license, the original license must have been obtained by examination and held for one year. A signed and notarized application form, along with a letter of verification of license from the state in which the license is held, a copy of the license, and a check made out to the State of Wyoming for $100 is required to process the application.

If you have had a master license from South Dakota or Utah for at least a year and pass an examination with a score of 75% or better, Wyoming may recognize your license.

To receive a Wyoming reciprocal master license, the original license must have been obtained by examination and held for one year. A signed and notarized application form, along with a letter of verification of license from the state in which the license is held, a copy of the license, and a check made out to the State of Wyoming for $200 is required to process the application.

Resources: Wyoming Department of Fire Prevention and Electrical Safety

Laure-Jeanne Davignon

IREC Vice President – Workforce Development
“Whether you live in Alaska or Maine, this useful resource details what you need to know about licensing and other requirements impacting your business.”
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