April 30, 2012

NABCEP Launches Company Accreditation Program

Filed under: News — Brownstone @ 2:43 pm

April 27, 2012 – (Clifton Park, NY) The North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners (NABCEP) proudly announces the launch of its new Company Accreditation Program for residential PV installation companies. The purpose of this program is to provide consumers with a meaningful way to select PV installation companies that have a commitment to clearly show their standards of quality assurance. Companies that attain the accreditation will be able to demonstrate systematic quality assurance throughout the sales, installation, and after-sale process.

The core elements of NABCEP Company Accreditation include: employment of NABCEP certified installation and technical sales personnel, documented and consistent processes, ongoing worker training program(s), and a strong focus on worker safety. Companies seeking accreditation will undergo a thorough and rigorous application procedure that will include independent third-party inspections of previously installed systems.

Don Warfield, Chairperson of NABCEP says, “This program is important for the PV installation industry as it will help consumers find vendors they can trust. This is an important step for NABCEP; it allows the organization to recognize the companies that actively support our mission by employing our certificants. NABCEP holds consumer protection as one of its core values and this is another way we can work with industry to further this goal.”

Like all NABCEP programs, the Company Accreditation Program was developed with the close involvement of the PV industry. A group of volunteers, all of who are either installation business owners or senior managers in residential installation companies, worked with NABCEP staff to create this program. Collectively they represent centuries of experience in the PV installation business. Warfield states, “I’m impressed by the work that the committee has done to ensure that ‘all the bases are covered’ in this program. As ever, the entire NABCEP Board is grateful for the contributions of our volunteers—it is largely due to their efforts and commitment that NABCEP is so well-respected within the industry.”

Jeanine Cotter, one of the committee members and President of Luminalt Solar in San Francisco, California says, “NABCEP is a great organization that is dedicated to protecting consumers and increasing the technical knowledge of people that work with solar in their careers. Company accreditation is an important step in NABCEP’s mission to provide a gold standard to consumer protection by establishing substantive criteria of quality assurance for companies to meet.”

Another of the committee members, Will Herendon Executive Vice President of construction for American PV of Phoenix, Arizona says, “This program is important to American PV because it will help the entire organization keep focused on a unified trajectory of consistent quality assurance standards.”

Marketplace demand drove the creation of this program. Ezra Auerbach, NABCEP’s Executive Director says, “We have had numerous requests from companies wanting to know how they could be recognized by NABCEP. I am very pleased to introduce this program, which addresses the demand for a way that companies can distinguish themselves.” Allan Sindelar, another Company Accreditation Program committee member and founder and CTO of Positive Energy of Santa Fe, New Mexico echoes those comments by saying, “Individual certifications have been available for nearly ten years and during this time I have often heard that NABCEP certificants say that they want an accreditation for their company, not just for themselves. With this new program NABCEP is finally able to offer that. This accreditation will help identify those companies that work to attain a higher standard.”

NABCEP Installer and Technical Sales Certifications are granted to individuals who demonstrate that they have significant on-the-job leadership experience, a requisite amount of formal training, and then pass a rigorous examination. NABCEP Company Accreditation will be granted to companies that, through the application process, document that they meet a proscribed set of criteria. More information on the Company Accreditation Program, as well as an application, can be found on the NABCEP on the NABCEP website at http://www.nabcep.org/company-accreditation.

April 18, 2012

2012 NABCEP CE Conference a Success

Filed under: News — Brownstone @ 10:13 am

At the end of March, NABCEP hosted its first Continuing Education Conference. The event was a resounding success. Over 175 NABCEP Certified Professionals took part in two and a half days of training. Certificants who attended the entire weekend of training obtained fifteen Continuing Education hours towards recertification requirements.

In addition to a wide range of manufacturers who offered training on their products, invited presenters covered fall protection, roofing for non-roofers, crane signals, and the NEC (National Electric Code). Many of the sessions were standing room only.

One of the most rewarding parts of this conference was the feedback we received from the presenters concerning their feelings about having the opportunity to train NABCEP certificants. Here are a couple of examples of post-conference notes we received:

Greg Smith from SMA America, LLC, who presented a training session on the Sunny Island, wrote and told us,“It [the conference] was first class all the way and the level of knowledge we encountered was incredible.”

Ryan Mayfield, Renewable Energy Associates, LLC, who offered two full-day presentations on the NEC to standing-room-only audiences, told us, “As a trainer, I have to say that was hands down the best audience I’ve had the opportunity to present to. In part that is due to the excellent conference you provided but even more so, I think it is a reflection of the NABCEP certifications.”

Ezra Auerbach, NABCEP’s Executive Director says, “This event lived up to and exceeded our highest hopes and expectations. It was such a success thanks to: the knowledge and enthusiasm that our certificants brought with them; the quality of the technical sessions; the efforts of our staff; and, last but by far not least, the commitment of our sponsors. Special thanks goes to NYSERDA (New York State Energy Research Development Authority)  for being the lead sponsor of this event, Hudson Valley Community College for their awesome venue, and SolarPro for their efforts as our exclusive media sponsor. Additionally we owe special gratitude to Mike Holt Enterprises for contributing an NEC guide to each attendee, and Solar Energy International and Power-One for their sponsorship contributions.”

Given the strong positive response we received from our certificants and presenters, NABCEP intends to facilitate more Continuing Education events. Stay tuned for more news on the dates and location of at least one more conference next year.