June 29, 2012

NABCEP Seeks Input from Small Wind Industry

Filed under: News — Brownstone @ 9:48 am

Clifton Park, NY, June 29, 2012 – The North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners (NABCEP) invites professionals in the small wind industry to provide input on the development of NABCEP’s Small Wind Entry Level Program. Small wind installers, site assessors, educators and trainers, manufacturers, distributors, sales and marketing professionals, state program managers, and all others with expertise in small wind are invited to sign up to participate in an industry validation survey for the program. 

Participants in the online survey will be reviewing and evaluating a set of Small Wind Entry Level Learning Objectives. These learning objectives are designed to describe the fundamental knowledge and skills required for entry level small wind practice in a variety of job settings and roles. When finalized, they will provide guidance for the development of small wind education and training programs, will be used to establish the test content outline for an entry level small wind exam, and will help ensure that entry level small wind practitioners have the requisite knowledge and skills for safe and effective practice. For purposes of this program, “Small Wind” has been defined as systems rated at 100 kw or less.

To sign up to be a part of the survey, please use the following link:

https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/NABCEPSmallWind

Note: This is not the link to the actual survey—you will be getting an email invitation with a unique password-protected link directly from NABCEP-SW@proexam.org (NABCEP’s contractor on the study). To ensure delivery of this invitation, please add NABCEP-SW@proexam.org to your email address book or approved senders list.
 
Ezra Auerbach, NABCEP’s Executive Director says, “NABCEP thanks the subject matter experts that volunteered their time and expertise to produce this thoughtful and extensive set of Learning Objectives. I heartily invite the Small Wind Industry to support the volunteers’ efforts by getting involved in the validation process by signing up for and completing the survey.”

June 12, 2012

NABCEP Partners with SolarNexus to Support Solar Industry Best Practices

Filed under: News — Brownstone @ 9:06 am

Software improves quality of sales and operations management for solar contractors

Clifton Park, NY, June 12, 2012 – The North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners (NABCEP) and SolarNexus, the leading supplier of web-based solar business management software, have announced a new partnership to help solar contractors improve quality throughout their organizations.

NABCEP’s top objectives include the promotion of solar contractors’ quality and skills, and to increase consumer confidence.  SolarNexus helps solar contractors profitably manage projects, organize client data, and collaborate with team members, accelerating the process of selling, installing and maintaining solar systems. With features like milestone tracking and the ability to document and archive critical information, SolarNexus supports best practices throughout the entire project – from the sale, to installation, and over the entire life of the system.

Ezra Auerbach, Executive Director at NABCEP, expressed his enthusiasm about the relationship. “We’re excited to work with SolarNexus. NABCEP is about improving quality throughout the entire solar value chain – not just technical disciplines, but business management as well.  SolarNexus helps solar contractors streamline and organize their sales and operations processes, meaning the quality of their operations is vastly improved.”

As part of the agreement between the organizations, NABCEP Certified Installers and NABCEP Certified Technical Sales representatives are eligible for a special discount on SolarNexus licenses.  SolarNexus also helps provide a streamlined system that allows contractors that are interested in pursuing the new NABCEP Company Accreditation a more efficient way of organizing much of the information required.

“We’ve found that contractors that pursue NABCEP certification tend to be particularly focused on running their operations well.  That’s why SolarNexus is the software solution that so many NABCEP Certified professionals use to manage their businesses,” said Eric Alderman, SolarNexus President/CEO. “This partnership allows us to provide even more value to NABCEP Certified professionals, and will make it easier for them to prepare for NABCEP Company Accreditation.”

NABCEP Certified professionals can learn more about the partnership and the 10% discount click here. The SolarNexus discount is for all licenses within an account when one or more employee is a NABCEP Certified Installer or NABCEP Certified PV Technical Sales representative. 

Or, for further details on the SolarNexus solar business management software, visit solarnexus.com.

 

About SolarNexus

SolarNexus Inc. provides solar business management software that makes it cheaper, faster and more profitable to sell, install and maintain solar systems. Designed specifically for the solar industry, the solution streamlines sales, operations, and administrative processes, thereby increasing sales and lowering costs.  SolarNexus is web-based and facilitates collaboration among team members and externally with key suppliers and partners. For more information, visit www.solarnexus.com.

May 16, 2012

NABCEP Releases New Resource Guide for Solar Heating Installers

Filed under: News — Brownstone @ 6:06 am

May 15, 2012 – (Clifton Park, NY) The North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners (NABCEP) is pleased to announce the release of a new Solar Heating Installer Resource Guide. This new resource guide is aligned with the NABCEP Solar Heating Installer Job Task Analysis and it makes an excellent study companion for the NABCEP Solar Heating Installer Certification or Entry Level Exam. The new guide follows upon the successful introduction last year of the PV Installer Resource Guide; a document that has been accessed over 200,000 times since October 2011. Both resource guides are available for free download from the resources page on the NABCEP website.

The Solar Heating Resource Guide is co-authored by Chuck Marken and Vaughan Woodruff, two respected educators in the Solar Heating field. Marken is a licensed New Mexico plumber, electrician and heating and air conditioning contractor. He has been installing and servicing solar thermal systems, and teaching installers, for over thirty years. Marken is also a technical editor for Home Power and SolarPro magazines. Vaughan Woodruff is a NABCEP Certified Solar Heating Installer and served as lead solar heating instructor for the Northeast Solar Heating and Cooling Instructor Training Program, which was part of the U.S. Department of Energy’s Solar Instructor Training Network. In addition, he authored the Field Inspection Guidelines for Solar Heating Systems for the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA). 

NABCEP’s Executive Director, Ezra Auerbach, says, “The new Solar Heating Installer Resource Guide is a valuable addition to the reference material available to anyone wishing to learn about solar heating systems.” He continues, “This resource would not have been possible without the guiding efforts of the Technical Editor, and longtime NABCEP supporter, Les Nelson.”

Les Nelson’s involvement in the solar industry dates to 1972, and includes solar heating manufacturing and contracting, solar regulatory and policy development, and solar energy advocacy at the state and federal levels. Nelson sits on the Board of Directors and is acting Treasurer of NABCEP. He serves as a Director of the Solar Energy Industries Association and Chair of its Solar Heating & Cooling Division. Additionally, he is the Director of Solar Heating & Cooling Programs for the International Association of Plumbing & Mechanical Officials in Ontario, California.

Chairperson of NABCEP Board of Directors, Don Warfield, says, “I am proud that NABCEP is able to bring together such distinguished people who, working collaboratively, developed this outstanding resource for Solar Heating Installer Certification candidates.” He continues, “The development of the Solar Heating Installer Resource Guide was supported by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA). On behalf of the entire NABCEP Board I wish to express our gratitude to NYSERDA for its continued support.”

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.

March 27, 2012

Number of NABCEP PV Technical Sales Professionals up 30% — Next Exam Schedule Announced

Filed under: News — Brownstone @ 2:10 pm

March 27, 2012  (Clifton Park, NY)  – The North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners (NABCEP) announced a 30% increase in NABCEP PV Technical Sales Certificants after the last round of exams. This certification, launched in the fall of 2010 and the newest NABCEP certification, now has 193 certificants. The 2012 PV Technical Sales Exam deadlines have been released and potential applicants are strongly encouraged to begin the process early. The schedule is as follows:

 

April 11, 2012: Early application deadline to save 25% on the 2012 PV Technical Sales exam.

May 11, 2012: PV Technical Sales exam application deadline.

June 8, 2012: Computer-Based Exam Scheduling Form deadline for accepted candidates.

July 21–August 11, 2012: Exam date for the PV Technical Sales certification.

 

This NABCEP certification is aimed at solar PV salespeople who are responsible for site analysis, system design, ethical presentation and accurate analyses and projections of electrical, environmental and financial performance of PV systems. Individuals with job descriptions such as inside or outside sales person, application engineer, financial or performance analyst, or site assessor are encouraged to investigate their eligibility for the NABCEP PV Technical Sales Certification.

“Since my PV Tech Sales certification came through, clients specifically ask for me to go out to their homes for design and installation advice, even though I am not in the direct sales department,”  says David Boynton, director of product development and training, Southern Energy Management, Inc.

Ezra Auerbach, executive director of NABCEP, noted that “Superior PV system performance starts with the sales process. A poorly designed system or one that over promises output will never meet the customer’s expectations.”

Potential applicants can review the candidate eligibility requirements, a comprehensive Job Task Analysis (JTA) and a resource guide on NABCEP’s website. The JTA was developed by a wide range of leading industry professionals. It covers all aspects of the residential and light commercial sales process.

Candidates who complete their applications (including uploading all supporting documentation) before April 11, 2012 will receive a $25 discount on their application fee.

March 14, 2012

NABCEP Continuing Education Conference Nears Sellout

Filed under: News — Brownstone @ 2:12 pm

March 14, 2012  (Clifton Park, NY) – The North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners (NABCEP) is pleased to announce that it’s first-ever NABCEP Continuing Education Conference is on track to sell out. Ezra Auerbach, NABCEP executive director says, “Space is now very limited and only a few registration opportunities remain. Anyone wanting to attend this event needs to move quickly to avoid disappointment.” For registration information, visit http://www.nabcep.org/ce-conference.

Registration to this conference, which will be held March 30–April 1, 2012 in Malta, NY, has been limited to NABCEP certificants. It will be the largest single gathering of NABCEP certified installers and stakeholders that has occurred to date.  Over 200 professionals from twenty-seven states and Ontario, CA have registered to attend this inaugural conference.

Don Warfield, NABCEP chairperson says; “We are very excited to bring together this lineup of presenters and provide our certificants with this opportunity to network and engage in professional development. We anticipate a very successful event and are grateful for the support of NYSERDA and Hudson Valley Community College, along with our other sponsors and presenters.”

This NABCEP Continuing Education Conference is designed to provide NABCEP certified installers and technical sales professionals with an opportunity to attend high-quality courses that are recognized for continuing education credits. These credits can be applied toward installer recertification, and show that an installer has a commitment to ongoing training and education.

Conference sessions include NEC updates, rigging and crane signals, fall protection, roofing considerations, financial analysis, equipment overviews, and much more. A number of industry-leading manufacturers will also be presenting and exhibiting at the conference including Ameresco Solar, Enphase Energy, Magnum Energy, Morningstar Corporation, OnGrid Solar, OutBack Power, Power-One, Quick Mount PV, Schletter Inc., SolarEdge, SolarWorld, Solectria Renewables, LLC, SMA Solar Technology AG, Trina Solar, Trojan Battery Company, Unirac, and Zep Solar. The complete conference schedule is available here.

The NABCEP Continuing Education Conference will be held at the Hudson Valley Community College’s TEC-SMART facility. The TEC-SMART location is home to one of the nation’s most advanced renewable energy training facilities. Training space includes a PV lab, computer lab, and indoor and outdoor mock training roofs.

The major sponsor of the NABCEP Continuing Education conference is NYSERDA (New York State Energy Research Development Authority).  Additional sponsors include Hudson Valley Community College, Mike Holt Enterprises, Inc., Power-One, and Solar Energy International. SolarPro Magazine is the exclusive media sponsor of the conference.

 

February 22, 2012

Namaste Solar is Seeking NABCEP Certified PV Installers

Filed under: News — Brownstone @ 12:36 pm

Namaste Solar, a Colorado-based solar company, is seeking NABCEP Certified PV Installers. For more information go to www.namastesolar.com

 

February 9, 2012

NYSERDA News Highlights NABCEP

Filed under: News — Brownstone @ 3:28 pm

Check out NYSERDA’s (New York State Energy Research and Development Authority) article featuring NABCEP here.

December 13, 2011

NABCEP Approves Changes to PV Installer Eligibility

Filed under: News — Brownstone @ 9:09 am

December 13, 2011 (Clifton Park, NY) – The North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners (NABCEP) announces revised eligibility criteria for the PV Installer Certification. Effective January 14, 2012 all applicants who are not accepted for the March 2012 exam will be required to meet the new standards. Any candidate who is currently eligible to re-take the exam will not be required to reapply.

The major changes in the eligibility requirements concern the amount of training required and the number of installations that applicants must document. All candidates will now have to document fifty eight (58) hours of PV specific training. The minimum number of installations has increased from two (2) to three (3) for all tracks except Track A where five (5) installations will be required. The full eligibility criteria can be found on NABCEP’s website here.

Ezra Auerbach, NABCEP’s executive director says, “The revisions are being phased in to ensure fairness to candidates who have been approved to test under the current criteria.”

Don Warfield, NABCEP’s chairperson says, “The revisions that were approved by our Board of Directors on December 12, 2011 incorporate a considerable amount of the input that was presented during the public comment phase of this revision process. We are grateful to our stakeholders for their participation in drafting these changes and believe that these revisions are reflective of a broad consensus.”

NABCEP wishes to remind all potential candidates for the March 2012 PV Installer Exam that the application deadline is January 13, 2012. Applications received on or before this deadline will be reviewed under the existing standards.

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