February 28, 2011

NABCEP Announces Results of First PV Technical Sales Exam

Filed under: News — Brownstone @ 5:06 pm

February 28, 2011 (Clifton Park, NY) – The North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners (NABCEP) is pleased to congratulate the 97 individuals who achieved a passing score on the recently administered PV Technical Sales Examination. The group of inaugural certificants has demonstrated extensive knowledge of the complex range of activities that make up a successful photovoltaic sales process. The job task analysis (JTA) that the exam is based on covers eight main topic areas: qualifying the customer; site analysis; conceptual design; financial costs, incentives, and savings; financial benefit analysis and financing; non-financial benefit analysis; performance analysis; and proposal preparation.

Don Warfield, chairperson of NABCEP, says, “Given the topic range of the exam, I’m confident that those who are certified as PV Technical Sale Professionals will be able to provide the highest level of ethical, accurate presentations of a proposed PV systems’ electrical, financial, and environmental performance projections.” He continues, “This credential dovetails nicely with our existing ‘gold-standard’ PV Installer Certification because it offers consumers quality assurance throughout the entire sales, installation, and commissioning process.”

Ezra Auerbach, NABCEP’s executive director, says, “This is the first certification program exam that NABCEP has delivered through a computer-based format—we are very happy with the outcome and have received almost universally positive feed back from exam candidates.” Auerbach continues, “We are already hearing a great deal of interest for the next administration of this exam, and we expect a much higher volume of candidates for the next round of testing.”

The second administration of the NABCEP PV Technical Sales Exam will be held July 15–30, 2011 at computer test centers across the US and Canada. The application deadline to sit for this round of the exam is May 6, 2011. All applications must be completed and received by NABCEP by that date for candidates to be considered for the July examination window. Candidates who complete their applications (including uploading all supporting documentation) before April 1, 2011 will receive a $25 discount on their application fee.

February 25, 2011

NABCEP Opens Online Store

Filed under: News — Brownstone @ 4:33 pm

You can now show your support for NABCEP by displaying our corporate logo on a wide variety of items, ranging from cozy winter toques and pullover sweats to pens, flashlights, and even ANSI-approved safety caps. Visit our store at http://www.nabceponlinestore.org/, click on “The General Interest” tab and shop for NABCEP-branded goods. If you are a Certified NABCEP Installer don’t miss ”The Certificants Only” portion of the site where you can purchase clothing that is branded with the Certified Installer (or sales professional) logo, personalized with your name and certification number.


February 17, 2011

Trojan Battery Sponsors NABCEP

Filed under: News — Brownstone @ 9:40 am

SANTA FE SPRINGS, Calif., Feb. 16, 2011Trojan Battery Company, the world’s leading manufacturer of deep cycle batteries for renewable energy applications, today announced its corporate sponsorship of North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners (NABCEP), which offers certification and entry-level knowledge assessment programs for renewable energy professionals throughout North America.

Trojan’s sponsorship of NABCEP training initiatives supports the continued development of industry standards for certification of photovoltaic (PV) system professionals.  Certification ensures that PV practitioners have demonstrated the proper knowledge and training to effectively specify, build and install PV systems.  It is in the best interest of the PV marketplace that consumers have access to certified PV professionals to ensure their systems function properly, as well as preserve the longevity of the batteries that may power those systems. 

“As the renewable energy market continues its rapid growth, demand for skilled installation professionals will continue to be needed,” said Dean Middleton, Trojan director of renewable energy sales, Americas.  “Trojan’s sponsorship of NABCEP will assist in expanding the knowledge and expertise of renewable energy system professionals which will greatly support the adoption of alternative energy applications. The more qualified the installer is, the less failures in the field.”

“NABCEP is a respected leader in the industry as a professional credentialing organization.  Trojan’s support of these programs ensures the establishment of standards and benchmarks for PV professionals which will secure the future of the renewable energy marketplace,” Middleton said.

As part of its support for NABCEP programs, Trojan will provide product literature, technical support and sample batteries to the many training organizations that help prepare PV professionals for NABCEP certification exams.  Trojan also will offer its expertise in deep cycle battery technology by developing continuing education programs which are offered to PV industry professionals. 

 “Trojan has a long history of leadership in the renewable energy marketplace and the company’s generous support of NABCEP is one more example of its commitment to continuous improvement and growth of the industry,” said Ezra Auerbach, executive director of NABCEP.   “Trojan already has an excellent relationship with our organization and its installer training on batteries is a valuable contribution to the continuing education of our certified professionals.”

 “On behalf of the NABCEP board of directors, I offer my thanks to Trojan for their assistance in helping our organization with its program development and outreach efforts.  Support from the industry is particularly gratifying because it shows NABCEP is accomplishing its goals of awarding credentials that are relevant and meaningful to consumers, manufacturers and practitioners,” Auerbach said.

February 14, 2011

Join Solar Industry Leaders

Filed under: News — Brownstone @ 9:58 am

SolarTech’s Leadership Summit, March 29-30, 2011 in Santa Clara, CA, will address fundamental best practices to accelerate the solar industry’s long-term place in the U.S. energy mix.

Some of today’s top industry leaders are on the agenda, including:

  • Ezra Auerbach – Executive Director, NABCEP
  • Jane Weissman – Executive Director, IREC
  • Adam Browning, Co-Founder, Executive Director, Vote Solar Initiative
  • Michael Eckhart – President, American Council on Renewable Energy (ACORE), Founder – Solar Bank
  • Jennifer DeCesaro – Program Lead, DOE / EERE Solar Energy Market Transformation
  • Larry Sherwood – Project Administrator, Solar America Board of Codes & Standards
  • Bill Brooks – Brooks Engineering, SolarABCs
  • Michael Peevey – President, California Public Utilities Commission
  • Molly Tirpak-Sterkel – California Solar Initiative Program Manager, CPUC
  • Barbara Halsey – Executive Director, California Workforce Investment Board
  • Danny Kennedy – Founder, Sungevity
  • Sue Kateley – Executive Director, CALSEIA
  • Dr. Woodrow Clark, Founder / Managing Partner Clark Strategic Partners
  • Brian Steel, Vice President of Corporate Development, PG&E
  • Donnie Fowler – Strategic Advisor “No on 23 Campaign”, Principal – Dogpatch Strategies
  • Angiolo Laviziano – CEO, REC Solar
  • Ed Feo – Managing Partner, US Renewables Group
  • Matt Cheney – CEO, Cleanpath Ventures
  • Jeff Anderson – Executive Director, Clean Economy Network
  • Bettina Weiss – Executive Director SEMI PV Group
  • Kevin Surace – CEO, Serious Materials
  • Andrew Beebe – Chief Commercial Officer, Suntech
  • Ned Harvey – COO, Rocky Mountain Institute
  • Hugh Kuhn – SVP / COO, Solar Power Partners
  • Lisa Frantzis – Managing Director, Navigant Consulting
  • Scott Clavenna – CEO, Greentech Media
  • Shayle Kann – Managing Director, Solar, Greentech Media
  • Evelyn Butler – Energy Director, Underwriters Laboratories
  • Tom Tansy – Chair, Sunspec Alliance 
  • Eric Alderman – CEO, SolarNexus

If you register before March 15 you can get a 20% discount by using a NABCEP code.  Contact NABCEP to receive the discounted code at info@nabcep.org

February 2, 2011

NABCEP Revises Eligibility Criteria for Small Wind Installer

Filed under: News — Brownstone @ 2:56 pm

February 2, 2011 (Clifton Park, NY) – NABCEP

The North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners (NABCEP) is pleased to release revised eligibility criteria for their Small Wind Installer Certification.  The revised criteria will become effective immediately. Candidates wishing to apply for the September 2011 administration of the Small Wind Installer Certification Exam will use the revised criteria, which allows for a wider range of wind practitioners to take the exam and achieve the certification.

Mick Sagrillo, the Chairperson of NABCEP’s Small Wind Technical Committee, says, “The basic principal in changing the criteria is inclusion. The current standards are aimed at installers who have experience in all aspects of small wind installations – tilt-up, crane assisted, and towers over 80 feet. With strong input from small wind industry stakeholders, we learned that many highly qualified and well-trained individuals were excluded from the exam because of the type of installation they commonly perform – which in many cases is governed by local geography, codes, or zoning standards.”

The revised criteria will be based on three levels of experience and the qualifying level of experience will be noted with the certification offered. Ezra Auerbach, NABCEP’s executive director explains, “All candidates will take the same exam that is based on the published and approved Small Wind Installer Job Task Analysis. The level of experience under which the candidate qualifies to sit for the certification exam will be reflected in the credential they are awarded. For example, an applicant who has qualified to sit for the exam under Level 1 experience requirements will be awarded with NABCEP Certified Small Wind Installer™ with Experience Level 1.” 

Some consistent minimum standards remain in effect for all levels of this credential. All candidates must document the following: a minimum of four installations, two of which have been operating for at least one year, and at least one installation completed with the assistance of a crane. Candidates applying to take the Small Wind Installer Exam will need to document experience as follows for the category they are applying under:

            Experience Level 1 – No minimum height restriction; installation utilizing a tilt-up tower required; installation using a crane is required; minimum rotor size or swept area not required.

            Experience Level 2 – Installation utilizing a tilt-up tower not required; experience with crane installed towers at least 80 feet high is required; at least two installations of wind generators that have minimum swept area of 100 square feet.

            Experience Level 3 – Installation utilizing a tilt-up tower at least 80 feet high is required; experience with crane installed towers at least 80 feet high is required; at least two installations of wind generators that have minimum swept area of 100 square feet.

NABCEP Chairperson Don Warfield states, “I welcome this change as a means of allowing more candidates to demonstrate their knowledge of all the aspects of the Small Wind Job Task Analysis – which covers all three experience levels. A greater number of certified small wind installers, especially ones whose experience is clearly identified, is a benefit to consumers.”

The complete list of eligibility requirements for the Small Wind Installer Certification Exam can be found at www.nabcep.org.

November 19, 2010

NABCEP Releases PV Technical Sales Resource Guide

Filed under: News — nabcep @ 1:22 pm

(Clifton Park, NY) – November 15, 2010

The North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners (NABCEP) is pleased to announce the release of the PV Technical Sales Certification Exam Resource Guide, a useful and practical resource for those planning to take NABCEP’s PV Technical Sales Certification Exam.

The first PV Technical Sales exam will be computer-based and available from January 14th until January 29th, 2010 at Pearson VUE Professional Testing Centers around the continental United States. The application deadline for this exam window is Friday December 10th, 2010.

The foundation for this Resource Guide is the PV Technical Sales Job Task Analysis (JTA). The JTA is a blueprint of the various skills required by a solar PV technical sales professional for the successful siting, design, analysis and performance of solar PV systems.  The task analysis was developed by NABCEP’s PV Technical Sales technical committee and vetted by a number of solar PV stakeholders including NABCEP Certified PV Installers, successful PV technical sales professionals, manufacturers, supply chain companies, public benefits program administrators, state energy offices, and solar PV advocates.

“We would like to thank the entire committee of volunteers who developed this guide. They literally went through the Job Task Analysis line by line and sought to provide relevant reference sources for the vast majority of the document” said Ezra Auerbach, NABCEP’s Executive Director.  “I’m confident that candidates for the PV Technical Sales Certification will find the Resource Guide a useful reference document as they study in preparation for the exam”

The format of this guide follows the Job Task Analysis (JTA) for the PV Technical Sales Certification and offers the Resource Guide Committee’s best recommendations for materials that may be useful to candidates in preparing for the examination.

“A PV Technical Salesperson is likely to be quite familiar with many of these resources,” said Auerbach.   Section specific resources that show up in the individual sections of the task analysis are supplemental to the general resources and pertinent to the section in which they are listed.

According to Auerbach, the resources have not been prioritized or weighted in any way.  “All of them are of significant value,” he said.  “It’s important to realize that these are resources, not study manuals or keys that will unlock the PV Technical Sales exam questions.” He continues, “Practitioners may also have a working knowledge of other resources that have served them well in their career and we would welcome their input and suggestions with respect to other sources that they feel would improve this document in future versions.”

We would like to thank the following volunteer members of the PV Technical Sales Resource Guide Committee for their hard work and dedication: Andy Black, David Brearley, Jeff Spies, Kent Halliburton, Sean Burr, Tommy Jacoby & Tyson Grul.

Click here to view or download NABCEP’s PV Technical Sales Resource Guide

Click here for more information about the upcoming application deadline

For more information about NABCEP, visit www.nabcep.org

November 4, 2010

Now Available: NABCEP PV Technical Sales Application

Filed under: News — nabcep @ 2:31 pm

Clifton Park, NY—NABCEP has announced that the application to sit for the PV Technical Sales Certification Exam is now available online at www.nabcep.org. The PV Technical Sales Certification is NABCEP’s first exam to be computer-based, and will be administered at Pearson VUE Professional Testing Centers.

  • Application Deadline: December 10th, 2010
  • Exam Scheduling Deadline: January 7th, 2011
  • Exam Window: January 14th until January 29th, 2011

Please Click Here to Start an Application Now

Although NABCEP has announced that there are only 150 guaranteed spots for candidates of the computer-based PV Technical Sales Exam, more than 150 candidates may be scheduled for this exam window. Due to the high degree of interest NABCEP is encouraging applicants to schedule their exam date as soon as possible. Candidates who are scheduled earlier will be able to avoid any local scheduling conflicts that may occur at Pearson VUE Professional Testing Centers (PTCs) that experience high traffic during the exam window.

This new credential is being met with wide enthusiasm in the PV marketplace because it brings the credibility of NABCEP to the PV sales process. Already considered the “gold standard” in PV installer certification, NABCEP has responded to stakeholder requests to develop and launch a certification aimed at the non-installing sales and other professionals who are critical to achieving PV system customer satisfaction.

Ezra Auerbach, executive director of NABCEP, says, “No matter how well a PV system is installed, the end use customer will be dissatisfied if the sales experience results in overstated performance predictions, flawed site analysis or poor system design. The PV Technical Sales Certification is aimed at PV sales people and others who are responsible for the ethical presentation and accurate analyses and projections of electrical, environmental and financial performance of PV systems.”

For more information about this certification, please view the NABCEP Candidate Information Handbook for Computer-Based Exams. Contact NABCEP at 800-654-0021 or info@nabcep.org with any questions about the application process.

About NABCEP

The North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners (NABCEP) is the most respected, well established, and widely recognized national certification organization for professional installers in the field of renewable energy. NABCEP is governed by a volunteer board of directors who are chosen based on their experience and involvement in the solar energy industry. NABCEP’s mission is to develop and implement quality credentialing and certification programs for practitioners by supporting and working closely with professionals and stakeholders in the renewable energy and energy efficiency industries. To learn more visit www.nabcep.org/.

October 1, 2010

NABCEP Releases Eligibility Criteria for PV Technical Sales Certification

Filed under: News — Tags: — nabcep @ 9:52 am

Clifton Park, NY, September 30, 2010 – NABCEP

The North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners (NABCEP) has released the eligibility criteria for its new Photovoltaic Technical Sales Certification. The organization is also pleased to announce that applications to sit for the Certification exam will be available on October 12, 2010 – a date selected to coincide with NABCEP’s presence at the Solar Power International conference in Los Angeles, Booth # 1330

For the first time, NABCEP will offer a certification exam in a computer based format. Testing at more than 200 centers nationwide will be open from January 15 to 29, 2011. The application deadline – the date that completed applications must be received at the NABCEP office in Albany, NY – is December 10, 2010.

This new credential is being met with wide enthusiasm in the PV marketplace because it brings the credibility of NABCEP to the PV sales process. Already the “gold standard” in PV installer certification, NABCEP has responded to stakeholder requests to develop and launch a certification aimed at the non-installing sales and other professionals who are critical to achieving PV system customer satisfaction.

Ezra Auerbach, executive director of NABCEP, says, “No matter how well a PV system is installed, the end use customer will be dissatisfied if the sale experience results in over stated performance predictions, flawed site analysis or poor system design. The PV Technical Sales Certification is aimed at PV sales people and others who are responsible for the ethical presentation and accurate analyses and projections of electrical, environmental and financial performance of PV systems.”

Don Warfield, Chairperson of NABCEP, states, “As the PV industry matures and grows, jobs that have specialties continue to emerge. The PV Technical Sales Certification is a recognition of this trend and offers an additional meaningful career pathway for renewable energy professionals.” He continues, “It is gratifying to see how this certification builds on NABCEP’s other programs. Of the seven eligibility pathways, four require successfully passing the NABCEP PV Entry Level Exam and one allows NABCEP Certified PV Installers to take the Technical Sales exam.”

The complete Eligibility Criteria and Job Task Analysis are available on the NABCEP website.

September 21, 2010

NABCEP Certificant Profiles

Filed under: News — nabcep @ 4:31 pm

Faces of NABCEP

NABCEP is publishing a series of profiles of Certificants. Learn more about the people who have earned NABCEP Certification by clicking on their name.


John Koontz is a Senior Project Manager with HelioSage, LLC, located in Charlottesville, Virginia. He says, “It is important for the project manager to know all aspects of the project, from initial customer contact to final installation and sign-off by inspectors.”


Rob Wilson is the Manager of Engineering and Construction at Solar Power Partners, Inc. located in Mill Valley, California. Solar Power Partners, Inc. develops, owns and operates distributed commercial and utility solar energy facilities, and sells solar-generated electricity through solar Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs). Rob oversees the engineering and technical side of projects from the initial client contact to guiding it through installation and commissioning.


Jessica Baldwin operates Solar Plumbing Design (SPD) in New York City. She is a hands-on plumber who oversees two crews installing residential, solar thermal (ST) installations from New York City to Albany.  “This certification gives me the edge since no other certification says I have explicit knowledge and experience with solar thermal.  This specificity sets down an immediate basis of trust with the customer.  My clients save a ton of headaches because they know the job will be done correctly.”


Steve Fulgham is the Chief Executive Officer of Ambassador Energy located in Murrieta, California. Ambassador Energy is a solar training, support and distribution company, that offers a Business-in-a-Box business model. “I would recertify for NABCEP every year if I could. While other certification agencies offer a standard, NABCEP is the standard for the renewable energy industry.”


Will Herndon is the Executive Vice President of Construction, and co-owner at American Solar Electric, Inc located in Scottsdale, Arizona. “My NABCEP certification provided me with knowledge I can pass on to the 15 field construction teams I am responsible for. There is nothing else out there like it. It is the clear solution to fill company field operation needs.”


Ed Murray is the CEO and President of Aztec Solar, Inc. located in Rancho Cordova, California. Aztec Solar is a solar energy, turn-key solution provider that offers in-house solar water heating, solar pool heating and solar electric power. “I was turned around when both the old and new solar guys saw NABCEP as a way to make us better professionals. People need to feel the solar industry has professional content.”


August Goers has two NABCEP certifications — Photovoltaic Installer and Solar Thermal Installer. He is Vice President of Engineering at Luminalt Solar Energy Solutions located in San Francisco, California. “The San Francisco Bay Area is a very competitive market­place. I wanted to differentiate myself from other install­ers. I like to have the NABCEP logo on my business card. It tells customers that I know what I am doing.”


Louis Woofenden is a certified photovoltaic and solar thermal installer. He works at Net Zero Solar located in Tucson, Arizona. “I grew up in an off-grid home and appreciate that renewable energy is a way to do something good with a fun technology. Working in the renewable energy industry seemed a natural progression for me. I can change the world around me and educate others about ways to improve their lives.”


Goldah Moore began her electrical career working with her electrician father and chose to combine her career to a personal interest in renewable energy.  The NABCEP Certification has increased her confidence in her abilities to do solar installations well.


Jeff Irish, a professional engineer and NABCEP Certified PV Installer, says “Certification benefits my company because it helps to distinguish us from the competition.”


Bruce Padgett feels that the NABCEP exam tests an individual’s expertise that they have learned through hands on experience and knowledge gained from being in the solar industry rather than vague or obscure concepts.

August 19, 2010

Dynamic Growth Follows NABCEP’s Leadership Role

Filed under: News — nabcep @ 9:43 am

Less than a year after certifying its 1,000th PV solar installer, NABCEP has accepted applications in record numbers for the 2010 Certified Installer Examination to be held on September 11, 2010. This year’s 598 applicants mark the second straight record-breaking year for the nation’s leading PV installer and trainer credentialing and certification organization.

“It is gratifying to see continued growth in applicants for our Certification Exam,” Don Warfield, chairperson of NABCEP (National Board of Certified Energy Practitioners) said. “It shows the value practitioners across the country place on achieving this career milestone.”

Administered in 21 locations in 18 states and Puerto Rico, the rigorous examination challenges a candidate’s knowledge of PV system design, installation, safety, project management, maintenance, troubleshooting, and more. NABCEP’s PV Installer Certification is the renewable energy industry’s only personnel credential accredited to ANSI/ISO 17024 standards, the highest degree of recognition that a personnel-credentialing program can achieve. NABCEP Certification exams are offered twice a year. The application deadline for the March 2011 exam is January 14, 2011.

“The market is voting with its feet,” said NABCEP executive director Ezra Auerbach, who believes the steady increase in applicants is due to the NABCEP Installer Certification’s growing status as “the most meaningful credential an installer can attain.”

NABCEP Certification also inspires confidence in solar consumers, Auerbach added. “There is no more comprehensive PV system knowledge assessment for customers to look to and trust,” Auerbach said. “Each person who earns a NABCEP Installer Certification has demonstrated the knowledge required to successfully assume the role of project leader for a residential or light commercial renewable energy system installation.”

Entry Level Program Also Growing

NABCEP also reported that their PV Entry Level Program has passed a milestone as well: More than 200 training organizations across the U.S. have registered with NABCEP as PV Entry Level Exam Providers, a 50% percent increase over last year.

Introduced in 2005, NABCEP’s PV Entry Level Program offers new solar market entrants a way to demonstrate that they have attained a basic knowledge of the fundamentals of PV systems. Students can take the Entry Level Test after completing an approved PV solar course with a NABCEP registered training organization. More than 7,000 students have passed NABCEP’s PV Entry Level Exam.

Chairperson Warfield said, “The steady growth in the number of PV Entry Level Exam Providers and students reflects the strong demand in the U.S. for renewable energy job training for people new to the industry.”

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