Les Nelson Scholarship Fund for Volunteers

NABCEP Les Nelson Scholarship

NABCEP and its Board of Directors have developed the Les Nelson Scholarship Fund for Volunteers as a tribute to Mr. Les Nelson, a passionate advocate of the renewable energy industry. The scholarship will focus on helping individuals with volunteer experience enter or expand their role in the solar PV or solar heating industries through credentialing, Board Certification, and continuing education.

Scholarship recipients will receive:

  • NABCEP exam fees will be covered for the Associate or Board Certification exam of their choosing
  • One (1) admission to an annual NABCEP CE Conference
  • Travel costs to the NABCEP CE Conference (up to $800)
  • One (1) free on-line course provided by Solar Energy International (SEI)

Scholarship recipients will have two (2) years from the date of receiving the scholarship to earn their NABCEP Associate, NABCEP Board Certification, and attend the NABCEP CE Conference.

How Scholarship Awardees are Chosen

The Scholarship Committee is comprised of NABCEP staff, NABCEP Board Certified Professionals, and Associate credential-holders.  The committee is a diverse group of individuals with a demonstrated commitment to NABCEP, the renewable energy industry, and volunteerism. Each Scholarship application will be evaluated to ensure candidates meet the scholarship requirements and the committee will make final recommendations on recipients to the NABCEP Board of Directors for approval. NABCEP’s President & CEO will recommend to the Board of Directors the number of scholarships per year, depending on available funds.

Scholarship Requirements

Scholarship applicants are required to:

  • Have a proven track record of volunteerism along with letters of recommendation
  • Demonstrate financial need
  • Show a commitment to the solar PV and/or solar heating industries
  • Exhibit leadership skills

How do I apply?

To apply for the Les Nelson Scholarship Fund for Volunteers, you are required to download and complete the Les Nelson Scholarship Application.  When ready, email the completed form to Shawn O’Brien sobrien@nabcep.org.

Applications for the 2025 Scholarship must be submitted by Friday, November 1, 2024.

If you have any questions regarding the scholarship or application, please contact Shawn O’Brien at sobrien@nabcep.org or 518-631-2359.

How can I make a donation?

To make a donation to the Les Nelson Scholarship Fund for Volunteers, please CLICK HERE and you will be taken to the donation page.

Please be aware, donations are not deductible as charitable contributions.

Who was Les Nelson?

Les Nelson was involved with NABCEP from nearly the start of the organization and served as Treasurer for the majority of his time on the NABCEP Board of Directors, which spanned almost 20 years. Les came to NABCEP with extensive experience in the solar heating industry and had been involved in solar thermal manufacturing, regulatory and policy development, and solar energy advocacy at the state and federal levels since 1972. His passion for solar heating and level-headed approach to doing business showed through in many ways over the years.

Les was instrumental in incorporating additional hydronics code language and the new sections of geothermal into the Uniform Solar Energy Code, making it the Uniform Solar, Hydronics and Geothermal Code it is today. He was working on projects related to the increased electrification of hydronic systems. As the executive director of the Radiant Professionals Alliance and staff liaison to the Hydronics Industry Alliance – Commercial (HIA-C), Les was able to gain increased cooperation within the industry. He was skilled at keeping the teams focused in order to maintain and grow these industry segments. He authored several technical journal articles and was interviewed numerous times by industry press for his expertise. He also worked closely with BNP Media’s Plumbing Group to produce the biannual Radiant Comfort Report.

Along with serving as a Board member at NABCEP, Les was previously a director of the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) and chair of its Solar Heating & Cooling Division, a director of the California Solar Energy Industries Association (CAL SEIA), and a Vice President of Advanced Energy Programs and RPA Executive Director, IAPMO. He also served as operating agent for the International Energy Agency Solar Heating and Cooling Program’s Task 43: Solar Rating and Certification Harmonization.

Les will be dearly missed by all who knew him!

Les Nelson Tribute Video