NJ Solar

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revolt

Member
Has any NJ EC been viewing the Board of Electrical Contractors minutes from their monthly meetings? In the 5/6/2009 meeting they responded to a question regarding the installation of solar panels and the need for a electrical license and electrical business permit to install them. The Board ruled that they are not exempt and need to be installed by a licensed EC with a valid business permit. In the 9/2/2009 meeting MSEIA(solar group) appears to be challenging that ruling. At this time it means that any solar company without a license and business permit installing panels and anything other than the racks is in violation. All panel installers need to be under the direction of a licensed EC along with being insured and paid by the EC. Does this mean that if an installer paid by the solar company gets hurt they are not covered because it is electrical work and the aren't licensed? In NJ ECs cannot sub contract electrical work to anyone else but another licensed EC with a business permit. If a NJ EC signs a permit for a solar job and lets the solar company employees install the panels are they in violation? It may be time for NJ ECs to contact the board and protect the trade by insisting the panel installation remain electrical work. If solar company advertises installation do they need the license number on trucks, websites and correspondence?
 

ty

Senior Member
Does this mean that if an installer paid by the solar company gets hurt they are not covered because it is electrical work and the aren't licensed?
Each state has their own Law. I am not positive about NJ, but here, they would Not be covered in the scenario that you give.
That does not mean that the Employee can't sue.

In NJ ECs cannot sub contract electrical work to anyone else but another licensed EC with a business permit. If a NJ EC signs a permit for a solar job and lets the solar company employees install the panels are they in violation?
Going on your words, then, yes.

It may be time for NJ ECs to contact the board and protect the trade by insisting the panel installation remain electrical work. If solar company advertises installation do they need the license number on trucks, websites and correspondence?
I don't know NJ laws, but it would appear so.
 

revolt

Member
The employee I think can still sue but the insurance company may back out and say the the solar installer is on their own or the employee may go after the EC who signed the permit.
 

satcom

Senior Member
Has any NJ EC been viewing the Board of Electrical Contractors minutes from their monthly meetings? In the 5/6/2009 meeting they responded to a question regarding the installation of solar panels and the need for a electrical license and electrical business permit to install them. The Board ruled that they are not exempt and need to be installed by a licensed EC with a valid business permit. In the 9/2/2009 meeting MSEIA(solar group) appears to be challenging that ruling. At this time it means that any solar company without a license and business permit installing panels and anything other than the racks is in violation. All panel installers need to be under the direction of a licensed EC along with being insured and paid by the EC. Does this mean that if an installer paid by the solar company gets hurt they are not covered because it is electrical work and the aren't licensed? In NJ ECs cannot sub contract electrical work to anyone else but another licensed EC with a business permit. If a NJ EC signs a permit for a solar job and lets the solar company employees install the panels are they in violation? It may be time for NJ ECs to contact the board and protect the trade by insisting the panel installation remain electrical work. If solar company advertises installation do they need the license number on trucks, websites and correspondence?
The reason the solar companies are fighting the existing laws, is to protect their intrest, they now keep 90% of the money and give the chicken feed 10% to the EC's I can not understand why the EC's are afraid to get involved in Solar work, it has great profit potential, and is a growing area of the electrical business.
 

Mr.Sparkle

Senior Member
Location
Jersey Shore
You are 100% correct, in order to install anything other than the racks required for a solar install you must be licensed in NJ.

There are quite a few unlicensed solar companies getting away with murder in the state right now........I'd hate to sound like a neighborhood cop but the only way they are going to go away is if EC's start turning them in.
 

revolt

Member
I believe that even if the solar companies have a licensed and permitted EC on staff that they are paying from their payroll and the EC is signing permits for them the EC needs to be careful. The installers need to be paid from the ECs payroll and under his insurance or he is in violation. The workman's comp rate for roof work in NJ is probably about 29%. The workman's comp rate for ECs in NJ is about 5%. We work hard for that lower rate by being licensed and trained. We don't need any one getting electrocuted AND falling off the roof to drive our rates up.
 

rodneee

Senior Member
i spend a lot of time in nj. i have never seen a solar install by an electrician. i do not even know of any who seek that work. it is mostly solar install companies working for the GC. i liken it to a roofer who installs a roof fan and he hooks it up, or a plumber installs a disposal and he wires it. probably a violation under letter of the law, but what are you going to do? i think of it more as SEPARATE TRADE than a side line of work for electricians. this does not mean that despite a solar installer's training he couldn't mess up the electrical aspect of the job. not sure on this one as solar is still in its infancy. ......we will just have to wait and see how this plays out.....
 

revolt

Member
GCs and non licensed solar companies can't take out electrical permits which you need on any solar PV install that ties into the grid. An EC is in there with his name on it.
 

Mr.Sparkle

Senior Member
Location
Jersey Shore
I have inspected many solar systems and they all had a NJ licensed EC on the permit.
Of course they will have a permit pulled by a licensed EC, the problem is that the Solar companies are actually installing more equipment than they are legally allowed to and getting an EC to do all the terminations and tie it to the grid for pennies on the dollar cost of the project (much like satcom said above), while the EC is the one actually on the hook for the entire install should something go wrong.
 

RICK NAPIER

Senior Member
Location
New Jersey
It is up to the EC to protect himself by notifying the AHJ and the Board of Electrical contractors that work was done that the EC was contracted to do. If your not contracted to do that work you should list on your permit work to be done by other EC then the AHJ can insist a EC does the work.
 

juicy

Member
Oversight

Oversight

So who is watching out for these solar installers? I still have not seen many myself, but is there a state agency keeping tabs on them? My understanding is all that is needed to do the panel/array install is a home improvement license. But, with that being said, I would think that the installation company hires an electrician to tie the system to the inverter and grid. A friend of mine in PA attended a 12 week school on solar installs. They taught him the electrical side of the install, but he is still not LICENSED to do the electrical portion. He IS licensed to install the panels through NABCEP. The roof work seems like grunt work while the electrical work would be simple, but necessary.
 

juicy

Member
I haven't done any solar installs OR sign-offs, but a friends just attended a 12 week NABCEP class in PA and he is taking the cert test in a couple of weeks. He told me that the class taught the electrical side of the install along with shade analysis and array install, but he still is not LICENSED to do the electrical. He expects to install the system and hire an electrician to do the electrical work, which he told me is at most a days work. I would imagine that NABCEP would instruct otherwise if they thought it illegal to do the install as a non-licensed electrician. From what I've heard, the solar hook up is as easy as they come. I personally do not see a problem if he's hiring an electrician and paying him for his time to ensure the job is safe and done right.
 

revolt

Member
Letter dated April 9, 2009, received from Jack Kennedy, President, Electrical Installation & Design, Inc., stating that there are many companies installing solar panels without being licensed to do so. Mr. Kennedy also stated that all facets of these systems should be performed by a licensed electrical contractor.
Mr. Kennedy further stated that the State should and must require that all work is performed by a licensed electrical contractor, whether the project is public or private.
Motion made by Mr. Richard T. Aicher, Jr. and seconded by Mr. Joseph F. Cantalupo, and unanimously passed, that Mr. Kennedy be advised that it is the opinion of the Board that Solar Photovoltaic Array Modular Panels are clearly electrical equipment that emits a voltage of more than ten volts; therefore, the installation of these panels would not be considered exempt work and must be installed by a licensed electrical contractor who holds a business permit. Therefore, should he be aware of any job sites where the photovoltaic systems are being installed, he should forward all information to the Board for investigation.
The Board also requested that this information be related to the Department of Community Affairs and the Department of Treasury.
(Board of Electrical Contractors meeting May 6 2009)
If the installer is not under the ECs payroll and insurance it's a violation
 

ty

Senior Member
There is a difference between Shade Analysis and Electrical Work.

I love that alot of people think there is nothing to know or do on a roof as far as the Electrical portion is concerned.
And that a 3 day, one week, or even 12 week course is enough to learn the Electrical side.
ALOT of these so-called Solar Installers have never done any type of Electrical work, or had any type of Electrical training, prior to taking a PV course.

So, we have alot of guys doing Electrical work on the roof portion to the inverter.
Then, because they are not licensed, they need to get an Electrician to get the inspection.
Most of the Electricians never took a PV course, and really don't know what they are looking at to see if the roof portion is installed correctly, IF they even get on the roof to look.

Just because the Electrician signed the Inspection form, he is now Liable for the ENTIRE job, without the knowledge of it being installed Correctly.


The NABCEP certification does NOT make an Electrician out of anyone.
 

ty

Senior Member
Letter dated April 9, 2009, received from Jack Kennedy, President, Electrical Installation & Design, Inc., stating that there are many companies installing solar panels without being licensed to do so. Mr. Kennedy also stated that all facets of these systems should be performed by a licensed electrical contractor.
Mr. Kennedy further stated that the State should and must require that all work is performed by a licensed electrical contractor, whether the project is public or private.
Motion made by Mr. Richard T. Aicher, Jr. and seconded by Mr. Joseph F. Cantalupo, and unanimously passed, that Mr. Kennedy be advised that it is the opinion of the Board that Solar Photovoltaic Array Modular Panels are clearly electrical equipment that emits a voltage of more than ten volts; therefore, the installation of these panels would not be considered exempt work and must be installed by a licensed electrical contractor who holds a business permit. Therefore, should he be aware of any job sites where the photovoltaic systems are being installed, he should forward all information to the Board for investigation.
The Board also requested that this information be related to the Department of Community Affairs and the Department of Treasury.
(Board of Electrical Contractors meeting May 6 2009)
If the installer is not under the ECs payroll and insurance it's a violation
revolt,
what State is this? and where can I download the original??
 

revolt

Member
Mr. Aicher advised the Board, via a telephone conversation, that Technical Educational Services are advising licensees that a license and business permit is not needed to install solar panels.
Mr. Flaherty stated that the Board had previously clarified that the installation of solar panels must be performed by a licensed electrical contractor with an active business permit.
Motion made by Mr. Mitchell R. Malec and seconded by Mr. Constantinos Papademas, and unanimously passed, that a letter be sent to Technical Educational Services directing that they notify each attendee that inaccurate information was provided to them concerning the installation of solar panels. The Board requests that Technical Educational Services advise each attendee that it is the opinion of the Board of Examiners of Electrical Contractors that Solar Photovoltaic Array Modular Panels are clearly electrical equipment that emits a voltage of more than ten volts; therefore, the installation of these panels would not be considered exempt work and must be installed by a licensed electrical contractor who holds a business permit.
(Board of Electrical Contractors meeting for Feb. 4 2009)
 

revolt

Member
The Board reviewed the Agenda for MSEIA which indicates that the NJ BPU NJCEP and MSEIA will appeal the Board?s ruling that photovoltaic panels must be performed by a licensed electrical contractor who holds a business permit.
The Board directed that this matter be placed on the next Agenda for further discussion.
( Board of Electrical Contractors minutes Sept 2 2009)
 

revolt

Member
NJ Division of Consumer Affairs, Board of Electrical Contractors minutes or agenda. I forget which. Follow Mike Holts link of continueing education for electricians and go to NJ.
 
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