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  • Choosing a Solar Contractor

    It's important to make sure your solar contractor is properly licensed!

    A licensed, experienced local solar contractor will be familiar with Tucson Electric Power and Trico Electric's requirements, financing options in Tucson, and permitting requirements of our local jurisdictions.  And if you do need to call them for service or maintenance, they are close by, not 100 miles away!
    Residential Installers

    Solar Contractor Licensing

    Arizona, with over 300 days of sunshine annually, has established itself as a leader in the solar industry.  Since many local, state, and federal government entities provide incentives to home and business owners to install solar, it is important to hire a licensed contractor who understands both the technical aspects of solar systems installation, as well as incentives available to the home or business owner.

    The Arizona Registrar of Contractors plays a very important role in ensuring that all contractors who conduct business in the solar industry are properly licensed.  The Registrar also ensures that contractors meet all regulatory, experience, and training requirements necessary to protect the public from poor workmanship or other unscrupulous activities.  It's best to have a licensed, professional solar contractor install the system.

    The AZ Registrar of Contractors includes these among its tips for consumers:

    • Review a contractor's license at roc.az.gov.
    • Ask for references and check them out.
    • Obtain written estimates from at least three contractors.
    • Obtain a detailed list of the work to be performed.
    • Obtain necessary permits, which are the homeowner's responsibility.
    • Don't pay for a job in cash.

    Additional solar licensing information for Arizona and the rest of the U.S. is available in the Solar Licensing Database maintained by the Interstate Renewable Energy Council (IREC).  In the database, licensing requirements for installing photovoltaic and solar thermal systems are documented for each state.

    NABCEP Certification

    The North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners (NABCEP) is a volunteer board of renewable energy stakeholders made up of representatives from the solar industry, NABCEP certificate holders, renewable energy organizations, state policy makers, education institutions, and trade organizations.  NABCEP’s mission is to support and work with the renewable energy and energy efficiency industries, professionals, and stakeholders.  Board members have significant experience in the solar energy industry.  NABCEP looks to develop and implement quality credentialing and certification programs for solar installers.

    The NABCEP PV Installation Professional Certification is a voluntary program that provides a set of national standards through which PV installers can distinguish themselves from competition.  NABCEP PV installer certification gives the public a measure of protection by providing another set of criteria to judge solar installer competency.  It is not intended to prevent qualified individuals from installing PV systems nor to replace state licensing requirements.

    The NABCEP Solar Heating Installer Certification program is a voluntary program that provides a set of national standards through which solar thermal installers can distinguish themselves from competition.  NABCEP solar thermal installer certification gives the public a measure of protection by providing another set of criteria to judge local installer competency.  It is not intended to prevent qualified individuals from installing solar thermal systems nor to replace state licensing requirements.

    Find a Solar Installation Company

    It is recommended that customers talk to at least three licensed solar installers.  Evaluate each installer's experience since experienced installers know the costs involved to install your system correctly and they know local code and permitting requirements.  Here are six must-ask questions:

    1. How long have you been in business?  How much solar has your company installed to date?  Consider selecting a company that has been actively installing solar for at least three years.
    2. Are you NABCEP certified?  Ask for proof.
    3. Are you licensed and insured as a solar installer or electrician in my state?  Ask to see the installer's license and proof of insurance.
    4. What are the names of the module and inverter manufacturers whose products you use?  What are their warranties?  Can we go over the racking, mounts and fasteners that will be used?  Research the information provided to you.
    5. Can I have the names and contact information of three references?  Check them out.
    6. Can I see some photos of systems you have installed that are similar to the ones you will be installing on my house?  If they can't show you any photos, chances are they haven't done much in the way of actual work.

    Here is a list of local solar installers who have a minimum of twelve (12) solar installations in a calendar year and/or have NABCEP certified professional staff.

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    the Pima Association
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    and the City of Tucson.

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    For more information,
    contact Betty Stamper,
    Pima County
    Development Services
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    Tucson, AZ 85701

    (520) 724-6463
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