Solar Merits: Solar Certifications & Licenses

Solar technology may have emerged as one part of the energy industry, but the field has grown into its own world of innovations, standards, and professional qualifications. Today’s solar consumers want to know that the professionals behind their power system are knowledgeable and trustworthy. Along with extensive field experience, consumers need the assurance of their expertise. 


Solar installation professionals can assert their qualifications with licenses, special training, and certifications. Each process is ultimately meant to prepare installers and contractors for the demands of solar projects. Here, we’ll explore the significance of licenses and certifications. 


Solar Installation Licensure

A variety of professional fields require experts to obtain licenses. From healthcare professionals to construction engineers, licensing ensures consistent standards and abilities. However, license requirements usually vary by state or region. Solar installers are no exception here. Whether the professional is an independent provider or trained as part of a certified solar installation company’s team, contractors must gain specialized knowledge in order to build private energy systems. 


Various states enforce a set of general requirements for solar installers that are similar to electrical or engineering contractors. In these cases, state trade licenses for electrical, mechanical, plumbing, or other contractors may apply to PV and Solar Thermal installation projects. Those states that demand solar-specific licenses require more specialized educational preparation before these professionals can venture into building solar energy systems. 


According to the Interstate Renewable Energy Council, numerous states and municipalities enforce solar-specific licenses. Most of the States require only Electrical, plumbing or HVAC licenses according to the requirements. For instance, in Ohio only an electrical license is required to install a solar energy system. Here are some states in which solar-specific licensure must be obtained before installing a solar energy system:


  • California: enforces licensure and offers specific classifications
  • Colorado: some counties require solar licensure
  • Connecticut: enforces statewide licensure
  • Florida: enforces statewide licensure
  • Hawaii: enforces statewide licensure
  • Idaho: requires certifications in order to obtain full licensure
  • Illinois: there is no solar licensure, but the Illinois Commerce Commission requires company certifications
  • Kansas: some counties and municipalities may require specific licensure
  • Louisiana: a specific classification is required in addition to contractor’s license
  • Nevada: enforces statewide solar licensure
  • New York: instead of statewide requirements, counties enforce solar licensure
  • Pennsylvania: some counties and municipalities may require specific licensure
  • Tennessee: license classifications depend on project size
  • Utah: enforces statewide licensures

Solar Certifications

Unlike licensures, certifications are usually obtained through voluntary training programs. Depending on your experience and solar knowledge, a certification program may or may not enhance your level of solar installation expertise. Many professionals and solar installation companies view this kind of additional training as a guarantee to their customers; even if their experiences taught them the same practices and principles, the certification definitively communicates your achievements to your customers. These programs can also serve as regulated training to ensure that installers can consistently meet the same standards for every solar project. 


Yellowlite is a proactive supporter of clean energy and providing certified solar installation services for a decade. If you are unsure about which installer to pick, visit the Yellowlite Gallery to see our professional work and decide for yourself.