Roofing contractors can expand markets with solar installation certification
With solar energy becoming more mainstream in many parts of the U.S., roofing contractors who add photovoltaic (PV) installation to their services can greatly expand in their markets.
“Because of the nature of rooftop PV work, roofing professionals are in the best position to grow their companies by adding PV work to their services,” said John Schehl, executive director of Roof Integrated Solar Energy (RISE), which supports the widespread use of rooftop solar energy. “Demand is going to grow, and roofing contractors will likely encounter this need.”
At the 2015 International Builders' Show, Sara Veerman, director of marketing for the National Roofing Contractors Association, reviewed the certification program for solar installation.
In 2013, the PV marketplace installed 4,751 megawatts (MW) of solar power compared with 3.7 (MW) in 2000. This is an increase of 1,284 percent during 13 years.
The rise in rooftop solar installations prompted the National Roofing Contractors Association leadership to develop technical guidelines for rooftop PV installations and, in collaboration with the Center for Environmental Innovation in Roofing, establish RISE. RISE has developed a professional credential for installers of rooftop PV systems, the Certified Solar Roofing Professional (CSRP). The CSRP credential empowers individuals who oversee the installation of PV systems on rooftops.
Schehl said that because a roofing contractor has the best knowledge of roof systems, they are in the best position to oversee rooftop solar installation. This presents professional roofing contractors with tremendous growth opportunities if they choose to embrace rooftop PV.
Also, (RISE) announced a new eligibility track for its Certified Solar Roofing Professional (CSRP) designation, which will enable a greater number of solar roofing professionals to qualify for this certification.
The new eligibility track allows those who have three years’ experience, involvement in a minimum of five projects installing commercial and residential roof-mounted PV systems, and 40 hours of recognized education and training eligibility to sit for the CSRP exam.
In the past, RISE had identified three eligibility tracks to qualify to take the exam. Candidates were required to demonstrate they meet at least one of these tracks.
The new track has been added to the list of the previous three minimum entry tracks, which are:
- Three years’ experience installing roof systems as a roofing contractor or employee of a roofing contractor in addition to completing 40 hours of recognized education or training.
- Three years’ experience providing technical roof system consulting services that include a minimum of five installed roof system projects in addition to completing 40 hours of recognized training programs.
- Two- or four-year construction-related degree from a college or university accredited by an accrediting agency or state-approved agency recognized by the U.S. secretary of education or training.
“The RISE board of directors recognized that many rooftop solar professionals possess the unique roofing and PV system experience critical to the roles of a CSRP, but who previously were not eligible to sit for the exam,” Schehl said. “The new eligibility track opens a door of opportunity for these professionals and provides greater choice to the public.”
According to Schehl, RISE and the CSRP credential benefit roofing professionals by demanding a higher standard for all rooftop solar installations by providing a distinguished, nationally recognized professional credential that can enhance a career, satisfying consumers by protecting their roofing and solar investments, increasing the number of successful rooftop solar installations, providing the public with tools to identify skilled rooftop solar energy professionals, promoting a healthier roofing industry by differentiating between those who understand how to integrate those systems with the roof safely and effectively from those who simply understand PV systems, and ensuring roof-mounted PV systems work is overseen by individuals who are knowledgeable and experienced in roofing and PV system technologies, safety and construction processes.
Read more about solar power.
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