Can an Electrician install Solar?

Fast read

To become an accredited solar installer, one must first be a licensed electrician and then complete a training course to become a certified designer and installer of solar systems. Standard electricians are competent in working with AC power and can handle electrical tasks for residential and commercial properties, but they lack the specialised knowledge and training needed for solar installations.

Solar energy systems involve intricate components and specific wiring configurations, requiring expertise beyond that of a regular electrician. Additionally, solar panel installations often require specific licences and certifications that electricians may not possess, making it illegal for them to install solar power systems.

Moreover, solar panels come with warranties and require ongoing support, which specialised solar installers are better equipped to handle.

While the course for a standard electrician to become a solar installer is relatively short, specialised solar installation companies or contractors are better suited to handle solar projects due to their training, expertise, and resources.

Why do all electricians not offer solar?

To become a solar-accredited installer, you must first be a licenced electrician. Then, you complete a training course to become a certified designer and installer of solar systems.

Standard electricians can work in designing, installing, and maintaining residential and commercial properties for wiring, connecting appliances, power points, etc. This is based on AC (alternating current) power.

There are good reasons why your usual electrician shouldn’t install your solar system. Even if they say they can do it, you shouldn’t trust them because it’s actually illegal for them to install solar panels.

Solar installations require specific training and certifications that regular electricians might not have. Working with an electrician without the proper qualifications can lead to mistakes in the installation, which could cause safety hazards or damage to your solar system.

So, always choose a certified solar installer for your solar panel installation to ensure it’s done safely and correctly.

Specialised knowledge and training

Solar energy systems need special skills and training to design, install, and look after them properly. Electricians know a lot about general electrical work, but they might not have the right training for solar panels.

Solar electrical systems have different parts like PV panels, inverters, batteries, and specific wiring setups. These need careful planning and expertise to work together correctly.

So, it’s important to choose a solar installer who has the right training and experience with solar energy systems. They’ll know how to design and install your system properly and can help you with maintenance too.

solar installer who is not just an electrician
Not all electricians can install solar

Warranty and support 

Solar panels have warranties to cover any issues and need regular upkeep. Manufacturers and suppliers offer support and services for these panels, like repairs or replacements.

If your electrician doesn’t work closely with these companies, you might not get the same warranty benefits or help when you need it. This could mean longer waits for fixes or higher costs for services.

So, it’s a good idea to pick a solar installer who has good relationships with solar panel makers and suppliers. This way, you can get the support you need quickly and at a lower cost. Plus, a well-connected installer is likely to know about the latest solar technology and can give you good advice on keeping your system running well for a long time.

Licensing and certification 

Installing solar panels is different from regular electrical work done by electricians. Solar installations need special training and certifications because they have unique rules and safety standards. Not all electricians are trained to handle solar systems, so they might not do the job right or follow all the necessary rules.

For people thinking about getting solar panels, it’s important to find a solar installer who has the right certifications, like NABCEP. This shows they know how to install solar panels correctly and safely.

Choosing a certified solar installer means your solar panel systems will be installed properly and will work well for a long time. It also helps avoid problems with permits, utility connections, and warranties.

So, while electricians are good for regular electrical work, you need a certified solar installer for solar panels to make sure everything is done the right way.

Time and resources

Installing solar panels can be time-consuming, requiring planning, permits, inspections, and coordination with various stakeholders. Electricians primarily focusing on traditional electrical work may not have the bandwidth or resources to dedicate to solar projects. They may already have a full workload and may be unable to accommodate the additional time and effort required for solar installations.

The course for a standard electrician to become a solar installer is generally a 2-week or less, with further assessments to become accredited. This is not a lengthy or arduous separate qualification but an extension of a standard electrician’s qualification.

Important to note that not all electricians are the same. Some may have experience and expertise in solar installations. However, if your usual electrician does not offer solar services, it is likely due to one or more of the abovementioned reasons. You should always contact specialised solar companies or contractors with the requirements.

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