solar contractor

Solar Contractor in California - Licensing Requirements In 2022

There is no doubt that the solar contractor industry is booming. In fact, SEIA (Solar Energy Industries Association) predicts that the solar energy market will grow by 25-50% in 2022.

 With the strongest growth occurring in the employment sector. There are more opportunities to become a solar contractor in this fast-growing market. We will discuss in this article, the latest solar contractor licensing requirements in California. And tips for becoming a solar contractor in California. So. Let’s start…

Latest Information on CA Solar Contractor Licensing Requirements

California is the largest US market for solar energy production. California alone produces more than 28 million MWh of solar energy per year. which is 30% of all photovoltaic energy produced in the country. Given the prominent role of the state in the United States, new regulations and changes to how solar contractors are supposed to work need to be closely monitored. As they could have a strong impact across the country.

The most recent update for the California solar industry concerns regulations put in place by the California State Licensing Board (CSLB). The ordinance requires C-46 solar contractors to obtain an electrician’s license by November 1, 2021, in order to continue installing solar panels and storage. This will make it impossible for the most solar contractor to complete the work they are currently doing. In response, the California Solar Energy and Storage Association (CALSSA) deemed the agreement illegal and sued CSLB.

Licensing Regulations for Solar Contractor

Current regulations support California solar contractor with a C-46 license by allowing battery-powered solar panels to be installed. The CSLB interpretation of the state’s labor code also adds restrictions requiring the solar contractor to also hire certified electricians. 

The decision was made on July 27, 2021, as CSLB lobbied C-46 contractors to obtain an electrician’s license (C-10) by November 1, 2021. However, obtaining a C-10 license takes a very long time.

In addition, solar contractors who already hold a C-46 license must obtain a Certified Electrician license from CSLB. To do this, you must apply to become an electrical trainee. And complete at least 720 hours of instruction at a trade school or accredited apprenticeship program.

 You must also complete at least 8,000 hours of on-the-job training. which takes an average of 4 years. Once the prospective electrician has met these requirements, you can apply to take the CSLB test. Which has three parts, after passing, an electrical license is acquired.

Regulatory effects:

The CSLB solution makes it nearly impossible to obtain an electrician’s license within months. And C-46 contractors have already gone through intensive training to obtain a C-46 license. 

For example, to obtain a C-46 license, you must have four years of apprenticeship experience. And pass a two-part CSLB test. CALSSA considered the decision illegal and sued CSLB. Because it affects nearly all solar contractor. Causing severe disruption to the solar industry and installer business.

Claim status:

CALSSA and CSLB jointly resolve out-of-court disputes, remove the ruling until it is solved. Therefore, any application of the policy is suspended at this time. Allow C-46 contractors to continue installing solar arrays and storage systems in California now and after November 1, 2021. 

While these licensing rules only apply to California, it’s unclear if other states will soon follow. And require solar contractors to become certified electricians before they can install solar modules and arrays. Or attempt future settlements agreed by CALSSA and CSLB.

It is a big win that CSLB reverses the decision by working with CALSSA. But this is not the end, because the final conclusion has not yet been made. However, the lawsuit placed restrictions on the new licensing requirements. Going forward, CSLB rules must comply with the Administrative Procedures Act (APA). This process can take up to 18 months. 

And must be fact-based, clear, consistent, and consider the economic implications. CALSSA opposes policies that harm the solar industry. Through his experience in litigation, he can limit the threat of a major disruption to the industry. Helping to ensure that any new regulations benefit installers and the solar industry as a whole. To take part in the important work supporting solar energy in California, register today to become a member of CALSSA. 

Tips on How to Become a California Solar Contractor

The process to become a solar contractor in California is almost the same as for any other contractor. In addition, there are several other things related to the solar industry to consider.

  • Register for solar certification courses

Ideally, you need to be certified by NABCEP (North American Board of Certified Energy Professionals). As they are the most accredited. There are many courses available. But some of the most popular programs are:

  • Green technology training Kaplan
  • Solar photovoltaic workshops
  • Institute of Eco technologies
  • Sales, Marketing and General Business Course for Solar Contractor 

Whenever an industry is on the rise, so is the competition. You need to move forward and stay ahead of the competition. To do this, you need to add serious sales and marketing skills to your toolbox. Many solar certification institutes offer sales courses as part of their curriculum.

Also, a solar contract can be quite intimidating for a client. Especially if they have heard of some horror stories related to solar leases and contracts. You’ll want to provide your prospects with an easy-to-understand contract. And lease so that they understand not only the contract they’re entering into but any additional implications.

  • Obtain appropriate insurance and bonding

We cannot stress enough the importance of having proper contractor insurance coverage and securing a contractor bond. The last thing you want when starting a business is to be derailed by an unexpected event. Insurance protects your business and gives you the peace of mind you need to focus on your new business adventure.

Choosing the right solar contractor is essential to ensure a properly installed solar energy system. There are many things to look for in a solar contractor that can help you find the right company for your installation.

Make sure that your contractor is properly licensed and insured, and they have years of experience installing solar. Hiring a solar contractor who is also a roofing contractor can be a wise decision. 

Roofers are more inclined to use best practices in terms of waterproofing your roof, so that it remains leak free for the life of your solar system. You will also want to make sure that they have a positive reputation in your community with numerous positive reviews and recommendations.

Sierra Roofing and Solar has a team of expert solar contractors who know how to properly install solar panels and will provide top-notch service. We provide custom consultations and designs for homeowners, ensuring that your installation will be done perfectly for your unique home.

Our team doesn’t ever use cookie cutter templates. Instead, we provide custom service to make sure you receive a high-quality solar installation.


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