Amendment #12 to H.4198

Green Energy Career Development

Representatives Benson of Lunenburg, Peake of Provincetown, Atkins of Concord, Cariddi of North Adams, Madden of Nantucket and Lewis of Winchester move that the bill be amended adding the following section:

Section 94 of Chapter 143 of the General Laws is hereby amended by adding the following subsection:-

(s) To determine what competencies installers of solar technologies must demonstrate to assure the public’s interest in a safe and optimally performing solar installation is met.

To define a category or categories of regulated solar credential(s).

To establish and regulate one or more Solar Specialty Contractor classifications, registrations, or licenses, regulating the activities of any persons, firms, or corporations engaged in the design, installation, modification, maintenance, and repair of solar thermal (fluid) systems and photovoltaic (electrical) systems.

This classification, registration or license shall be available to any general contractor, electrical or plumbing contractor and any other licensed professional that satisfies the experience and training required by the board, to include HIC registration under the Office of Consumer Affairs and Business Regulation.

Fees for such registration or license of Solar Specialty Contractors shall be collected and retained by the commonwealth.

Within six months of enactment of legislation authorizing creation of the Solar Specialty Contractor classification, the board of building regulations and standards shall promulgate the requirements for registration or license with the express intent to assure said Contractor’s competency and obligation to supervise the activity of solar installation personnel, such supervised personnel to include: licensees of other participating trade and specialized codes; solar technicians in training; and laborers involved in structural, mechanical, roofing, and hoisting tasks of solar projects.

In recognition of the unique cross-discipline competencies required for safe and successful solar installations, Solar Specialty Contractor requirements may include successful completion of a stipulated solar training program or courses designed specifically to prepare solar technicians. Said coursework or program shall address, but not be limited to, site feasibility analysis, solar system design, job cost estimation, installation of structural racking systems, deployment of solar collectors, making building improvements to address structural and load requirements, proper flashing of roof penetrations, requirements and construction details for ground mounted systems, , identification and diagnosis of sub-optimal performance of systems, and testing, repair, and replacement of system components. Further, said Contractors will be required to have successfully completed an OSHA 10 Hour Class and to demonstrate understanding of potential safety hazards, handling requirements for hazardous materials, and how to identify and correct unsafe working conditions.

In promulgating its regulations for obtaining a Solar Specialty Contractor classification or credential, the board shall take into account the experience and knowledge of the applicant in installing solar systems and provide appropriate credit for such experience and expertise. In so doing, the board may opt to provide alternative eligibility requirements such as: a combination of a baccalaureate degree from an accredited 4-year college in a related field (e.g. engineering, architecture, or building construction) and one year (2,000 person hours) of proven experience; or a minimum of 4 years of active experience as a worker for a Solar Specialty Contractor, attaining mastery of the required skills, knowledge and disciplines as indicated by his/her supervisor or manager.

One year after the promulgation of such requirements, a building permit for a solar installation shall only be given to any person or firm that is classified, registered, or licensed as a Solar Specialty Contractor. No exemptions shall be granted to licensees of specialized codes allowing them building permits for solar installations.

Additional Cosponsors
Sarah K. Peake
Cory Atkins
Gailanne M. Cariddi
Timothy R. Madden
Jason M. Lewis