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HOUSE DOCKET, NO. 1264        FILED ON: 1/20/2011

HOUSE  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  No. 1004


The Commonwealth of Massachusetts



Jennifer E. Benson


To the Honorable Senate and House of Representatives of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts in General
              Court assembled:

              The undersigned legislators and/or citizens respectfully petition for the adoption of the accompanying bill:

An Act pertaining to green energy career development.






Jennifer E. Benson

37th Middlesex

Gailanne M. Cariddi

1st Berkshire

William N. Brownsberger


James B. Eldridge


Benjamin B. Downing

Berkshire, Hampshire, and Franklin

Susan C. Fargo


Peter V. Kocot

1st Hampshire

Cory Atkins

14th Middlesex

HOUSE DOCKET, NO. 1264        FILED ON: 1/20/2011

HOUSE  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  No. 1004

By Ms. Jennifer Benson of Lunenburg, petition (accompanied by bill, House, No. 1004) of Jennifer E. Benson and others for legislation to regulate solar specialty contractors. Joint Committee on Consumer Protection and Professional Licensure.


The Commonwealth of Massachusetts



In the Year Two Thousand Eleven



An Act pertaining to green energy career development.


              Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Court assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows:

              Section 1. Whereas the commonwealth of Massachusetts is already among the first rank of states in promotion and implementation of renewable and green energy technology, and

              Whereas, Massachusetts has adopted aggressive goals to increase the use of solar energy technology in all market sectors, and

              Whereas, these goals are driving increasing demand for new workers with the necessary competencies to develop projects with various types of solar technology, and

              Whereas, safe and successful project development requires the involvement and collaboration of multiple tradespersons with specialized knowledge of solar system requirements, and

              Whereas, the Commonwealth’s technical institutions that are educating this specialized workforce and the trainees that are being prepared need clear definition of the future career paths in the Commonwealth’s solar construction industry 

              Section 2. Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Court assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows:

              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.

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