Why it’s vital to get your GreenCard
Solar power is undoubtedly a popular energy choice for South Africa. With the cost of a PV system dropping each year coupled with escalating electricity prices and uncertainty of supply, solar is becoming increasingly attractive to both residential and commercial energy users nationwide.
An increase in customer demand for PV systems has also resulted in a surge of new solar installation companies, many of which employ unqualified installers. Consequently, one of the most common and frequent complaints from homeowners or small business owners is roof leaks, largely owing to inadequate installations. Until recently, there has been a lack of standardised solar installer licensing.
In response to this gap in the industry, SAPVIA developed the PV GreenCard to encourage high-quality and safe PV installations. SAPVIA’s work, therefore, comes at a fitting time to see change happen in South Africa.
What is the SAPVIA PV GreenCard?
The PV GreenCard is a detailed document provided by qualified installers to their clients on completion of a PV installation project. It contains commentary on the type of PV modules and inverters fitted as well as the steps taken during installation. An installer can only issue the certificate once they have completed the requisite qualifications, as the document serves as proof of compliance for insurance, finance and general regulatory purposes.
A vital aspect of the PV GreenCard is the assurance it gives to installers’ clients regarding compliance with industry regulations and generally executing best practice. The GreenCard also declares that the installer is using high-quality materials and components and has correctly specified the system. In essence, the PV GreenCard serves as a “checklist” of compliance with all relevant safety guidelines when installing.
The document assists in providing high levels of investor confidence and guarantees the installer is both proficient and compliant with the relevant protocols.
The road to certified installations
Installers need a National Solar PV Service Technician Qualification to issue a PV GreenCard. This qualification is followed by a five-day solar installer course that offers the minimum knowledge requirements for installers and prepares candidates to undertake the Solar PV Assessment. Basic training is offered for this assessment and, on successful completion, candidates are issued with an Occupational Certificate. Over 15 tertiary learning institutions across South Africa are registered to provide this training.
To be part of the industry-vetted SAPVIA database, it is expected that each installer registers with the Department of Labour, as well as undertaking the Solar PV Assessment at a registered Assessment Centre.
Importance of installer competence
A reputable installer is one that is trained, accredited with proper certification and can provide a legal, safe and compliant installation in line with applicable national regulations and municipal requirements.
Being qualified to provide a PV GreenCard for your projects offers comfort to financiers and insurers that the system will perform as specified. Should your client wish to sell the facilities with the PV system installed, a PV GreenCard should also allow for a better valuation. In essence, there is a higher chance that clients will choose certain installers to fit a solar project if they have the necessary qualifications.
So, what are you waiting for? Find out more about getting qualified now.
SegenSolar offers training courses to its installer customers. These sessions help to get the ball rolling towards qualification. Explore the classes now and find out how you can get involved!