You may be wondering what the differences are between Solar Energy and Solar Thermal installers. Well, it’s as simple as what they actually do.
Photovoltaic solar installers handle solar systems that generate electricity for appliances in the home, whereas solar thermal installers handle systems that convert the sun’s energy directly into heat for use in swimming pools, hot water heaters and home heating situations.
The simple answer is that an installer can handle both types of installations if they have the necessary training and know-how. A good checkpoint for whether an installer is competent is if they are certified in both categories by the North American Board of Energy Practitioners (NABCEP). The NABCEP is an organization that has strict requirements to obtain certification, as well as a review period every three years to make sure that those with certification are still competent installers.
An installer that is not NABCEP certified is not necessarily second-rate, although it does take time, money, energy and dedication to become certified by the NABCEP.
So, when deciding who’s going to be installing an electrical or heating system (or both) on your house, consider their credentials and conduct your own research. To check whether your prospective installer is certified, visit the NABCEP website, where you will find a searchable database of certified individuals by state.