As solar power continues to grow and technologies become more advanced it’s important to make sure it’s also safe. So, while Interstate Renewable Energy Council’s (IREC) latest solar guidelines for contractors, installers and inspectors isn’t as interesting as the US passing 50 gigawatts of installed solar power, it’s important, particularly for reducing soft costs of solar power.
The new guide: "Plan Review and Inspection Guidelines: Model Inspection Checklists for Rooftop PV," is available for download on IREC’s site. The updated guide now includes solar code requirements updated to the 2017 National Electrical Code (NEC) and the most current international building, residential and fire codes, as well as additional insight on safety and new technologies, IREC stated.
"Solar capacity has grown exponentially since the first model inspection checklist was released in 2013, as has the number of code officials who see solar in their communities," says IREC Workforce Director Laure-Jeanne Davignon. "Best practices and guidance documents like these are increasingly important to ensure consumer confidence and consistent practices throughout the country.”
IREC said sharing national best practices and encouraging consistency across multiple jurisdictions can help make players and customers better anticipate timelines and expenses. By anticipating the expenses and timelines, it can also help installers and inspectors reduce inefficiencies in the solar installation process, helping to reduce soft costs.
"Tools like IREC's Model Inspection Guidelines are invaluable to support the work of building and electrical inspectors. By consulting this comprehensive guide to an effective solar inspection, individual inspectors and AHJs (Authorities Having Jurisdiction) can tailor the tool to fit their needs in the office and in the field,” says Pete Jackson, chief electrical inspector for the town of Bakersfield, CA.
The new resource includes checklists that local and state authorities can customize to meet their code requirements while meeting national best practices. These checklists can also by used by plan reviewers, inspectors and installers.
The new guide goes beyond national standards through contributions from the International Association of Electrical Inspectors (IAEI) and the International Code Council (ICC). The resource was also funded by the US Department of Energy.
“ICC is committed to helping our members contribute to the safety and resiliency of their local communities. Best practices documents and processes like the Model Inspection Checklist equips AHJs with powerful tools to support safe and effective solar installations for consumers in their communities,” said Shawn Martin of the International Code Council – Solar Rating and Certification Corporation.Tweet