By Doug Hodne, CSRP
During my years in the roofing industry and as a photovoltaic (PV) professional, I have noticed several issues that often arise during rooftop PV installations.
- It is important to spend time with customers, ensuring they are educated and informed before choosing a PV system for their project, and to provide regular progress reports and follow-ups through projects’ duration.
- Installers must understand and implement proper safety practices for rooftop work and should have experience with the hazard exposures of roofing environments.
- Quality products that fulfill the applications’ needs and specifications must be installed.
- Attention to installation details is a fundamental aspect of successful solar installations.
- The dynamics of the current solar market require diversification, qualification and excellent service to meet PV project demands.
Roof Integrated Solar Energy™ Inc.’s (RISE™) Certified Solar Roofing Professional (CSRP™) credential certifies solar roofing professionals for knowledge about critical roof system construction and maintenance practices necessary to support successful rooftop PV installations. Achieving the CSRP credential matched our company philosophy of ensuring a roof-mounted PV installation will not adversely affect a roof system’s performance.
As a member of the first group who earned a CSRP, I understood the benefits to my company and, more importantly, what this would mean to my customers. Becoming a CSRP and being recognized by an independent organization, provides credibility and a competitive advantage in the growing and demanding PV marketplace.
Roofing contractors with a CSRP credential can assure homeowners, business owners, architects and developers that a PV project is up to the task. Consumers expect and deserve to know that all aspects of a project are being addressed to achieve a successful integration of PV and roofing systems. By choosing a CSRP, a homeowner or building owner will know a PV installation will be handled by the most capable professionals.
Once earned, there are several requirements to maintain the CSRP credential, including continuing education to stay up to date with the latest in PV and roofing technologies, and engaging in professional activities such as presenting at industry trade shows or other public forums.
These requirements provide career enhancement, ensure customers that a roofing contractor is well-informed about the fast changing solar industry, and is capable of meeting their expectations and demands.
Solar roof systems that are not properly installed can result in leaks, fires and inoperable systems—all of which harm the roofing and solar industry’s reputation. An installation by a CSRP can address these issues upfront, helping to avoid incurring additional expenses, as well as other economic losses from an inoperable PV system.
Often, it is said good business practices go a long way, and I have found this to be spot on. I have always been proud of the work my company provides its customers. And earning my CSRP credential fostered a stronger desire to reach for higher standards in the roofing and solar industries. I know that by being a CSRP, I am ensuring my customers’ rooftop PV installations will continue doing their primary job: protecting buildings from the elements.