It is the position of the Pennsylvania Solar Energy Industry Association (PASEIA), that solar photovoltaic systems and solar thermal systems should be marketed, designed and installed by experienced, trained professionals who aspire to the highest standards of quality workmanship and ethical business practices. PASEIA members recognize their responsibilities and obligations to the general public, to the industry and other related businesses. In support of these standards, PASEIA shall require all members to be bound by these obligations, through the careful design, installation, operation, and maintenance of solar energy systems. In the interest of the public, and the industry, members of PASEIA agree to be held to the following principles:
1. Place the safety, health and welfare of the public above all in the practice of their professions.
2. Provide the highest standard of safety and working conditions for all employees in accordance with OSHA and other applicable regulations.
3. Maintain the highest ethical standards in their advertising, selling, installation and servicing of solar energy systems or products.
4. Design, engineer, manufacture and install solar energy systems in compliance with applicable local, state and national codes, standards and licensing.
5. Not misrepresent their professional qualifications, licenses, expertise or certifications to the public, consumers or public officials.
6. Present honestly, the capabilities, performance and financial benefits of their proposed solar energy systems.
7. Honor their warranties, and present them in a clear, understandable manner.
licensure or the formal training required to professionally and competently perform such services.
Formal training will be regarded as:
- A USDOL (U.S. Department of Labor) approved apprenticeship program where solar energy systems are a part of the curriculum.
- An ISPQ (Institute of Sustainable Power Quality) accredited program or training courses taught by ISPQ Certified Master Trainers or Instructors specifically in the field of solar PV or solar thermal energy systems. This shall include both basic solar training and an advanced solar training course, totaling at least 80 hours.
- An IBEW/NECA apprenticeship training program with at least 40 hours of training, that includes the course entitled “Installing Grid–Connected Photovoltaic Systems”.
- An IACET (International Association for Continuing Education and Training) authorized program or other program where the member has achieved a minimum of 60 training hours that meet the continuing education criteria accepted by NABCEP (North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners).
While this training may provide enough knowledge to provide limited services, it is the position of PASEIA, the Professional Standards Committee and its membership that specialized contractor services such as electrical work and roofing be undertaken only by those possessing the license, certification and formal safety training to provide those services.
Furthermore, it shall be required that Installer-Members are represented by a person or persons present in the field during installations, who holds one of the following professional levels of certification:
- UL Certified PV Installer
- NABCEP Certified PV Installer
- first full year of membership.
However, for the interim, the NABCEP Certificate of PV Knowledge will be an accepted level of expertise, under the condition that the Installer-Member achieves one of the nationally recognized certifications within a year after receiving their NABCEP Certificate of PV Knowledge.
9. Verify the qualifications of their subcontractors, holding them to the same standards as PASEIA members, as well as provide transparency to the consumer and building officials regarding their use of the subcontractor.
10. Not attempt to injure, maliciously or falsely, directly or indirectly, the reputation of other members, or untruthfully criticize other members.
11. Actively participate in continuing education, and provide employee training to ensure safe, code-compliant installations of solar energy systems.
Code of Ethics Review Process
PASEIA recognizes its responsibility to the general public and has developed procedures to provide a fair review process for members who are accused of a violation of this Code of Ethics.
The following procedure shall apply:
A violation of the Code of Ethics shall be decided by the Executive Board after such determination by unanimous vote. The process for determining whether or not the Code of Ethics has been violated will be as follows:
1. A written complaint form must be filled out and signed by a PASEIA member, and along with all of the available information, forward to a member of the Codes and Ethics Committee. Additionally, a member of the Codes and Ethics Committee may file a complaint on behalf of a consumer or codes official after review of a written complaint from the affected consumer or codes official.
copy of the original complaint to the member who is involved in the alleged ethics violation. This will be done via certified mail, return receipt. The Committee will ask for a written response from the accused member within 10 days of the receipt of the written complaint.
3. The response will be viewed by the entire Codes and Ethics Committee. It will be the responsibility of the Committee to establish the validity of the complaint and to determine if enough evidence exists to establish a violation of the Code of Ethics. If the majority rules that sufficient evidence exists, the Committee may recommend an investigation of the case. The PASEIA President must agree that the case be investigated. Only the alleged violation may be investigated, however, additional complaints may be filed as a result of the investigation. All investigations will be confidential and be carried out in an impartial and unbiased manner. The report of the Committee will only reveal facts that can be proven through existing evidence. The Committee will make no determination or recommendation in its report.
4. The Codes and Ethics Committee will assemble a Violation Investigation Report (VIR), and a copy will be sent, via certified mail, return receipt, to the person filing the initial complaint and the alleged violator. Both will be given 10 days to respond.
5. The Committee will forward the VIR and the related responses from both parties involved to the PASEIA President. The President along with the Executive Board will determine if a violation of the PASEIA Code of Ethics has been committed and whether a hearing is in order.
6. If a hearing has been ordered, both of the respondents will be invited to attend and present their position, or they may elect to accept the ruling of the Board without representation.
7. The Board may decide any of the following remedies:
a. No violation has been committed.
b. A minor violation has been committed and the Executive Board will issue a letter of caution which will be kept on file, but maintained confidential.
reprimand to the member which will be kept on file, but maintained confidential.
d. A major violation has been committed and the Executive Board may issue a suspension of the member for a period not to exceed one year, after which the suspended member may re-apply for membership and the Executive Board must approve this application. During the suspension, the member’s name will be removed from the PASEIA/ MSEIA website.
e. One or more violations have been committed and the Executive Board may permanently expel the member and remove their name from the PASEIA/ MSEIA website.
An appeal may be filed in light of new or previously undisclosed information. The appeal process is made available to give every member a reasonable means for resolution.
Appeals must be made, in writing to the Executive Committee, and must contain the new or previously undisclosed information. The Executive Committee may rule that the new information constitutes grounds for a new hearing.