Solar is Here!
By: Niel Dawson, Executive Director, IEC Atlanta, GA Chapters
The solar industry has been ramping up for years across the country, though not as fast in Georgia, but we’re catching up, and quickly! One of the biggest drivers of the solar industry picking up steam not only in Georgia but across the country is the IRA – the Inflation Reduction Act.of 2022InflationReductionActLaborPolicies2. The IRA requires at least 15% of total labor hours on a project to be performed by a registered apprentice to be phased in by 2024. There are both tax credits for businesses and consumers, as well as penalties for failing to comply with registered apprentices on certain jobs. Here is a good InflationReductionActLaborPolicies2
Licensing varies by state, but Georgia has yet to enact any requirements. However, there has been a speculation of a bill being introduced in the Georgia General Assembly to regulate solar installations under the Public Services Commission. IEC is opposed to any type of regulation of this nature and believes that if any requirements are imposed, it should be under the Construction Industry Licensing Board. See the requirements by state.
Years ago, a low voltage license was enacted in Georgia and now electrical contractors must get a separate license to do low voltage work. We are watching this very closely to ensure something similar to this does not happen again. Electrical contractors must recognize that solar is another type of work that they should be not only aware of, but endorsing as another type of electrical work. IEC is currently working on a solar training curriculum and anticipates offering it later in 2023.