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UL's PV Installer Certification Earns Formal Endorsement from International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers

NORTHBROOK, Ill., Oct. 1, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Today UL, a world leader in advancing safety, and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW), announce an agreement to begin offering UL's Photovoltaic (PV) Installer Certification to IBEW members and the National Electrical Contractors Association (NECA). The collaboration will provide members access to a nationally-recognized UL credential, allow them to broaden their skills in an increasingly competitive labor market and improve market access to licensed, qualified electricians for safer PV installations.

In the second quarter of 2012 the U.S. solar energy market grew by 45 percent, lifted by a record 477 megawatts of utility-scale installations, according to the Solar Energy Industries Association. It forecasts that 3.2 gigawatts of PV will be installed in the U.S. in 2012, a 71 percent increase over 2011. As solar energy installation continues to grow, qualified electrical installers remain in high demand.

UL's PV Installer Certification, established in 2010, was designed to meet and exceed existing industry requirements through a working cooperation with stakeholders, non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and professional associations. Making the certification exam available to more than 675,000 IBEW members and 119 local NECA chapters builds on that commitment and helps improve the safety and performance of PV systems through a more qualified workforce. Unlike other programs, UL only certifies qualified professionals, including licensed electricians or final year apprentices in the NJATC PV training program.

"Our certification designates that individuals have demonstrated the ability to perform safe and accurate PV installations, which is especially important for large-scale projects often with several hundred megawatts of power," said Jill Oakman, General Manager, UL Knowledge Services. "The move to collaborate with IBEW supports our mission to empower smarter, safer, more efficient and more effective professionals."

Eligibility for UL Exam and Certification

To earn UL Certification, electricians completing the hands-on, classroom-based PV training program with either UL Knowledge Services or National Joint Apprenticeship and Training Committee (NJATC) must register and sit for an exam assessing their knowledge. Successful exam completion earns final year apprentices status as UL Certified PV Installers in Training, while journeymen are named UL Certified PV Installers.

"Electricians who complete the NJATC training courses have received 8,000 hours of on-the-job training and logged 900 hours in classroom learning," said Michael Callanan, Executive Director, NJATC. "They are the best in the industry and through this program, will be able to affirm and showcase their expertise of safe, effective PV installations."

The average cost of UL's PV Installer Exam is $300 per person. Discounted pricing is offered for groups of 10 or more. For more information or to register for the exam, visit www.njatc.org/cert/pv/about.aspx

About UL

UL is a premier global safety science company with more than 100 years of proven history. Employing nearly 9,000 professionals in 46 countries, UL is evolving the future of safety with five distinct business units – Product Safety, Environment, Life & Health, Verification and Knowledge Services – to meet the expanding needs of customers and the global public. For more information on UL's family of companies and network of 95 laboratory, testing, and certification facilities, go to UL.com.

About The International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW)

The IBEW is an international labor organization that has trained the most qualified electricians in the trade for more than 117 years. With approximately 675,000 members in the United States, Canada, Puerto Rico, Guam and the Republic of Panama, the IBEW has members in construction, utilities, manufacturing, telecommunications, broadcasting, railroads and government. For more information, visit www.ibew.org.

About National Electrical Contractors Association (NECA)

NECA is the voice of the $130 billion electrical construction industry that brings power, light, and communication technology to buildings and communities across the United States. NECA's national office and 119 local chapters advance the industry through advocacy, education, research, and standards development. For more information, visit www.necanet.org.

About NJATC

The NJATC is a nonprofit organization founded in 1941 by the National Electrical Contractors Association (NECA) and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW). The organization is committed to developing and standardizing education in the electrical industry to properly and effectively train members of NECA and the IBEW; providing the electrical construction industry with the most highly trained and skilled workforce possible. Since its inception, more than 325,000 apprentices have completed NJATC training programs and become competent Journeymen, making the organization one of the largest training and apprenticeship programs of its kind. For more information, go to www.njatc.org.

SOURCE UL