Int. Brotherhood of Electrical Workers

New Jersey Law Requires A Licensed Electrician

With the continuing growth of the NJ solar industry and new “solar experts” and “specialist” entering into the market every day The Board of Examiners of Electrical Contractors were asked for clarification on who should be installing these devices on homes and businesses throughout New Jersey.

N.J.S.A. 45:5A-1 et seq., known as "The Electrical Contractors Licensing Act of 1962" (the Act), establishes generally that no person shall advertise, enter into, engage in, or work in a business as an electrical contractor unless they have secured a business permit and a license from the New Jersey Board of Electrical Contractors (the Board).  The term "electrical contractor" is defined as a person who engages in the business of contracting to install, erect, repair, or alter electrical equipment for the generation, transmission, or utilization of electrical energy (N.J.S.A. 45:5A-2(d)). Accordingly, any person who engages in these activities is an electrical contractor by definition and is required to obtain a business permit and license from the Board.

SPV systems are, by definition, electrical work. They are a series of components that generate (the SPV panels), transmit, and/or utilize electrical energy. Any person engaged in installing, erecting, repairing, etc.  Such equipment must be an electrical contractor under the provisions of the Act.  The Act further sets forth a limited listing of exempt electrical work or construction that is not included in the business of electrical contracting so as to require a license and business permit under the Act (N.J.S.A. 45:5A-18). Neither SPV systems nor SPV panels are listed therein and thus are not exempt, perse.

Recently the Board considered this issue and concluded that SPV systems, including the SPV panels themselves, to the extent that they are used for the generation, transmission, or utilization of electrical energy, constitute electrical work within the meaning of the Act. Therefore, unless work was exempted by statute (e.g. operates at less than 10 volts, etc.), a contractor is required to obtain a license and business permit issued by the Board to install, erect, and repair, etc., SPV systems including SPV panels themselves. Consequently, pursuant to the UCC, code officials should require permit applications for SPV systems, including SPV panels themselves, to be signed and sealed by electrical contractors holding a valid business permit issued by the Board.

Questions as to whether a licensed electrical contractor is required may be directed to either Marianor Kathleen of the Board of Examiners of Electrical Contractors at (973) 504-6410.

Source: Joseph P. Schooley, Chairman.
Board of Examiners of Electrical Contractors

Take into consideration that individual solar panels generate approximately 90 volts and when grouped together in as few as 6 panels they can produce up to 540 volts.  For your safety and the protection of your business and/or home, New Jersey law is clear, 10 volts or more "require a licensed electrical contractor."  Be sure that your investment in your home or business doesn’t end up costing you your home or business.


Unfortunately the results of sub-par installations may not be noticed until weeks or months later when the system begins to break down and the installers are long gone. 

The following images are the results of an unqualified installation.

Results Of An Unqualified Install-1

Results Of An Unqualified Install-2