NABCEP 2022 CE Conference maintains in-person technical solar training

the North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners is holding the 11th NABCEP Continuing Education Conference this March in Phoenix, Arizona. Unlike manufacturer-centered trade events, NABCEP CE is focused on technical training and keeping industry members certified and up-to-date on best practices for installation, new construction codes and the latest technologies.

“It’s important to know that there’s a lot of different tradeshows out there,” said Shawn O’Brien, president and CEO of NABCEP. “The unique thing about NABCEP is that everyone who attends is a technical person with a technical background. Everyone that attends, they’re attending the entire event.”

From March 28 to 31 at the Sheraton Phoenix Downtown, solar professionals will have access to four full-day sessions, 60 technical sessions and extended training sessions, all hosted by experts on a range of solar-related topics. Sessions will address modern challenges, including emerging technologies like energy storage and the latest in structural and engineering code.

Attending NABCEP CE is a way for industry members to become certified or recertified in a few days by an accredited organization that has vetted renewable energy professionals for 20 years now.

“It’s a really tight-knit network where everybody comes out to see each other and make those connections and to share that genuine passion and interest that they have for this portion of the renewable energy sector,” said Eric Filante, project coordinator at NABCEP. “The camaraderie is really a strong suit of our conference and really something that a lot of people look forward to.”

Noncertified attendees can earn the 18 credit hours necessary for NABCEP certification; and attendees recertifying can earn up to 20.5 hours of continuing education credits. Last year, the organization started the NABCEP Associate Program, which gives people new to the renewables market the chance to learn the basics of designing, selling or maintaining solar systems, earning up to 12 NABCEP credit hours. There will be programming opportunities for NABCEP Associates at the continuing education conference, too.

NABCEP expects this conference to be its largest conference post-pandemic, with the most companies exhibiting yet and the number of registered attendees comparable to 2019.

This is NABCEP’s second continuing education conference held in person since the COVID-19 lockdown in 2020. Last year’s conference was in August in Knoxville, Tennessee, while the 2020 event was hosted online over several weeks.

The organizers said they’re thankful to have the conference in person once again.

“People come to get some really good education, and this is where they find it. They’re networking, speaking with their peers, and learning off of each other,” said Sue McKeen, business manager at NABCEP. “You can’t get that at another conference.”

As for COVID-19 guidelines, Phoenix currently has a mask mandate, which will be required in the event.

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