"Who is legally allowed to install solar pv systems in South Africa the truth"

Posted by SAPAC Reporter on

Who may legally install solar PV systems in South Africa? 

(Druk hier vir Afrikaanse Artikel)

South African homeowners should read this article and use the link provided to share it with everyone they know. Copy and Paste this Link and share with everyone:

https://bit.ly/LegalSolarInstallers

It is imperative to choose an accredited electrician and to understand the different types of electricians that are legally allowed to operate and legally install solar systems within the public sector. If you are reading this article, you should be mindful that the information in this article is directly quoted from the registration criteria for a registered person as indicated in OHS 3/1/5/7/9 from within the Occupational Health and Safety Act, 1993 (as amended).

The document from which this information is taken outlines the criteria that a person must comply with in order to be registered as an electrician, and we outline the different types of electricians and what they may perform with regards to solar installation.

Homeowners and business owners will note that different articles on this have already been posted. However, an in-depth look is required to ensure you fully understand.

Press here to get instant access to Competent Electrical Solar Installers

Electricians in South Africa They are available in a hierarchy.

"As is defined in the Electrical Installation Regulations, 2009, promulgated by South African Government Notice R.242 of March 6, 2009,"

With the information you get here, you will be able to discern who may do what and who may not perform certain functions when it comes to the installation of solar systems. And this information will provide you with a remedy as well.

So what is a single-phase electrician or an ESTP?

The truth "Who is legally allowed to install solar pv systems in South Africa the truth" SAPAC South African Professionals and Contractors Single Phase Electrician

A single-phase electrician, or ESTP, is a person who has been registered as an electrical tester for single-phase in terms of Regulation 11(2) for the verification and certification of the construction, testing, and inspection of electrical installations supplied by a single-phase electricity supply at the point of control, excluding specialized electrical installations.

Important information

A single phase electrician may only install a solar system under the general control of an installation electrician or a Master Installation Electrician (General Control) with a valid wireman's license. This means that an installation electrician or master installation electrician must be satisfied that the installation has been performed to the specific set of standards that would be expected from a legal solar system installation.

Note that a PV Green Card does not mean a single-phase electrician may install a solar system. It only means that the single-phase electrician attended a training event. Neither does any product training on solar PV systems legally certify a person to install a solar PV system. They must be registered as an electrical contractor with the DOL (Department of Labor).

Single-phase electricians must attend further training to enhance their skills and core competencies in order to provide a COC for Solar PV Systems, such as an installation electrician for a solar installation.

A single phase electrician must have completed the following.

  • Trade test
  • Have completed the required unit standards on inspection, testing and certification of single - phase domestic installations.

[They are allowed to provide only a COC that is inline with single phase however.]

"Although a solar PV system is a domestic installation, it works with direct current (DC). Therefore, an IE or MIE must provide general control over the ESTP: single phase electrician. As in general, all domestic installations work with AC (alternating current) from the distribution board of the home. As a result, no single phase electrician may install a solar PV system without the supervision of an IE or MIE."

Read on to find out about fraud in the electrical discipline.

So what is an installation electrician, or an IE?

The truth "Who is legally allowed to install solar pv systems in South Africa the truth" SAPAC South African Professionals and Contractors Installation Electrician

A installation  "Electrician" or "IE" means a person who has been registered as an installation electrician in terms of Regulation 11(2) for the verification and certification of the construction, testing, and inspection of any electrical installation, excluding specialized electrical installations.

Note that the emphasis is on installation.

  1. the installation, extension, modification, or repair of an electrical installation;
  2. the connection of machinery at the supply terminals of such machinery; or
  3. the inspection, testing, and verification of electrical installations for the purpose of issuing a certificate of compliance

Important information

A installation electrician may install a solar PV system, but this type of electrician will also ensure that an ESTP electrician who has secured a contract for the installation of a solar PV system has performed the solar PV installation in accordance with the applicable electrical and SAN standards and will only sign such an installation if satisfied that it is in accordance with the applicable standards. This electrician is also the only one allowed to sign the CoC (Certificate of Compliance) for the solar PV installation. (General Control) 

Note that the PV Green Card does not mean an installation electrician may install a solar system. It only means that the installation electrician attended a training event. Neither does any product training on solar PV systems legally certify a person to install a solar PV system. They must be registered as an electrical contractor with the DOL (Department of Labor).

An installation electrician must have completed the following.

  • Trade test
  • Installation Rules
  • N3 Certificate (Three Subjects)
  • Completed unit standards, testing and certification of three phase industrial and commercial installations
  • Completed unit standards on inspection, testing and certification of three phase industrial/commercial installations.

Read on to find out about fraud in the electrical discipline.

So what is a Master Installation Electrician, or MIE?

The truth "Who is legally allowed to install solar pv systems in South Africa the truth" SAPAC South African Professionals and Contractors Master Installation Electrician

A master installation electrician means a person who has been registered as a master installation electrician in terms of Regulation 11(2) for the verification and certification of the construction, testing, and inspection of any electrical installation;

Note that the emphasis is on verification.

Important information

A mater installation electrician may install a solar PV system; this type of electrician will also ensure that an ESTP electrician who has secured a contract for the installation of a solar PV system has performed the solar PV installation in accordance with the applicable electrical and SAN standards. and may then certify such installation as correct if all installation requirements are met and SAN standards are followed. This electrician is also the only one that may issue a CoC (certificate of compliance) for the solar PV installation. (General Control) (Identical to an Installation Electrician)

Note that the PV Green Card does not mean a master installation electrician may install a solar system. It only means that the master installation electrician attended a training event. Neither does any product training on solar PV systems legally certify a person to install a solar PV system. They must be registered as an electrical contractor with the DOL (Department of Labor).

A master installation electrician must have completed the following.

  • Must have been an installation electrician for 2 Years 
  • Experience in hazardous locations for one year
  • Passed the examination on specialized electrical installations.
  • N6 Certificate
  • Completed unit standards on inspection, testing and certification of specialized electrical installations in hazardous locations.

What does "general control" mean as mentioned with the installation electrician?

With regards to the ESTP-Single Phase Electrician: (in relation to electrical installation work that is being carried out, includes instruction, guidance and supervision in respect of that work;

This means that a single-phase electrician may only install a solar PV system or perform electrical work under the general control of an installation electrician or a master installation electrician.

[They are allowed to provide only a COC that is inline with single phase however.]

So why is this information on different types of electricians important?

Currently, in South Africa, and across a large portion of the country, the general public is unaware that there are various types of electricians. Furthermore, ESTP Electricians must work under the general control of an IE or MI Electrician, who must ensure that the proper installation procedures and standards are followed in order to ensure the safety and health of the occupants of the building where the installation is being performed.

This does not mean that an ESTP electrician cannot install a solar system. It simply means that they may only perform such a function under the general control of an installation electrician or master installation electrician.

Therefore, should you utilize an ESTP electrician, you should understand that they are not and will not be able to legally provide you with a CoC with regards to Solar PV installation. The general public must understand that ESTP electricians are actively working toward becoming installation electricians. Therefore, they must demonstrate themselves as being pro-active. They are the upcoming installation electricians.

[They are allowed to provide only a COC that is inline with single phase however.]

Types of fraud affecting the electrical discipline

Falsification of electrical contractor letters.

What causes more confusion is the fact that you, as a public consumer, are being told to verify your electrician with regards to their DOL registration letter confirming they are an electrical contractor. And this is where the problem comes in. DOL registration letters confirming the type of electrical contractor may have been illegally obtained through fraudulent means, meaning that a person can say they are an electrician and perform an illegal activity, putting you, the end user, in danger with regards to fire or explosions. 

In terms of Regulation 6 of the Electrical Installation Regulations, 2009, only the Department of Employment and Labor is mandated to issue a letter of registration to a competent electrical contractor. Regulation 6 provides that "(1) No person may do electrical installation work as an electrical contractor unless that person has been registered as an electrical contractor in terms of these Regulations."

Read on for "What to do?"

Misleading Facebook and social media advertisements

The truth "Who is legally allowed to install solar pv systems in South Africa the truth" SAPAC South African Professionals and Contractors Social Media

With the uptick with regards to the entire Eskom fiasco, more and more people are turning towards obtaining solutions for their daily energy needs. And very expertly, it has been found that installers that do not abide by the Electrical Installation Regulation are utilizing this tactic to obtain business from the unsuspecting public.

Note: Should your installation have been performed by a solar company, they should have an installation or master installation electrician in their employ. Read this article: "Important Consideration for a Safe and Secure Solar Panel System Installation in South Africa."

Read on for what to do?

So how do we check on this issue of fraud?

SAPAC: South African Professionals and Contractors Collective with multiple disciplines associating on the platform have various means at our disposal to ensure you get to the correct professional or contractor. With regards to PV solar system installation, you may press this link to contact your chosen solar PV system installer. Or alternatively, you may contact South African Professionals and Contractors (SAPAC) to ensure you get through to a registered electrician in your area. The selection of the contractor is up to you. SAPAC is also national.

PRESS THIS LINK

https://bit.ly/SAPACElectricians 

 

Sources and information to use and cross-reference for your use.

(Press on the link to access or download.)

Note: The best possible route to follow if you are unsure is to drop an email to ops@sapac.co.za SAPAC: South African Professionals and Contractors will then put you in contact with the Approved Inspection Authority if you seriously doubt the authenticity of your installation.

1. Consumer Goods and Services Ombudsman

2. Notes on the Electrical Installation Regulation 2009.

3. DOL Requirements for Electrical Contractors

In context, what does this article mean.

This article provides valuable information for homeowners and business owners in South Africa regarding the different types of electricians that are legally allowed to operate and install solar systems.

The article explains the criteria that a person must comply with in order to be registered as an electrician and the different types of electricians that exist in South Africa, including single-phase electricians, installation electricians, and master installation electricians.

The article notes that a single-phase electrician can only install a solar system under an installation electrician's supervision, while an installation electrician can install a solar PV system and sign off on the CoC (certificate of compliance) for the solar PV installation. A master installation electrician can also install a solar PV system and sign off on the COC.

The article emphasizes that the PV Green Card does not legally certify a person to install a PV solar system. Instead, they must be registered as an electrical contractor with the Department of Labor.

The article emphasizes the importance of understanding the various types of electricians as well as the regulations governing solar system installation in order to ensure that installations are done safely and in accordance with the standards.

The information provided in the article can help homeowners and business owners make informed decisions when choosing an electrician to install solar systems and avoid the negative consequences of improper solar energy installation, or they may approach SAPAC (South African Professionals and Contractors) to assist them with the selection of an electrician.

All new solar installations require the supervision and general control of an Installation Electrician or Master Installation Electrician. No person other than an Installation Electrician (IE) and a Master Installation Electrician (MIE) can issue a Certificate of Compliance on a solar installation

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How to Use this Resource

We hope these articles help you understand your rights as a consumer. You can scroll through the titles, or scroll by heading. You can also use the search feature to locate information by keyword when you visit the front of https://sapac.co.za for a self help video watch this VIDEO


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