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Codes & Standards

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Through the SEIA Codes & Standards Working Group, SEIA monitors and participates in the development of product standards and building codes on behalf of the solar industry. With the goal of advocating strongly on behalf of industry to create market-friendly requirements, SEIA routinely collaborates with other stakeholders including standards developers, code developers, fire fighters and other organizations.

Building Codes

For the solar industry to continue its rapid growth, solar-friendly building and installation codes are important to the industry.  

The majority of U.S. related codes are developed by the International Code Council (ICC) through its public consensus process, after which they can be adopted, in full or potentially modified, by state regulatory bodies.  The ICC process includes proposals and input put from various stakeholders, including building code officials, product manufacturers, health and safety advocates, and industry representatives.   

The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) also oversees a similar process for the National Electrical Code. For the 2020 cycle, SEIA, in leadership with a few other organizations, convenes several working groups to develop Public Input proposals for submittal during this cycle’s triennial development process.  

Beginning with the 2018 edition, SEIA will contribute content and review to the International Solar Energy Provisions (ISEP) with Commentary, published by the ICC. This reference book assists building and inspection officials in the identification and application of solar-related provisions for use in inspecting solar installations. Look for the 2018 ISEP with Commentary with SEIA’s logo in mid-2018.   

SEIA members are entitled to a free copy of the current 2015 ISEP with Commentary or the coming-2018 version. Contact Evelyn Butler, Sr. Director, Codes & Standards to obtain your member copy.

Product Standards

In the solar industry, product standards serve to ensure safety and reliability of all components of a solar electric system.  Product standards, plus conformity assessment procedures, ensure all products meet a minimum threshold of safety, performance, and reliability. 

The SEIA Codes & Standards Working Group and its members monitor relevant product standards (such as UL, SEAOC, ASCE, ASTM, ASHRAE, NIST and NSF). In the U.S., standardization activity is coordinated by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI), which accredits Standard Developing Organizations (SDOs) and Conformity Assessment Bodies (CABs).  There are several accredited SDOs developing product standards for the solar industry, including UL and the Solar Rating and Certification Corporation (ICC-SRCC/ICC-ES).  Product standards are implemented either through federal, state regulation or building codes and / or municipal ordinances.

SEIA Member Benefit: International Solar Energy Provisions (ISEPTM) With Commentary

As brand partners, SEIA and the International Code Council (ICC) are offering a complimentary PDF download code for the 2015 or 2018 version of the ISEP with Commentary. Members can purchase the 2015 version now or if you are interested in the 2018 version, this will be available in the late Spring / early Summer of 2018. The 2015 International Solar Energy Provisions™ (ISEP™) and Commentary contains the complete solar-energy-related provisions and referenced solar standards from the 2015 International Codes® plus the NFPA 70: 2014 NEC® National Electrical Code provisions related to solar energy in one document. This publication is organized such that it provides the best and most comprehensive tool for the design, installation and administration of both solar thermal (or solar heating and cooling) and photovoltaic systems. To obtain your members-only free download code, please contact Evelyn Butler, Sr. Director of Codes & Standards.

Contact Evelyn Butler to be placed on a notification list for the 2018 version. 

Working Group Coordination

The Codes & Standards Working Group also convenes a Corrosion Protection Task Group, which is currently exploring subsurface, atmospheric and galvanic corrosion as well as corrosion inhibitors.  The task group plans to develop and publish technical considerations for solar equipment.

Similar, the Codes & Standards Working Group provides input and guidance to other SEIA member forums such as the Quality Assurance Working Group, the Operations & Maintenance Working Group and SEIA divisions.

SEIA staff engage with other industry partners and national laboratories and entities to provide input and guidance into their specific work on behalf of our members.