By John Boling
IIBEC recently commented on legislation advancing through the Pennsylvania state legislature that is designed to promote the installation of solar panels on school roofs . HB 1032, introduced by state representative Elizabeth Fiedler, would establish the Solar for Schools Grant Program to expand the use of solar energy at school facilities across the commonwealth.
While IIBEC does not have an official position regarding the placement of solar energy panels on rooftops, IIBEC did share suggestions on how to ensure that school roofs are suitable for solar.
IIBEC’s letter outlined three recommendations to be included in the legislation if it moves forward:
- Include language requiring independent, third-party design professionals/consultants to conduct inspections and any design work related to the project.
- Insert language requiring a roof inspection to determine the expected service life of the roof system in relation to that of the renewable energy system, and provide corrective action if required.
- Require the use of registered design professionals or credentialed professionals on building enclosure projects.
“Our letter is an attempt to ensure that in the rush to install solar and start generating clean power, someone is looking out for the interests of the owners and taxpayers because we know that taking solar panels off roofs prematurely is a terrible waste of money,” said Brian Pallasch, executive vice president and CEO of IIBEC, about the October 17, 2023, comments. “We were appreciative that the representative and her staff were willing to speak with us about our ideas that could improve the bill.”
IIBEC’s advocacy will continue to look out for the interests of consultants as we pursue our mission to become the leading authority in building enclosure consulting. In the meantime, IIBEC will continue to monitor HB 1032 as it moves through the legislative process, and we will provide readers with updates as needed.