Celebrate Earth Day by Going Green and Only Hiring State-Licensed Solar Contractors
April 21, 2010
TALLAHASSEE—Many Floridians recognize Earth Day as a time to go green and make energy-smart upgrades to their homes. The Department of Business and Professional Regulation reminds consumers when making green improvements to their homes to use state-licensed contractors.
“In the sunshine state, adding solar panels to your home is a great way to save on energy costs,” said Interim Secretary Charlie Liem. “As you begin to consider more efficient upgrades to your home, check for state-required licensure.”
Licensed solar contractors can install, alter, repair, maintain, relocate, or replace solar panels for potable solar water heating systems, swimming pool solar heating systems, and panel systems and any accessories, apparatus, or equipment used in connection with these systems.
The department strives to protect consumers from the dangers of working with unlicensed individuals, which may result in personal or financial harm, and to protect licensed professionals from unfair competition with unlicensed individuals. Unlicensed contractors can be charged with a first degree misdemeanor for a first offense and a third degree felony for subsequent violations of the law.
DBPR executes a three-tiered approach to combat unlicensed activity through education, prevention and enforcement. Here are some tips to help consumers protect themselves against unlicensed activity:
- Always ask to see the State of Florida license.
- Note the license number and verify that the license is current. To check a license, call 850-487-1395 or visit MyFloridaLicense.com.
- Ask for references and check each one.
- Do not pay cash and be cautious of writing checks made payable to individuals, especially when dealing with a company.
- Get everything in writing, including a detailed description of the work to be completed, a completion date and the total cost.
The department’s mission is to license efficiently and regulate fairly. The department licenses more than one million businesses and professionals ranging from real estate agents, veterinarians, and accountants to contractors and cosmetologists. For more information, please visit MyFloridaLicense.com.