Frequently Asked Questions

1. What classes do I have to take to become an Installer?
2. What classes do I have to take to become a Site Assessor?
3. What does a Site Assessor do?
4. Where can I get the textbook that is required for my course?
5. Can anyone take your courses or are they only for trade professionals?
6. How do I get on the waiting list for a class that is full?
7. What is the NABCEP Entry Level Certification Exam?
8. How can I become an MREA instructor?
9. How do I qualify for the MREA Member Discount on courses?
10. Where is Custer, WI?
11. What if I need to cancel a course registration?
12. Do you offer any online courses?
13. Can I pay for a course with a check?
14. Are any MREA courses eligible for training assistance funds through the state?

What classes do I have to take to become an Installer?

1. The MREA does not certify installers, but rather provides training based on nationally recognized standards for certification. Our courses, when taken in the recommended progression of knowledge, are shown to satisfy the knowledge and skills necessary for professional competency in the solar industry.

The NABCEP PV and Solar Heating Installer certifications, and the PV Technical Sales certification provide a set of national standards by which renewable energy professionals can distinguish themselves from their competition. Installer and Technical Sales certifications should not be confused with those who have passed the NABCEP Entry Level exam. See the NABCEP website for more information or call NABCEP at (800) 654-0021. 

What courses do I have to take to obtain a Site Assessor Certificate?

2. For each technology you will have to attend the prerequisite courses and the Site Assessment course. To view the details on how to obtain a Site Assessor Certificate, please visit the professional credentialing page.

What does a Site Assessor do?

3. Site Assessor evaluate the energy consumption of a household or business, as well as the solar or wind resource at the location. They help clients understand system options and their benefits. They work with clients to recommend the site and size of the solar or wind system. Site Assessors also estimate system production and identify the cost, incentives, and financing options available.

Where can I get the textbook that is required for my course?

4. If there is a textbook required for your course you are encouraged to purchase it at the MREA Marketplace. If the course date is too close there will be books available to purchase the day of the course with cash or check.

Can anyone take your courses or are they only for trade professionals?

5. Yes, our classes are open to the general public. The introductory courses are designed to provide you with the basic knowledge needed to understand the general workings of a system, different system types whether you are looking to become an installer or if you are think of utilizing a system in your home. Some courses do have prerequisites, and those are listed on the Course Schedule under each specific course. See our "progression of knowlege" on the Training page for more information. 

How do I get on the waiting list for a course that is full?

6. If you try to register for a course and it says that there no more seats available, please call the office at 715-592-6595 to be placed on the waiting list. If a seat opens up you will be notified. You will have 24-hrs to register for the course before it is offered to the next individual on the list.

What is the NABCEP Entry Level Certification Exam?

7. The NABCEP Entry Level Program is designed for individuals wanting to get into the solar field. Achievement of the NABCEP Entry Level Exam is a way for candidates to demonstrate that they have achieved a basic knowledge of the fundamental principles of the application, design, installation, and operation of Photovoltaic (PV), Solar Heating, and Small Wind energy systems.

For more information on NABCEP Entry Level Program, visit the NABCEP website.

How can I become an MREA instructor?

8. Contact Julie Brazeau by email or at 715-592-6595 to schedule an interview and fill out the MREA instructor application.

How do I qualify for the MREA Member Discount on courses?

9. The MREA offers Business Memberships and Personal Memberships. Only the Personal Memberships get you the discounts on courses. These would include: Senior/Student, Basic Individual, Empowered Individual, Basic Family and Empowered Family memberships. Business Memberships offer a different benefits package that includes advertising benefits. For descriptions of all member benefits or to sign up for a membership please visit the following webpage.

Where is Custer, WI?

10. Custer, WI is in Central Wisconsin, 7 miles east of Stevens Point, WI on Hwy 10. We are about 110 miles north of Madison. For more information on getting to the Midwest Renewable Energy Association please visit our visit page.

What if I need to cancel a course registration?

11. To cancel a course you have registered for, email registrations@midwestrenew.org or call the office at 715-592-6595. You will forfeit at least part of your tuition fee, and in some cases, all of it. This is to ensure that we do not have to cancel the course on remaining participants, as well as to cover the administrative costs involved in registering and cancelling the registration. For the full cancellation policy, please visit our registrations policy page.

Do you offer any online courses?

12. The MREA offers some courses online and is working on getting more courses online. Check the Course Schedule to see which courses are currently being offered online.

Can I pay for a course with a check?

13. If you need to pay your tuition with a check please call the office to register. Keep in mind that we will take your order over the phone but your seat is not saved until we receive payment at the office. Please call 715-592-6595 for phone registrations.

Are any MREA courses eligible for training assistance funds through the state?

14. Workforce Investment Act hosts Wisconsin's Statewide List of Eligible Training Programs and Providers including some approved MREA courses.

You'll have to check with a state coordinator or case worker to determine what that means for you.

If you are interested in getting MREA courses approved for a training assistance program you are working within your state, please contact:

Jenny Heinzen
Curriculum and Training Coordinator
Midwest Renewable Energy Association
jennyh@midwestrenew.org