About PV GreenCard

Helping to Promote High Quality Installations

The South African PV GreenCard is a safety certification, a quality assurance standard, and training programme for solar PV installers. Quality and safety are assured via the specialized education and training provided to solar PV installers prior to them being certified and registered on the PV GreenCard database. This certification means that these installers are proficient and compliant with all of the relevant national and municipal electrical regulations.

On completion of an installation, a certified PV GreenCard installer will issue the client with both a digital and physical document that details all of the specifications of the solar PV system as well as a checklist that all of the required installation steps have been completed to the required standard. This document can in turn be used as proof of compliance for insurance, finance, and regulatory purposes.

The PV GreenCard opens new business opportunities to Solar PV SMEs and entrepreneurs wanting to access this market and provides customers with peace of mind that their system is safe, compliant, and in line with international quality standards.

The PV GreenCard programme supports SAPVIA’s aim for the orderly development and continued cohesion of the roof-top Solar PV market segment. The protection and confidence of affected stakeholders (Solar PV installation companies, Solar PV system owners, investors, banks, insurance companies, electricity distributors (i.e. municipalities and Eskom), and relevant state organs) have been consulted and catered to through this initiative.


PV Installers

The key target group of the PV GreenCard are installers who shall adhere to the criteria set by SAPVIA to be registered to the “PV installer database”. The PV GreenCard will serve as a reminder to installation companies to use suitably qualified and skilled installers and adhere to the standards and best practice. This will in turn protect the industry from unsafe and poor quality installations.

Regulatory Bodies

Secondary target groups are investing bodies which shall embed the PV GreenCard standards in their tenders as well as regulatory bodies which shall reference their requirements to the PV GreenCard. The PV GreenCard will provide a level of comfort that the industry is taking safety and quality into account on every installation.

Finance and Insurance Companies

Ideally finance institutions should see the value of safe and quality installations which would reduce much of the associated risks. The PV GreenCard could then become a pre-requisite of finance for rooftop solar PV systems or finance institutions could price the risk more competitively for installations carrying the PV GreenCard.

Insurers will feel comfortable that the installations are being done by qualified and skilled installers following best installation practice. This should increase their willingness to extend household/building insurance cover rooftop solar PV installations or offer better rates for PV GreenCard installations.

Training Facilitators

The PV GreenCard takes into consideration the newly approved QCTO PV Technician Qualification which is nationally recognized. Training has been constructed in line with this qualification and will be offered to installers wanting to enter the space of rooftop PV installations. There is an opportunity for a number of facilitators to offer this training throughout South Africa. There is further opportunity to extend this training to include other aspects of PV installation training which includes but is not limited to design, standards compliance and regulation.

PV System Owners

It is important for PV system owners to be educated on what they are acquiring when requesting a rooftop solar PV system. It is further important to ensure that they are able to access a database of installers who are qualified to undertake these installations. The PV GreenCard will provide this security that potential customers would not otherwise have. It will also provide the customer with sufficient information to understand the benefits and limits of the PV system. It is expected that the demand for the PV GreenCard shall be created by consumers who ask for the installation of PV systems according to the SAPVIA standards, set and updated in the PV GreenCard.

This quality initiative has 3 key focus areas:


SAPVIA recommends these installers based on strict criteria to ensure a qualified workforce. The benefit of choosing an industry vetted installer is that you can be confident that you will receive a high quality, safe and reliable solar PV system installation done by qualified individuals who are following standardized practices.

Criteria/requirements for installers

To be part of the industry vetted installer database, it is expected that; you are registered with the Department of Labour as a registered person to undertake or overlook electrical installations, you have undertaken the industry approved Solar PV Assessment at a registered Assessment Centre and, will pay the R1000 registration fee (online as part of the registration process).

Registration Process



SAPVIA acknowledges that the current lack of skilled labor in the PV industry as a key issue. The development of Solar PV installer skills will assist to improve the quality of Solar PV Installations. It is recognised that education and training are the key requirements to a suitably qualified workforce, ensuring adherence to best practice and thereby safeguarding the future of the industry.

National Solar PV Service Technician Qualification

The Solar Photovoltaic Service Technician, Curriculum Code 313109001, NQF Level 5 was developed in 2010 and registered with the South African Qualification Authority (SAQA) under Qualification ID 99447 in December 2016. The National Qualification was based on the need for a national training offering to support the growing Renewable Energy Industry. Although specifically focusing on utility scale installations, the qualification consist of 4 modular part qualifications (Solar PV Mounter, Solar PV Installer, Solar PV Technician and Solar PV Service Technician) which ensures inclusivity of career prospects for a wide range of candidates from matric/school leaver.

5-Day Solar PV Installer Course

Having a registered national qualification means that public as well as private training providers are able to align their PV training offering to the nationally accepted and accredited qualification. SAPVIA supported by the GIZ and DGS Berlin developed reference training material (presentations and supporting documents) for a 5 day Solar PV Installer Course in accordance with the exit outcomes of the curriculum specific to the Solar PV Installer Part Qualification. The course was developed with the aim of presenting the minimum knowledge requirements for Solar PV installers and preparing candidates to undertake the Solar PV Assessment.

The reference training material will be provided (free of charge) to training institutions – both public and private – to offer installers a basic training on Solar PV Installations. Training Institutions are welcome to add components to the material provided to enhance the impact of the training.

A list of Training Institutions can be found here.

Email us to become a training institution.

Solar PV Assessment

SAPVIA together with GreenCape developed the “Solar PV Assessment” for PV installers. The aim of this assessment was to vet installers in order to ensure the integrity of the PV industry. This assessment was designed to be endorsed by industry association and has been developed in accordance with the national qualification.

The 2 day assessment includes a theoretical as well as a practical assessment where candidates are required to mount PV installations on a simulated roof environment. The purpose of this assessment is primarily to ascertain competency of installers and vet their abilities in order to gain access to the PV GreenCard quality programme.

In addition this pilot assessment served to inform the full assessment and will be used as a guide for the development of the Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) Toolkit for the Solar PV service technician qualification.

A list of Assessment Centers can be found here.

Email us to become an assessment centre.


The List of recognised appropriate standards and guidelines used for the development of the PV GreenCard can be found below. A more comprehensive list of standards and specifications of interest to small-scale renewable energy installations as published by Eskom in 2012 can be found here.

Solar Photovoltaic
Standard Focus Status
IEC-EN 61727 Photovoltaic (PV) systems. Characteristics of the utility interface Published
SANS 10142 – 1: 2009 “The Wiring Code’ (The wiring of premises Part 1: Low voltage installations): Installations smaller than 1,000,V a.c. or 1,500V d.c Published
NRS 057-4 Electricity metering Part 4: Code of practice
The South African Distribution Network Code Ver 5.1: Installations 100kW -1MW* (<1,000 MW) Published
NRS 048-2 Electricity supply – Quality of supply Part 2: Voltage characteristics, compatibility levels, limits and assessment methods Published
NRS 048-4 Electricity supply – Quality of supply Part 4: Application guidelines for utilities Published
SANS 1019 Standard voltages, currents and insulation levels for electricity supply Published
NRS 057-4 Electricity Metering Part 4 : Code of Practice
NRS 097 Grid interconnection of embedded generation Published
NRS 097-2-1 Small-scale embedded generation Published
NRS 097 – 3 Simplified utility connection criteria for  low-voltage connected generators Published
IEC 60068-2-1 Environmental Testing – Part 1 Cold
IEC 60068-2-2 Environmental Testing – Part 2 Dry Heat
IEC 60068-2-30 Environmental Testing – Part 30 Damp heat, cyclic (12h + 12h cycle)
IEC 60255-30 Electrical relays Part 3: Single input energizing quantity measuring relays with dependent and independent time
IEC 60255-6 Electrical relays Part 6: Measuring relays and protection equipment
IEC 60255-21 Electrical relays Part 21 : Vibration, shock, bump and seismic tests on measuring relays and protection equipment (all sections)
IEC 60255-22 Electrical relays Part 22: Electrical disturbance tests for measuring relays and protection equipment (all sections)
SANS IEC 60529 Degrees of protection provided by enclosures (IP Code)
SANS IEC 61000-4 Electromagnetic compatibility (EMC) : Test and measurement techniques (all sections)
South African Distribution Code (all parts) Specific requirements for the connections of Embedded Generators
South African Grid Code (all parts) This code contains connection conditions for generators, distributors and end- use customers.
SANS 10160-3 Basis of structural design and actions for buildings
and industrial structures.
OHS Act Occupational Health & Safety Act (as amended) DOL – Published
NBRSA National Building Regulation & Standards Act Published
ERA Electricity Regulation Act Published


Industry Installation Guidelines

Guidelines are usually used in the absence of a national standard. SAPVIA with the associated partners has developed industry guidelines as an interim measure to ensure best practice in Solar PV installation.

Please find the Industry Installation Guidelines here.