National Electrical Installation Standards

Standards as High as Your Own

Thursday, December 8, 2022


Hi Code Friends, when an electrician installs solar panels and solar equipment to a residence, is it the electrician’s responsibility to add a surge protector to the current home electrical panel (downstream from the solar electrical box that has its own surge protector and emergency shut off)? Thank you, Jennifer Linder


Hello Jennifer, speaking strictly from an NEC® requirement perspective, the 2020 NEC® does not mandate the installation of Surge Protection Devices (SPDs) on PV systems.

Many PV systems are utility interactive and as such, the local utility may have specifications for system design and commissioning. It is always advisable to check with the local AHJ, and utility to see if there are any local codes/ordinances that would impact the installation.

The electrical contractor that obtained the permit for the installation would be responsible to meet the minimum requirements of the NEC® and/or any local applicable codes as they pertain to the project scope specified on the electrical permit. We cannot comment on any responsibility, beyond the minimum electrical code requirements.

ABOUT CQD: The Code Question of the Day (CQD) is NECA and ELECTRICAL CONTRACTOR Magazine’s flagship National Electrical Code (NEC®) public forum for the industry, sponsored by EATON. The daily distribution of Q&A generates a lively dialogue and shares relative Code-based practical responses.

SUBMIT YOUR CODE QUESTION: Click here to submit a question to for inclusion in an upcoming edition of the Code Question of the Day, or email

CHARLIE TROUT: Charles M. Trout, better known as Charlie, was a nationally known NEC® expert and author. He served on several NEC® technical committees and is past chairman of CMP-12. In 2006 Charlie was awarded the prestigious Coggeshall Award for outstanding contributions to the electrical contracting industry, codes and standards development, and technical training. Even though Charlie passed away in October of 2015, his work continues in spirit. NECA continues to maintain this question forum for its many subscribers in memory and recognition of all his significant contributions to making the NEC what it is today.

NECA STANDARDS: NECA publishes the National Electrical Installation Standards™ (NEIS™), a series of ANSI-approved performance and quality standards for electrical construction. NEIS can be purchased in the NECA Store in three formats: a printed or  PDF download of a standard or, as an  annual subscription service.

NECA SAFETY PRODUCTS & PUBLICATIONS: NECA produces electrical safety publications and products for the industry including jobsite safety guides, handbooks and resource kits. View a full listing of available resources and products »

IMPORTANT NOTICE: Unless the question requests a response based on a specific edition, all answers are based on the latest edition of NFPA 70® National Electrical Code®.

This correspondence is not a formal interpretation of the NEC® and any responses expressed to the questions are opinions and do not necessarily represent the official position of NECA, NFPA, the NEC Correlating Committee any Code-making panel or other electrical technical committee. In addition, this correspondence is neither intended, nor should it be relied upon, to provide professional consultation or services. 

UPDATE YOUR SUBSCRIPTION PREFERENCES: Subscribe or Unsubscribe from this list.