Contractors State License Board Warns Licensees to Be Aware of Misleading Business Solicitations

Contractors State License Board Warns Licensees to Be Aware of Misleading Business Solicitations
Appeals often look like official government correspondence
SACRAMENTO, CA – The Contractors State License Board (CSLB) wants its licensees to be aware of a warning issued this week by the California State Board of Equalization (BOE).
Licensees are urged to be wary of misleading business solicitations from companies that mimic official correspondence from a government agency.
BOE says businesses have informed the board of notices they have received from the “California Labor Compliance Bureau,” requesting immediate payment of a “processing fee” of $275. The “California Labor Compliance Bureau” is not a government agency. The notices use public information, such as BOE account numbers and industry codes, which give them the appearance of official correspondence.
The “processing fee” is purportedly for labor-related notices that California employers are required to post at their business premises informing employees of their legal rights under the National Labor Relations Act. The notices in question are available free of charge on the National Labor Relations Board’s (NLRB) website.
BOE is not affiliated with the California Labor Compliance Bureau. BOE Correspondence always features the BOE’s title and/or logo and contains contact information. If you receive a notice and question whether it is official BOE correspondence, you should contact your local BOE office or contact the BOE’s Information Call Center at 800-400-7115.
The NLRB can assist licensees with questions regarding required notices at 202-273-0064.

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Solar Server reports Construction resumes on 250 MW California Valley Solar Ranch

On November 2nd, 2011 SunPower Corporation (San Jose, California, U.S.) announced an agreement with environmental and land use organizations to settle and dismiss a lawsuit against the 250 MW California Valley Solar Ranch (CVSR) solar photovoltaic (PV) project.
Following this announcement, Bechtel Corporation (San Francisco, California, U.S.) reported that it has received Full Notice to Proceed on construction of the CVSR. Bechtel began working on the site in August 2011, and construction is scheduled to last roughly two years.
“Upon completion, the California Valley Solar Ranch will produce clean, renewable energy to meet the power needs of approximately 100,000 homes,” said Bechtel Renewable Power Division President Ian Copeland. “Equally important, it will be built with minimal impact to the land and habitat.”
“We are honored that SunPower Corporation selected Bechtel to deliver this world-class, large-scale solar facility that will advance the renewable energy industry.”

SunPower limits use of site to 50 years
Under the agreement with North County Watch (Templeton, California, U.S.) and Carrizo Commons (San Luis Obispo, California, U.S.), SunPower has agreed to limit the use of the site to 50 years, and to decommission the plant and restore habitat at the site within that time frame.
The company has also agreed to provide for enhanced communication and collaboration regarding mitigation and monitoring activities during the construction of the project, as well as funding of research for endangered species.
SunPower had previously committed to preserve more than 36 square kilometers of grasslands in the area.

SunPower to advertise at Orchard Supply Hardware
Also on November 2nd, 2011 SunPower announced that it will offer PV systems via informational displays at Orchard Supply Hardware (OHS, San Jose, California, U.S.) stores in California, as well as on the company’s web site.

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Contractors State License Services introduces new Solar PV Technical Sales Course

Contractors State License Services (CSLS) has introduced a new Solar PV Technical Sales Course intended to teach the skills necessary to work as a salesperson in the growing solar industry. This course covers important sales skills combined with the technical information that are specific to a solar sales position. The course includes a comprehensive curriculum covering; mining for prospective customers, evaluating the needs of a PV System customer, the technicalities of site analysis and system selection, concept design, performance estimates, economic analysis, financial concepts, proposal formation and building a working relationship with your customers. Robert Srinivas the Regional Green Technology Training Manager at CSLS developed this program to help people in construction or sales related fields transfer their skills to this broadening industry. The first class was held at the CSLS Orange location on October 8th and 9th, 2011. Initial response to the class was very positive. Willy Littlefield, course participant shared “Rob had a passion and depth of understanding in solar. I asked many challenging questions and all of my questions were answered fully”. Classes are planned to be held at Contractors State License School locations throughout California. For details on the course schedule interested contractors and sales professionals can contact the corporate offices at Contractor State License Services 800-331-4691.

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CSLB Bulletin: CSLB and Partners Sting 15 for Contracting Without Licenses

CSLB and Partners Sting 15 for Contracting Without Licenses

 SACRAMENTO — The Contractors State License Board (CSLB) teamed up with the Orange County District Attorney’s Office and La Habra Police Department for a two-day sting operation in La Habra where 15 individuals received notices to appear in court for contracting without a license and other, related charges.

On June 29-30, 2011, members of CSLB’s Statewide Investigative Fraud Team (SWIFT) posed as owners of a home (June 29) and a business (June 30) and sought bids from suspected unlicensed operators for painting, concrete, drywall, cabinet installation, and flooring. Those who bid more than the legal threshold of $500 for labor and materials received notices to appear in court for violating California contracting laws.

Some of the suspects will also face charges for failure to carry workers’ compensation insurance, soliciting an excessive down payment, and illegal advertising. State law requires contractors to have workers’ compensation coverage for all employees. Contractors are also prohibited from soliciting a down payment larger than $1,000 or 10 percent of the project, whichever is less. There is an exception for about two dozen contractors who purchase special bonds for consumer protection and may ask for larger down payments. The law also requires contractors to put their license number in all advertisements. Those who are not state-licensed and work on projects valued at less than $500 must state that they are not licensed in their ads.

The first suspect caught contracting without a license was on parole for drug crimes. During the second day of the operation a licensed contractor arrived at the commercial building. He thanked CSLB for conducting the sting and for other enforcement efforts aimed at unlicensed, uninsured individuals who he says are cutting into his business.

“CSLB routinely conducts operations like this one in La Habra as part of its mission to protect the state’s consumers and the integrity of the construction industry,” said CSLB Registrar Steve Sands. “Many of the complaints received by the board after a project has gone awry could have been avoided had homeowners taken a few minutes to check the license first, and followed CSLB’s Ten Tips available in English and several other languages.”

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NAHB Reports: Builders of 55+ Rental Units See Future Market Improvement

Posted by NAHB May 16, 2011

Builder confidence in the 55+ housing market was markedly more upbeat in the first quarter of 2011 for apartment production and demand than for sales of single-family or condominium homes, according new data from the 55+ Housing Market Index (HMI), a quarterly NAHB report that tracks builder sentiment in the 55+ housing segment.

The relative strength in the 55+ multifamily rental market is consistent with other indicators that suggest pent-up housing demand will be first unlocked in rental markets, pushing rental vacancies rates down and rents up. The relative weakness on the owner-occupied side of the 55+ HMI reflects ongoing weakness in housing, particularly for 55+ buyers who in most cases must sell their existing home before purchasing a new residence.

The expected demand index for 55+ multifamily rental units rose 10 points, to 44, from a year earlier. A number greater than 50 indicates that more builders view conditions as good than poor.  The indices of current and expected production of 55+ apartments gained 7 and 8 points, up to 20 and 27, respectively, in the first quarter of 2011.  The index measuring current demand jumped 11 points, up to 39.

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LA Times reports: KB Home hopes building green turns luxury condo sales red hot

By Tiffany Hsu, Los Angeles Times

May 17, 2011

KB Home, a major home builder, is hoping energy saving, eco-friendly features will help drive sales of luxury condos.

When it opens Tuesday, the company’s Primera Terra residential development in Playa Vista will include a host of green essentials: A white “cool roof” to deflect sunlight and heat, electric vehicle charging stations in the garage and storage space for bicycles.

The condo complex with 52 units also has its own community garden. Each condo has a tankless water heater and hi-tech showerheads that save as many as 2,700 gallons a year.

Residents can save more than 40% on their energy bill compared with a typical new home of comparable size, executives said. Condo owners can monitor energy use, greenhouse gas emissions and electricity costs through their computer, iPad or iPhone using a device connected to each unit’s electrical panel.

The construction was also environmental friendly, company executives said. More than 95% of the waste generated during construction was recycled. Builders used nontoxic paints and carpeting.

KB Home said Primera Terra is among the largest residential communities in the state to be awarded Platinum certification — the top rating from the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, or LEED, program.

The complex is among the first of its kind to land the certificate without including solar panels in the design, executives said.

In February, KB Home launched its Energy Performance Guide, a label included with all model homes that displays the new property’s expected energy efficiency and estimated electricity bill.

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Contractors State License Services hosts Open House statewide in recognition of Earth Day and Green Construction

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

http://www.contractorslicensingschools.com/

 Contractors State License Services hosts Open House statewide in recognition of Earth Day and Green Construction.

 Contractors State License Services (CSLS) will be hosting an open house at all school locations throughout California on April 29th, 2011 in recognition of Earth Day and Green Construction.  A variety of speakers and vendors offering construction related information; green products and construction business services are scheduled at 20 plus locations throughout the state. CSLS and strategic partners are working together to educate Contractors and Construction workers on available services and products that can help them take advantage of value-added green offerings that they can integrate into their construction business. “Green construction starts with getting your contractor’s license so assisting students and graduates to get connected in this growing part of the industry is a wonderful opportunity for Contractors”, says David Mizener, CSLS CEO.

At many of the Contractors State License Services school locations Green industry experts, speakers and vendors will participate including American Home Inspection Training (AHIT), Home Depot, HD Supply, Dunn-Edwards Paints, Global HVAC/Ruud, Lowes, Harbor Freight Tools, Jem Industrial Coatings, CBIA Insurance Services, Ewaste Recycler, Contractor Manager, Deep Blue Pool Service, Corp 911 and Solar Seminars.

For this event topics of discussion will cover Zero VOC Paint products, Green insulation, Energy Audit Training, Solar Installation, Sustainable building, Energy Tax Rebates for consumers, Energy efficient appliances, Tankless water heaters, Greenscaping including native landscaping, and much more.  CSLS will also present information on the recently required EPA-Renovation, Repair and Painting certification. Promotions, giveaways and special offers will also be part of this statewide event. Schedules and presenters vary by location. For details on individual school events interested contractors can contact the corporate offices at Contractor State License Services 800-331-4691.

  About CSLS (http://contractorslicensingschools.com/) @contractorslic  #Contractors#License

Contractors State License Services (CSLS) is the largest school in California devoted to the Construction professional. For over 25 years, CSLS has helped its students pass the exam to become licensed contractors in the State of California, licensing more students than any other school. In fact, 1 in 3 applicants to the California State Licensing Board (CSLB) have used CSLS to successfully pass the exam. Contractors State License Services offers licensing classes for all types of contractor licenses, including: General Engineering Contractor | General Building Contractor | Specialty Contractor | Insulation and Acoustical Contractor | Framing and Rough Carpentry Contractor | Cabinet, Millwork and Finish Carpentry Contractor | Concrete Contractor | Drywall Contractor | Electrical Contractor | Elevator Contractor | Landscaping Contractor | Warm-Air Heating | Ventilating and Air-Conditioning Contractor, and many others. Contractors State License Services also provides CSLS Contractors with Business Development Services to assist in every aspect of sustaining a strong Construction Business. These include Bonds, Corporation Services, DBA’s, Application Processing, Fingerprint Services, Home Inspection training courses, BPI Energy Audit training courses, NAPCEP Solar PV Photovoltaic Installer training courses, Locksmithing training courses, and Insurance Services.

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THE CONTRACTORS STATE LICENSE BOARD (CSLB) ZERO-TOLERANCE ENFORCEMENT POLICY IN 2010 AND NOW ISSUES LEGAL ACTION AGAINST ANY C-10 ELECTRICAL CONTRACTOR WHO WILLFULLY EMPLOYS AN UNCERTIFIED ELECTRICIAN TO PERFORM WORK AS AN ELECTRICIAN

 

CSLB Announces Zero Tolerance Enforcement Policy for C-10 Electrical Contractors. 

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SACRAMENTO – The Contractors State License Board (CSLB) established a zero-tolerance enforcement policy in 2010 and now issues legal action against any C-10 Electrical contractor who willfully employs an uncertified electrician to perform work as an electrician. CSLB is legally required to open an investigation and initiate disciplinary action against the contractor (which may include license suspension or revocation) within 60 days of receipt of a referral or complaint from the Department of Industrial Relations’ Division of Apprenticeship Standards (DAS).

Labor Code Section 3099.2 stipulates that anyone who performs work as an electrician for C-10 Electrical contractors shall hold an electrical certification card issued by DAS; DAS is required by Labor Code Section 3099.2 to report violations to CSLB.

Electricians are defined as those who engage in the connection of electrical devices for C-10 contractors. It is CSLB’s position that electrical work must be performed by either a state-licensed or a certified electrician. An indentured apprentice or state-registered electrician trainee may also perform electrical work if supervised by a state-certified electrician. Trenching, concrete, framing, and other work that does not involve connecting electrical devices may be performed by noncertified workers.

Learn more about electrician certification by visiting the Division of Apprenticeship Standards website

Contact a CSLS School Administrator to assist in purusing your C-10 License today! www.MakeMeAContractor.com

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Avoid the Pinch…CSLB Fee Increase coming soon!

CSLB Fee Increase avoid it with a Contractors License now

July is steadily approaching which means fee increases from the CSLB for a Contractors License associated fees is also approaching sooner than you think. Start now in a qualified Contractors Licensing program such as the In School Law & Trade program with CSLS and avoid the pinch.  Details from the CSLB outlined to give you an idea of how enrolling now can save you from the big pinch.

Office of Administrative Law Approves CSLB Fee Increase

New fee schedule begins July 1, 2011

SACRAMENTO – Contractors State License Board (CSLB) application, licensing and registration fees transition to a new schedule on July 1, 2011, following action taken by the state Office of Administrative Law (OAL) in 2010. CSLB fees had remained the same since 1993. OAL approved increases that would represent the statutory maximum that was set by the Legislature in 2002 in response to the Enforcement Monitor report that called for increased resources for CSLB’s enforcement program.  The increase will help assure that CSLB is able to uphold its mandated protection of California consumers and the integrity of the construction industry.

 
Fee Current Amount New Amount  Increase % Increase
Application for Original Contractor License $250.00 $300.00 $50.00 20%
Application to Add a Supplemental Classification or to Replace the Responsible Managing Officer or Employee on an Existing License $50.00 $75.00 $25.00 50%
Rescheduling an Examination $50.00 $60.00 $10.00 20%
Initial License Fee $150.00 $180.00 $30.00 20%
Renewal – Contractor License (Biennial) $300.00 $360.00 $60.00 20%
Renewal – 4-Year Inactive License $150.00 $180.00 $30.00 20%
Reactivate Contractor License $300.00 $360.00 $60.00 20%
Home Improvement Salesperson (HIS) Registration Fee $50.00 $75.00 $25.00 50%
Asbestos Certification Fee $50.00 $75.00 $25.00 50%
Hazardous Substance Removal Certificate $50.00 $75.00 $25.00 50%
Delinquent Renewal – Contactor License /1 $150.00 $180.00 $30.00 20%
Delinquent Renewal – 4-Year Inactive License /1 $75.00 $90.00 $15.00 20%
Delinquent Renewal – HIS Registration /1 $25.00 $37.50 $12.50 50%

/1 Delinquent renewal fees are not included in the proposed regulation because B&P Code Section 7137 (f) sets the delinquency fee as a percentage of the applicable renewal fee: “The delinquency fee is an amount equal to 50 percent of the renewal fee, if the license is renewed after its expiration.”

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CSLB Scheduled to Increase Rates in 2011.

Scheduled CSLB 2011 Fee Increases

We knew that this was coming and now it’s official. CSLB is scheduled to increase licensing fees begining July 1, 2011. If you’re thinking about getting your license or making changes to your license now is the time to do it.
Changes to existing regulations that would increase contractor licensing fees received final approval from the Office of Administrative Law, effective December 18, 2010. Fee increases begin on July 1, 2011 for those applying for or changing their contractor license. Renewal fees for contractor licenses that expire on or after July 1, 2011, will also be increased. CSLB fees have remained at their current level since 1993, and the additional revenue will assure CSLB upholds its mandated protection of California consumers and the integrity of the construction industry.

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