Homeowners Associations and Solar Access in Indiana
Homeowners associations (HOAs) define a neighborhood’s aesthetic rules, among other roles. Around the state, thousands of HOAs restrict the right of Hoosiers to achieve energy freedom and financial security by keeping homeowners from installing solar panels on their property. While a bill is being considered in the Indiana Senate that would prevent HOAs from imposing unreasonable restrictions on homeowners looking to install solar, there is currently no law in Indiana protecting the right to solar access in an HOA.
According to data collected by IndianaDG, nearly 400 HOAs have full or partial solar prohibitions in central Indiana alone, likely impacting tens of thousands of homeowners’ ability to go solar. While data from other parts of the state are hard to come by, statewide data would likely find many more examples of HOAs that have prohibitive solar policies. Many HOA restrictions are based on outdated technologies like “solar heat panels,” which are obsolete today. Unfortunately, homeowners living under an HOA restriction often have no real recourse. Even gaining neighborhood support and joining the HOA board itself is no guarantee that a homeowner can install reasonably placed solar panels on their home.
The bill currently being considered by the Indiana Senate, HB 1331, would allow Indiana to join 25 other states (including states like Texas, Florida, and Louisiana) that already have HOA solar access laws. HB 1331 would only apply to HOA governing documents that become effective or are amended after June 30, 2019. The bill will simply expand energy choices and uphold the property rights of all Hoosiers by allowing individual homeowners to make a smart financial investment without being undermined by unreasonable local restrictions.
If your HOA has restrictions on installing solar energy systems, you can download our HOA Solar Action Guide for ideas about how to work with your HOA to install solar on your home.