Homeowners Associations and Solar Access in Indiana
For too long, homeowners’ associations (HOAs) have blocked many Hoosiers from installing solar panels on their own homes through unfair HOA rules against solar installations. In 2022, the Indiana state legislature passed a law to protect the property rights of Hoosiers who want to go solar. The law provides a clear path for homeowners in restrictive HOAs to get approval from their neighbors to install solar panels.
Solar Access for HOA Members is now an Indiana law!
House Enrolled Act 1196 (or HEA 1196) protects anyone living in an HOA whose contract “prohibits, restricts, or limits the installation of solar energy systems by homeowners association members” or has unreasonably been denied a request to install solar panels. They can go through a two-step process to have their solar panels approved and then installed on their home.
If your HOA doesn’t prevent solar installations, nothing has changed for you. However, if you find yourself running up against prohibitions or restrictions on solar installations, this new law is for you!
Two-Step Process to Go Solar in an HOA
First, the homeowner must make the following information about their proposed solar system available to other members of their HOA:
- The site plan of the solar energy system to be installed includes:
- The property boundaries;
- A description of the dwelling unit;
- The color of the solar energy system; and
- Any screening used in connection with the solar energy system, if the installation of the solar energy system will happen in a location other than on the roof of the homeowner’s dwelling unit;
- The name of the vendor and installer of the solar energy system; and
- If requested, the plans and specifications of the solar energy system.
Second, the homeowner needs to gather signatures from other HOA members equal to at least whichever is LESS of these two numbers:
- The number of signatures necessary to change the covenants or other governing documents of the homeowners association; OR
- 65% of the members of the homeowners association;
In other words, if it takes the signatures of 60% of the members of an HOA to change the HOA covenant, then a homeowner needs that same number of signatures to have their solar installation approved. However, if it takes (for example) the signatures of 75% of the members of an HOA to change the covenant, then a member wanting to install solar only needs signatures from 65% of the HOA members.
Still Having Trouble Going Solar?
We want to hear from you! We are gathering stories to demonstrate how HOAs block homeowners from installing solar on their property.
If you’re still having problems after going through this process (for example, members of the HOA aren’t cooperating) or the process is too stressful (for example, you have too many members in the HOA to reach the needed number of signatures), please let us know your story. Sharing your story can lead to great impact—and may even help future efforts to further expand the rights of property owners to install solar panels on their own home in Indiana.
Indiana HOA Story form
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How can your story make an impact?
Watch this video showing how persistent advocacy from Joey Myles, an Indianapolis solar owner motivated by his own personal struggles to install solar panels over objections from his HOA, helped to pass Indiana’s HOA solar access law.
Here are some additional resources. If you have any questions or would like some further guidance, please email us at [email protected]
Text of Indiana HEA 1196 (Indiana HOA Solar Access Law)