Homeowners associations and solar access
If you live in a planned development or condominium, chances are you had to join a homeowners association (HOA) upon buying your property. HOAs establish rules for a neighborhood’s aesthetic and raise money for shared amenities like pools and tennis courts.
Your HOA may restrict where and how you install your system. It may even prohibit you from outright installing solar. Many states, however, have enacted laws protecting homeowners’ rights to generate solar energy. These laws generally fall under two categories:
Solar access laws
Solar access laws ensure that governing bodies like HOAs cannot prohibit their members from installing solar on their properties. However, they do often allow HOAs to place “reasonable restrictions” on solar systems. Members may need to request permission before installing or ensure wiring is out of sight.
Solar easements are voluntary agreements that individual property owners and governing bodies like HOAs can enter into. They allow one party to ensure their system gets enough sunlight. An easement can involve items like having your neighbor agree to keep their trees trimmed or agree to not build an addition that would obstruct your panels.
Fighting for your right to go solar
Solar United Neighbors believes that homeowner associations should always allow their members to install solar on their homes. Distributed solar lowers the financial burden of energy consumption on homeowners and raises property values.
Homeowners associations and solar access resources
- Solar Resource Guide – A state-by-state list of laws regarding solar access rules.