Ohioans come together to protect their solar rights

By La'Tonya Troutman on August 10, 2022

A victory For homeowners in an HOA

On June 15, Ohio Governor Mike DeWine signed Senate Bill 61 (SB 61). The new law makes it easier for Ohioans to install solar on their homes. The bipartisan legislation prevents homeowner associations (HOAs) from imposing unfair restrictions on homeowners that want to go solar. The law will go into effect in September 2022.

Finding champions for the fight

SB 61 is a much-needed, significant victory for solar rights in Ohio. SB 61 is a commonsense bill that protects homeowners who live in HOAs and want to install solar panels. The passing of this bill would not be possible without Senators Louis Blessing and Nickie Antonio. They championed this vital law.

“This has always been about removing barriers for people who simply want to add solar to the roof that they own,” Senator Blessing said. “People now have the right to choose solar.”

“Increasing adoption of solar power is critical to making the transition to affordable clean energy,” Senator Antonio said. “I’m proud to say today we made rooftop solar possible for more Ohioans than ever.”

How the law works

Solar access laws such as SB61 ensure that governing HOAs cannot prohibit their members from installing solar on their properties. The bill provides common sense protections for homeowners who live in HOAs and want to install solar panels. The legislation eliminates unreasonable restrictions on rooftop solar in all HOAs across Ohio. It limits an HOA’s ability to influence the design or size of a rooftop solar array. The bill also prevents HOAs from banning solar installations outright.

Solar access victory’s benefits

Solar access laws create significant opportunities for all Ohioans. The most meaningful benefit is that the passing of this bill allows previously denied homeowners access to solar. SB 61 makes going solar easier for homeowners like Michael Schaal. Schaal, a member of a Columbus-area HOA, had to collect 137 signatures to get his HOA to consider his application.

“This bill makes it so much easier for homeowners in HOA’s to go solar,” Schaal said. “It eliminates all of the hurdles homeowners in an HOA had to go through for approval to go solar.”

The new law benefits more than the homeowners who can go solar. More solar means more economic investment and job opportunities. Solar access creates more solar and more good-paying jobs for hard-working Ohioans.

“Senate Bill 61 allows for continued solar industry development and job growth in Ohio.”, said Sarah Spence, Executive Director of Ohio Conservative Energy Forum. It also strengthens property rights for Ohioans living in condominiums and planned communities. We thank Senators Blessing and Antonio for their work to get this legislation passed.”

We’ve got your back

Solar United Neighbors has resources available for those interested in helping their HOA to comply with the new law. If you’d like to learn more about going solar in an HOA, download our HOA guide.