Do Solar Systems Violate HOA Regulations?

Filed under: Solar Installation

House with solarIf you live in a planned community, you are familiar with the limits placed by homeowners associations. In most cases, these limits benefit everyone. By enforcing a uniform appearance in homes, lawns, and common areas, everyone benefits through protection of their property values.

However, sometimes homeowners feel that their associations are overstepping boundaries. This would have been the case prior to the passage of the Solar Rights Act in 1978. Without the act, homeowners associations would be able to ban the installation of solar panels which violated their uniform appearance standards.

Under the Solar Rights Act, homeowners associations and local governments cannot restrict homeowners from installing solar power systems, through any of the following means:

  • outright bans on solar systems due to their appearance or other reasons
  • architectural restrictions which decrease the performance of solar power systems
  • any increase in costs which would burden homeowners wishing to use solar systems

The law does allow for a few exceptions, however. Homeowners associations are allowed to place reasonable restrictions on the installation or use of solar systems, so long as these restrictions do not significantly increase the cost of the system or significantly decrease its efficacy or performance.

So what does this mean for the average homeowner? If you don’t live in a planned community, subject to homeowners association rules, you probably don’t have to worry about any restrictions at all. If you do live in such a community, you are legally protected if you want to install and use a solar power system. This is great news for the environment, as well as your wallet! However, some reasonable restrictions may apply, so check with your homeowners association before installing a solar system.

You are most certainly able to upgrade your home to a cleaner energy system; just make sure you’re following community guidelines when doing so. Communicate any restrictions to your solar panel installation company, and they can accommodate homeowners association guidelines.

For answers to other questions you may have about solar power systems, give us a call at New Day Solar (855-4446329) and we’ll be happy to help!