Will My Homeowner’s Association Approve Solar Panels?
Homeowners looking at solar options but are in an HOA situation wonder how this may affect the decision to go solar. The question is often fretted over: Will my homeowner’s association approve solar panels? Rest assured many living in planned developments or condos have navigated this process and now enjoy the benefits of generating their own solar energy.
HOAs are notorious for making it difficult to upgrade the exterior of your home. Their rules are established to enhance a neighborhood’s aesthetic while raising funds to maintain community amenities like pools or tennis courts. Changes to the look and feel of the neighborhood, or one causing a drop in property value are strongly discouraged and usually prohibited. However, even though you will be required to notify your association of your plan to go solar, they can not prevent you from having solar installed on your property.
Homeowners Association Approvals and Solar Laws
A homeowners’ right to install a solar system is actually protected by law. In the 1970s The Solar Rights Act was enacted in California, specifically “bars restrictions by homeowners associations (HOAs) on the installation of solar-energy systems”. So although reasonable restrictions can be made on the placement of the solar panels they can not prohibit it.
Even though laws ensure that HOAs cannot stop their members from installing solar on their properties, they do allow them to place “reasonable restrictions” on home solar systems. You would need to look up the rules of your community, but there’s usually an approval process for installation or other restrictions as to where the solar panels can be installed. Some solar access laws even will allow associations the right to influence the design of a rooftop solar array. A solar installer will create plans and provide the necessary documents for you to submit to your homeowner’s association regarding the installation, so they can approve the layout.
Concerns usually arise as to whether or not the homeowners association will make the solar project cost-prohibitive to get approved. But in 2014 the Solar Rights Act was amended, defining how “significantly” an HOA can influence a solar installation. This amendment specifies that the amount can not exceed $1,000 over the original system cost or even decrease the efficiency of the home solar system by more than 10%.
The way to make the experience of going solar easy is to hire a trusted solar installation company that will follow not only the building codes and restrictions but also keep you as the homeowner within the guidelines of your Home Owner Association. SunPro Solar has over a decade of experience not only installing solar but also handling the requirements of HOAs so you can go solar with ease. Call the energy experts today and schedule your free no-obligation consultation. 951-678-7733