More and more homeowners are considering the environmental and cost benefits of solar panels. However, those in communities managed by a homeowners’ association ask a common question — that is, does the HOA have a say in the installation of solar panels? Continue reading to find out the answer.
Understanding HOA Rules on Solar Panels
HOAs typically have a set of rules called covenants, conditions and restrictions (CC&Rs) that contribute to maintaining the aesthetic appeal and value of properties. These may include restrictions on the installation of solar panels, often designed to keep the uniform appearance of homes. Whether an HOA can hinder the installation of solar panels hinges on state legislation and the specifics within the governing documents of the HOA.
The Homeowners’ Right to Install Solar Panels
While HOAs can impose certain limitations on property changes, many states have passed laws defending a homeowner’s right to install solar panels, known as solar access laws and solar easements. These laws often prevent HOAs from banning solar panels but may allow for reasonable restrictions on aspects like placement and aesthetic design. Be sure to examine state laws and your HOA’s CC&Rs to find out what restrictions, if any, apply.
Guidelines and Approval for Solar Panel Installation
If you are considering solar panels for your home, you may need to undergo an application and approval process set by your HOA. It’s beneficial to collaborate with a knowledgeable solar panel company to navigate this process. Providing clear plans or blueprints and understanding the steps required for submission can help expedite the approval.
Embracing the Advantages of Solar Energy in Your Community
Aside from the obvious gains in energy efficiency, solar panels are also becoming more visually appealing, debunking the myth that they are intrusive or unaesthetic. There is even evidence to suggest that solar installations can increase property value, linking energy savings with increased home valuation.
Staying Updated on State and Federal Laws
No current federal law offers broad protection for homeowners’ rights to install solar panels, but changing political landscapes suggest this may someday change. Until then, homeowners and HOA boards must remain informed on state-specific laws affecting solar panel installation. Knowledge of regulations combined with the community’s guidelines will aid in legally compliant and community-approved solar panel installation.
Acing the HOA Solar Panel Approval Process
When preparing to apply for solar panel installation in an HOA-governed community, it helps to:
- Thoroughly review your state’s solar access laws and your HOA’s CC&Rs
- Work with a solar panel company experienced in dealing with HOA processes
- Submit a detailed proposal, highlighting the aesthetic and efficiency benefits of the project
- Be ready to compromise on certain design aspects while retaining the essential function of your solar system
Acorn Home Improvements, Inc. is committed to assisting homeowners in their journey to enhanced energy efficiency. With our professional solar panel installation services, you can minimize your environmental impact while keeping in line with your community’s standards. Call us today at (973) 386-9604 or visit our contact page to schedule an appointment.