Are there any regulations that could prohibit you from installing solar panels?
Last updated on 12/2/19, by Esmeralda Torres | Written by Nina Goodey
Solar Access Rights & HOAs
There’s a lot of research that goes into getting your own solar installation, and now you’re trying to figure out which laws might apply to your house. Can you even install solar panels?
Generally speaking, it depends on your state and homeowner’s association (HOA), or an association typically created by a real estate developer to keep real estate value high by ensuring houses are well-maintained and aesthetically pleasing. Typically, the hold-up is your HOA - you might have to submit plans for their approval, build panels on only one side of your house, or be completely prohibited from putting up panels.
Most states have passed some kind of solar access laws - prohibiting governing bodies like HOAs from blocking you from installing solar panels. The problem is, the enforcement of these laws varies and even if there is a law protecting your rights, your HOA might have ways around it to prevent solar installations.
So, click here to find out what your solar access rights are by state, and consult your HOA to find out what you’ll have to do to ensure both you and your HOA are happy with the final result.
Solar easements are how solar panel owners can protect their home’s sunshine. States that allow for solar easements let homeowners negotiate with their neighbors to prevent any kind of growth or construction from blocking the sun that would otherwise fall on their panels. Easements are usually voluntary, meaning the homeowner can’t force their neighbors to sign any agreements.