More than 60 million American’s live in planned communities. Most of these planned communities are governed by an Home Owners Association. The fastest-growing form of housing in the United States today are common-interest developments that includes planned unit developments of single-family homes, condominiums etc. HOA’s are put in place to help regulate and maintain a neighborhood, and outward appearance to the home. Because of the HOA, some homeowners have waited to take the plunge to go solar because they’re curious if the build will go against HOA regulations. Although, the state of California protects homeowners access to the sun, and has had these laws in place for over 30 years.
The Solar Rights Act was created in 1978. The law includes protections to allow consumers access to sunlight and limits the ability of homeowner associations (HOA) and local governments from preventing installation of solar energy systems. The whole idea of the act is to promote and encourage the use of solar, and to “protect and facilitate adequate access to the sunlight which is necessary to operate solar energy systems.” This supports California’s policy in the use of solar energy and the Bay Area’s pledge to use 100% renewable energy. To learn more about your solar rights, click here.
Working with the HOA
If you currently live in a community with an HOA, there are a few tactical things you can do to help persuade them to consider a solar install.
1. Check your Covenants, Codes and Restrictions (CC&Rs): check your local HOA agreement to see if solar system installations are mentioned. Look for ambiguous language, such as forbidding other rooftop objects). This may work to your advantage if you need to take them to court. If solar systems are completely banned, you may find a work around, depending on the type of restrictions, an if they are unreasonably set.
2. Negotiations: it’s best advised to work with the HOA instead of spending money on court costs. This tactic shows that you are willing to work with them, and not against them in the decision to go solar.
3. Community Involvement: rally the neighbors together and educate them on going green with solar panels. Contact your local Skyway Electric representative to help with explains the costs of installations, the money saved and incentives for going solar. Draw up a petition, and present it to the HOA board.
The HOA’s main concerns about installing solar panels, are the physical appearance and aesthetic look after the build. But with the growing concern about global warming, and the trend to go green to help protect our environment, HOAs are finally making a turn for the better. With the continuous support from your community, regulations like these can be overturned.
For more info on solar for your home, contact one of our helpful representatives and Get a FREE Quote Today!