HOAs And The Adoption of Solar Energy

As you are aware, the “big picture” goal of an HOA is to insure that the property value of their complex remains at maximum high pricing levels.
This is accomplished by maintaining the structure from a maintenance perspective and the grounds from an aesthetic perspective. It is the latter that can often cause friction among residents. Some HOA’s restrict hanging beach towels over balcony railings, while others limit the amount of holiday lights that can be strung up. All of these measures were written  into the CC&Rs or created by the vote of your board via the authority that is afforded to them.
If you move into one of these communities with these laws already established, your only course of action is to change the law itself, if you cannot live with them.
What makes solar energy an issue within HOA communities?
Solar energy has long been considered the pinnacle of eco-friendly technologies. Today, more businesses and homes are going green by installing solar panels to convert the sun’s always beaming power into useable energy. In some cases, a solar system can allow a home to go completely off the grid and even sell back power to the electric company.
It stands to reason that homeowners living in a HOA governed community would want those types of benefits, but aesthetics play a major role in the (perceived) value to a community.
Frankly, solar panels aren’t that pretty looking. For a viable solar energy system, you’ll need to install several large panels on a roof.
Real estate agents often cite these “add-ons” as a detriment to holding property values.
Recently a couple in Georgia took their homeowner association to court to fight for the right to install solar panels on their home. This dust-up is making its way to the state legislature as lawmakers consider whether HOAs have the right to exclude owners from installing these systems. There are many of these laws already on the books regarding the use of solar panels within an association, with the first one being instituted in California back in the 1970s.
It’s likely that your HOA has had to deal with this issue and had to make a call on whether they should be permitted or prohibited inyour community.
Do you know the solar rules in your HOA and your state?
Would you object to panels being put up on your roof?
Is there a working solar energy system in your community now?
This article is provided by The Management Trust.