Can Your HOA Block a DIY Solar Panel Installation? Posted on 12 Oct 08:30
Before ordering your DIY solar panel system, you need the necessary building permits in your area, and if you live in a master-planned community, you must also check with your homeowners association.
Most HOAs have strict regulations to ensure that neighborhood standards are maintained, and you are legally obligated to follow them. Unfortunately, some HOAs don’t allow photovoltaic panels to be mounted on the roof.
What you can do about it if your HOA tries to block your switch to photovoltaic power?
HOAs May Have Installation Guidelines for DIY Solar Panels
If you’re lucky, your homeowners association will allow your photovoltaic installation. But if your HOA is like most, you can expect at least a few guidelines on its placement.
In some cases, HOA rules for solar panel installation mirror the building codes. For example, a common restriction is the photovoltaic panels must not to hang over the edge of the roof. Due to wind loading, your local building codes may prohibit this anyway, so the HOA guideline would be redundant.
You may also encounter HOA regulations that refer to architectural guidelines for the community. You could be required to install your photovoltaic system so that it isn’t visible from the curb, for instance. Or you may not be allowed to tilt the panels away from the roof.
Often, design guidelines are accommodating or even encouraging to would-be solar adopters. In some communities, however, they’re unreasonably restrictive.
Educating Your HOA About DIY Solar Panels
If your HOA prohibits photovoltaic installation, or if the regulations make array placement difficult or impossible, you can try pleading your case to the association’s board of directors.
Detail your design concept, showing that your photovoltaic system won’t look out of place in the neighborhood. Explain the benefits of adopting solar, and dispel the myths.
You may be able to change their minds, or at least find a way to compromise.
Does Your State Have Solar Access Laws?
Even if your HOA bans DIY solar panel installations, you may have a legal right to install a photovoltaic system. Many states have adopted solar access laws or easements to reduce or remove the restrictions on photovoltaic installations.
Find out if your state has access laws or easements by visiting DSIRE, the Database of State Incentives for Renewables and Efficiency. Your homeowners’ association may not even be aware of the solar policies for your state. Citing the law could have a powerful effect on getting your DIY solar installation improved.
If your state doesn’t have solar access protection, your HOA can block your photovoltaic installation. You can try appealing the decision if you have the support of several neighbors. Or get yourself elected to the board of directors, and you’ll be in a position to change the rules.
Cutting through your HOA’s red tape may not be easy, but it’s worthwhile to save money and establish energy independence. And it can be done!
Visit Solar GOODs online today. We are the premier DIY solar kit experts, and we have everything you need to design your system and obtain approvals and permits. We look forward to helping you with your DIY solar panel installation.