Myth: My Homeowners Association Will Never Allow Solar

We hear this concern a lot. Either homeowners are worried about what their HOA might or might not allow, or they’re convinced that solar is completely off the table.

But we have some good news, Texas legislature has passed such provisions to allow homeowners in HOAs to take advantage of solar savings.

 

Texas House Bill (HB) 362: The passage of HB-362 limited homeowners associations (HOAs) and property owners associations (POAs) from restricting solar devices outright. To comply with this law, homeowners that live in neighborhoods with HOAs must still follow the normal procedures for seeking improvements, including a written request or application to an appointed Architecture Review Committee or similar council.  HB-362 amended Texas Property Code Section 202.010 as outlined below.

 

Texas Property Code Section 202.010: HOAs and POAs cannot prohibit or restrict a property owner from installing a solar energy device as defined by Texas Tax Code Section 171.107.  However, the following exceptions do give HOAs the power to restrict solar panels if one of the following conditions exist:

  • If the solar energy devices are illegal or violate public health and safety
  • If they are located on common property within the subdivision
  • If they extend higher than the roofline, do not conform to the slope of the roof, or are not parallel to the roofline
  • If they are ground-mounted and extend above the homeowner’s fence
  • If they are installed in a way that voids the warranties
  • If they have an element that is not in a silver, bronze, or black tone
  • If they are installed without prior approval by the HOA

HOAs can also designate where solar panels may be placed on a homeowner’s roof.  However, the homeowner can petition for an alternate location if he or she can prove that the alternate location would increase the estimated annual energy production of the solar panels by more than 10% by using a modelling tool provided by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, such as the PVWatts Calculator.

Texas Senate Bill (SB) 1626: The enactment of SB 1626 closed previous loopholes by allowing developers to prohibit homeowners in residential subdivisions from installing solar panels on their homes during the development period only if the development consists of 50 or fewer units.

 

All of our installations are built to code, passes all necessary certifications, and are designed with the highest standards of safety and aesthetics.

Even though the HOA cannot legally prohibit properly installed solar, we still want you to be on good terms with your Homeowners Association.

We are happy to meet with your HOA board and offer a presentation of the benefits of solar and its positive impact on home value, community, and more. We will also keep communication with you HOA at every step if necessary. We often see that once the first system is installed in a neighborhood, others follow.

Give us a call if you’d like to know more about how we can work with your Homeowners Association.

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