December 14, 2009 

Legislation Protects Solar Power Add-Ons

As more people consider adding solar equipment to their properties, the issue is becoming increasingly contentious among home owners, neighbors, and condo and neighborhood associations.

California solar fans who are confronted by unhappy associations or neighbors usually turn to the Solar Rights Act. The law was adopted in California in 1978 and makes it difficult for home owner groups to reject solar energy equipment unless it creates a safety hazard or modifications can be made without adding much cost.

Legislation creating similar protections nationwide passed the U.S. House of Representatives earlier this year. The federal bill goes even further than the California law making it illegal for HOA rules, leases, or private contracts to prohibit installation of solar power systems.