HOAs and Your Rights

You have the right to Go Solar!

The Solar Bill of Rights

Rhone Resch, President and CEO of Solar Energy Industries Association, declared on October 27, 2009, in the City of Anaheim, California, a Solar Bill of Rights: To secure a policy environment that allows solar energy to compete and empowers consumers to choose,We declare these rights not on behalf of our companies, but on behalf of our customers and our country.
We seek no more than the freedom to compete on equal terms and no more than the liberty for consumers to choose the energy source they think best.
1. Americans have the right to put solar on their homes or businesses Restrictive covenants, onerous connection rules, and excessive permitting and inspections fees prevent many American homes and businesses from going solar.
2. Americans have the right to connect their solar energy system to the grid with uniform national standards. This should be as simple as connecting a telephone or appliance. No matter where they live, consumers should expect a single standard for connecting their system to the electric grid.
3. Americans have the right to Net Meter and be compensated at the very least with full retail electricity rates. When customers generate excess solar power utilities should pay them consumer at least the retail value of that power.
4. The solar industry has the right to a fair competitive environment. The highly profitable fossil fuel industries have received tens of billions of dollars for decades. The solar energy expects a fair playing field, especially since the American public overwhelmingly supports the development and use of solar.
5. The solar industry has the right to equal access to public lands. America has the best solar resources in the world, yet solar companies have zero access to public lands compared to the 45 million acres used by oil and natural gas companies.
6. The solar industry has the right to interconnect and build new transmission lines. When America updates its electric grid, it must connect the vast solar resources in the Southwest to population centers across the nation.
7. Americans have the right to buy solar electricity from their utility. Consumers have no choice to buy clean, reliable solar energy from their utilities instead of the dirty fossil fuels of the past.
8. Americans have the right, and should expect, the highest ethical treatment from the solar industry. Consumers should expect the solar energy industry to minimize its environmental impact, provide systems that work better than advertised, and communicate incentives clearly and accurately.

Home Owner Associations (HOAs)

You have every right to install solar on your home or property.  HOAs are generally not allowed to restrict you from installing a Solar System, but they can make it very difficult for you.  Some HOAs have Covenants, Conditions and Restrictions (CC&Rs) that are rules to maintain uniform conditions that keep properties up to a certain standard or looking a particular way.  They have the right to dictate how you install your solar panels and where you install them.

There are different laws in each state.  For example in California, The California Solar Rights Act states that your rights can not be reasonably restricted as such that there is no increase in cost above 20% or decrease in efficiency of 20%.

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