HOA Rules for Residential Solar Systems in North Carolina
As the United States and the rest of the world gradually shift towards renewable energy usage, residential solar systems have emerged as a sustainable and increasingly popular choice for homeowners, and the state of North Carolina, including HOA communities and Better Tomorrow Solar, is here to explain the HOA rules for solar energy. Better Tomorrow Solar is here to help you in Atlanta, GA, Charlotte, NC, and South Carolina.
Residential Solar Panels in HOA Communities
Communities governed by HOAs were previously restricted in their ability to pursue solar energy usage due to strict HOA guidelines. However, this roadblock has been cleared by a recent North Carolina supreme court ruling regarding solar energy law. Now, HOAs no longer have the power to bar residents from choosing solar residential system panels for their home’s energy usage.
North Carolina Solar Access Law
The North Carolina Solar Access Law was enacted in 2007 in order to safeguard homeowners’ rights to pursue solar energy systems for their North Carolina properties. It served to overturn restrictions from HOAs created post-2007 that tried to ban “the reasonable use of a solar collector for a detached single-family residence.”
The Loophole In the 2007 Solar Access Law
While the 2007 Solar Access Law limited restrictions, it did not remove them entirely. HOAs were still able to control where homeowners placed their solar panels, deterring the ability to place them on their roofs that faced the street or public, which in turn, made many homeowners in HOA communities unable to pursue their desired solar energy installations.
Fight Against North Carolina HOA Solar Panel Restrictions
With the continued restrictions, many HOA homeowners looking to harness the power of solar energy for their homes took to a legal dispute to eliminate the resistance they faced within their HOA communities. These determined solar energy advocates banned together with the North Carolina Sustainable Energy Association (NCSEA) and pushed for change.
The Penalties for Going Against an HOA
HOAs were allowed to make homeowners move their solar panels, often resulting in restricting their panel’s access to sufficient solar energy, making the installation obsolete. Prior to the ruling in early 2022, homeowners who went against their HOAs denial for residential solar energy panels installation were subject to fines up to $50,000 along with other legal penalties.
The North Carolina Supreme Court Ruling
Following the North Carolina Supreme Court’s ruling, the state opted to protect HOA homeowners, giving them the right to install residential solar energy panels regardless of the location of their home. However, the ruling gave HOAs the right to govern where the installations are placed so long as the designated area does not prohibit their reasonable use.
What This Means for Homeowners in HOA Communities
The 2022 ruling was a victory for homeowners in HOA communities seeking to adopt solar energy, as it dismantled the barrier that controlled whether they could install residential solar systems on their property. As approximately 26% of North Carolina residents reside in HOA communities, this ruling has amplified solar energy access allowing many to move forward with their plans.
Approaching HOAs Regarding Solar Energy Installations
Although the ruling protects homeowners, there are still measures to follow when approaching your HOA should you feel your choice to switch to solar energy may be problematic. Fortunately, Better Tomorrow Solar is here to walk you through the process to ensure seamless success and prompt residential solar power.
Talk to Your Neighbors
Before approaching your HOA with your request, speak with your neighbors and members of your community to learn about the members of your HOA board. This allows you to clearly understand your HOA board’s stance on solar energy in your community, enabling you to foresee any potential opposition you may face.
Petition Your HOA
In the event that your HOA is not pro-solar energy and does not favor residential solar energy panels installation, you aren’t at a complete roadblock. You can try to sway their opinion by discussing the benefits, including heightened property value and minimized outages during storms. You may also create a petition and have other community members sign it to overturn restrictive covenants you may face.
Get Familiar with the Solar Energy Law
If you’re facing resistance to the steps mentioned above, it’s time to get familiar with the laws. The solar energy law that protects your right to install residential solar panels on your property without great resistance is an important starting point. However, it’s important to note the HOA is allowed to limit where you install your panels so long as they don’t limit reasonable use.
Get Professional Assistance
When in doubt, reach out to professional solar energy providers, such as Better Tomorrow Solar, for knowledge on how to best proceed with your case. As our experts are up-to-date and well-versed with the solar energy laws, we can guide you, helping you secure a viable solution to benefit from the incredible power of residential solar systems while working around your HOA restrictions.
How Improvements Can Be Made in the Future
While the 2022 North Carolina Supreme Court ruling is beneficial, some improvements can be made to strengthen the rights of homeowners in HOA communities concerning solar panel installation. Homeowners would like to see limited HOA power when it comes to the placement of their solar panels, as in certain cases, without street-facing panels, homeowners are faced with a 10% drop in solar panel productivity.
House Bill 842
House Bill 842 was created to protect homeowners’ rights to place their panels in their chosen, most productive areas despite HOA regulations. It made it past the House but succumbed once it reached the Senate. However, the hope remains that the bill will be reintroduced or refilled in the future, as it would be a substantial win for homeowners.
Determining Reasonable Percentage
Another change homeowners are hoping to see is a set reasonable use percentage regarding the productivity of their residential solar panels. This would mean beyond a certain percentage would be deemed practical use, thus limiting the HOAs power to relocate panels to minimally productive areas that don’t provide homes with sufficient electrical power.
Take Advantage of a New Residential Solar System
It’s time to transition to solar energy and reaps the many incredible benefits, and Better Tomorrow Solar is here to facilitate the transition. Our professionals will guide you through the entire process, from design and installation to maintenance, ensuring optimal use for your home while navigating solar energy laws and regulations.
Let’s Discuss Your Residential Solar System
If you’re ready to adopt clean energy into your home, Better Tomorrow Solar is here to help. Discover monthly savings, reliability, and a minimized carbon footprint with our residential solar panels. Contact our friendly experts today to learn more and begin your journey toward sustainable energy.