So you want to go solar but you keep asking yourself – does my Homeowner’s Association (HOA) allow solar panels? And if they do, what say do they have in the process? Are there any laws protecting you or your right to install solar? How much more of a headache will this become due to your HOA?
Seeing as homeowner associations represent over 53% of households in America, these are all fair questions.
Lucky for you – we are here to answer your questions.
Does my HOA allow solar panels?
It’s important to note that there are different laws depending on which state you live in. We will first look specifically at the two states we operate most heavily in: Missouri and Kansas.
If you live in Missouri, there was a new bill (SB 820) just signed into law on June 29, 2022. This bill includes the following provision:
A homeowners’ association may adopt reasonable rules regarding the placement of solar panels or solar collectors to the extent those rules do not prevent the installation of the device or adversely affect its functioning, use, cost, or efficiency.
This provision means HOAs can no longer prohibit installing solar panels, or even force you to build them in such a way that would limit their effectiveness. While this bill doesn’t go into effect until January 1, 2023, it’s likely that no HOA will fight solar panel installation before then either.
If you live in Kansas, unfortunately there are currently no laws protecting you from rulings by your HOA. Having said that, there are still tactics you can use when having the conversation with your HOA.
This shouldn’t cause you to worry too much though. As the attitude towards solar energy continues to become more favorable, it is likely your HOA is already positively inclined towards solar panel installation. KC Solar has installed many solar panels in HOA neighborhoods in Kansas. KC Solar works directly with your HOA to install solar panels on your house. You can even hear directly from some of our customers.
Solar Access Laws and Easements
This is the one area that Kansas does have some sort of legislation. While it is not a solar access law that many states have in place, it can still protect those who have made the switch to solar. Kansas has a statute that says any solar easement must be in writing and recorded with the register of deeds for the county where the property is located. This means if anything or anyone infringes on that easement, there will be documented proof to back you up.
Unfortunately, neither Missouri nor Kansas have solar access laws in place. There are 25 states that have such laws in place. To find what applicable laws your state has, check out the database of state incentives for renewables and efficiency.
Back in 2011 there was a bill introduced to the U.S. Congress that was aimed to grant some protections. The bill would require each state to adopt a net metering standard. It would also prohibit states or utility companies from restricting access to “local distribution systems,” which includes solar panels. Unfortunately this bill has not seen much movement since it’s introduction.
Other Options to Go Solar
In the off chance that your HOA does restrict you from installing solar panels on your home, you might be wondering what other options you have.
No matter what state you live in, there are often community based solar programs. They often work similar to when municipalities invest in solar projects. One example of this is the solar array project at Kansas City International Airport. While the scale of the projects may differ, the concept is the same and can scale to meet any need. You may be able to convince your HOA to use some of the communal land to install solar panels and reduce everyone’s electric bills.
If you are looking to go green in Kansas City specifically, you may have yet another option. Evergy solar program can help you go solar without the need to install solar panels yourself. While this is the only option for some people, such as those living in apartments, it may not be the best option for everyone. We covered the pros and cons of Evergy’s solar progam in another blog for you to review if you are interested.
Start Your Switch To Solar Today
If you are looking for the best solar company in Kansas City, look no further than KC Solar. They are your local Kansas City solar panel installation experts. Once you schedule a no-pressure site visit, our experts will help you understand what solar system specifications would be best for your home or business.
KC Solar is the only local solar company in Kansas City with KC natives who own and operate the daily activities of the business. What does that mean for you? We care about you because we care about this city, and we only want the best for it.
And be sure to download our Free Solar Panel Buying Guide for more information.
We look forward to serving you!