Lots of Texans are considering solar panel installations to reduce their carbon footprint and help lower their energy bills. However, homeowners belonging to a Homeowners Association (HOA) often encounter additional challenges when it comes to installing solar arrays. And, as it can plainly be seen, there’s lots of modern housing development happening around Houston and Greater Texas; sure as sugar, you guessed it, lots of these developments are also a part of HOAs.
In this article, we will address frequently asked questions and essential facts that homeowners should be aware of regarding solar installations within an HOA-regulated community. We will also explore the laws and protections that solar owners have against uncooperative HOAs.
Understanding HOA and Solar Panels
A Homeowners Association (HOA) is a governing body that establishes and enforces community rules and regulations in residential neighborhoods. These associations are responsible for maintaining the aesthetic and communal standards of the neighborhood.
We’ve all heard jokes about HOAs not allowing homeowners to put up the wrong colored Christmas lights or mailboxes, and these claims may be exaggerated, but when it comes to solar panel installations, some HOAs may have specific guidelines or restrictions that homeowners must adhere to, which can sometimes hinder solar adoption.
In Texas, there are laws in place to protect homeowners’ right to install solar panels despite HOA restrictions. Texas Property Code Chapter 202 outlines the rights of homeowners regarding solar energy devices.
45-Day Notice – Property Code Protections
Under the Texas Property Code Chapter 202, an HOA cannot deny a homeowner’s request to install solar panels based on aesthetic reasons alone. However, they may require the homeowner to provide a notice of intent to install solar panels at least 45 days before the planned installation; this allows the HOA to review the proposed installation and assess any potential impacts on the community.
During this 45-day notice period, the HOA must conduct a thorough review of the solar installation plans and respond in writing. The HOA may only deny the installation if it finds that the solar panels would decrease property values or pose significant safety risks. Additionally, the HOA may only place reasonable restrictions on the solar panel placement and design to ensure they blend harmoniously with the neighborhood’s architectural style.
Learn About the Texas-Based Sol-Ark and Their Brilliant Sol-Ark 15k Hybrid-Inverter System.
The 10% Requirement
In Texas, another protection for homeowners considering solar installations within an HOA is the 10% energy production requirement. If a homeowner’s solar energy system meets at least 10% of the property’s electricity consumption, the HOA cannot unreasonably restrict the installation. As long as the solar system meets the 10% energy production threshold, the HOA must allow the installation to proceed.
Enlisting the Best Solar Companies in Texas
Navigating the intricacies of solar panel installations within an HOA-regulated community can be challenging. Homeowners seeking to install solar arrays in Texas should partner with a reputable Houston solar company that is well-versed in the state’s solar laws and regulations.
The best Houston solar installers are accustomed to dealing with HOAs; they got the knowledge and expertise to guide homeowners through the HOA approval process and ensure that the solar installation complies with all legal requirements.
As one of the best solar companies in Texas, we’d be happy to answer any questions regarding an HOA and solar panels and help design the solar installation you want/deserve.