Your Solar Rights As A Homeowner In Texas
So, you’re all set to have solar panels installed on the roof of your home, but the community you live in has a homeowner’s association (HOA) and you want to make sure they don’t get in the way of your new solar power system. You might be wondering, “Can my HOA prevent me from going solar?”
You’re in luck if you live in in Texas, as SB 1626 from the Texas Property Code § 202.010 protects homeowners’ rights to go solar on a residence. The reasoning here is that an entity such as an HOA should not be allowed to prevent you from taking a positive step for both your wallet and the planet. Don’t mess with our personal property in Texas, so to speak!
However, you should be aware of the “fine print” written into the HOA solar access law.
HOA Restrictions On Solar Panels
HOAs may prohibit solar panels being installed if they are found to be illegal or violate public health and safety, as decided by a court.
HOAs may prohibit or regulate solar on common property within the subdivision or property that is owned or maintained by the association.
HOAs may prohibit solar devices that are on the roof if they extend above the roofline, are not parallel to the roofline, or do not conform to the slope of the roof.
The law also says that an HOA may designate where the solar should be located on a roof, unless a homeowner can show that the designation negatively impacts the performance of the solar energy device and an alternative location would increase production by more than 10%.
HOAs may also prohibit solar panels from being installed on the ground in a fenced yard if they are taller than the fence.
Also, going solar may be blocked if the solar energy device is installed in a way that voids its warranties or if any frames or wiring/piping are not silver, bronze, or black.
Related Reading: Frequently Asked Questions About Solar In Texas
Builder Restrictions On Solar Panels
Another caveat is given in the case of developments or subdivisions still under builder control such as a neighborhood still being constructed. The law states that a builder can prohibit or restrict a homeowner for installing a solar energy device. So if you’re an early homeowner in a new development, you may have to wait to go solar until all construction has been completed in the neighborhood.
For more information about the solar access laws in Texas as they relate to homeowners associations, visit the links below:
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