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Going Solar in an HOA

by: Jesse Feinberg
Posted on: October 5, 2018

If you own a home in a development managed by a Homeowners Association (HOA), you likely know that the HOA has some control over what you can and can’t do with your home. However, if you’re considering installing a rooftop solar system, there’s good news for you: HOA solar is not out of reach.

Under the Illinois Homeowners Energy Policy Statement Act (765 ILCS 165/10), “a property owner may not be denied permission to install a solar energy system by any entity granted the power or right in any deed restriction, covenant, or similar binding agreement…” This means that an HOA cannot deny you the right to install a rooftop solar system on your home.

HOA Solar Policies

Although an HOA cannot prevent you from installing a rooftop solar system, the HOA has the right to develop a “solar policy” to place reasonable restrictions on the installation.

For example, an HOA solar policy can establish restrictions that govern the placement of the panels on the roof, so long as those restrictions do not impair the effectiveness of the system.  However, an HOA solar policy that forbade installations visible from the street would likely be seen as impairing the system’s effectiveness, especially if it prevented homeowners from installing on more productive south-facing roofs.

Establishing a Solar Policy

If you’re a member of an HOA, we recommend that you communicate your interest in solar to the HOA as early as possible in the process.

When you speak with your HOA, you may find out that it does not have any solar policy in place. If that’s the case, the Illinois Homeowners Energy Policy Statement Act also states that an HOA is required to develop a solar policy within 120 days of receiving a request from a member.  This means that if your HOA does not currently have a policy in place, now is the best time to request one.

We believe that no homeowner should have to struggle with an HOA regarding a solar policy and will gladly support an interested homeowner through this process.  If you would like to speak with us regarding the establishment of an HOA solar policy, please contact us and indicate in the message box that you would like HOA solar policy assistance.

by: Jesse Feinberg
Jesse is Certasun's Vice President of Sales & Marketing.

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