Going solar with a Homeowners Association (HOA) doesn’t have to be a headache, and it often isn’t. Several states have Solar Rights Acts which limit the ability of an HOA to simply reject a proposal to install panels on your property.1
The California Solar Rights Act does not allow an HOA to pass any rules that “effectively prohibit or restrict the installation or use of a solar energy system.” The HOA has some rights and can reject a homeowner’s rooftop solar proposal for aesthetic reasons, but only if a new system can be designed that is within $1,000 of the original system cost and 10% of the original system production.
Additionally, the process for getting HOA approval for your system should be fairly simple and your installer should have experience with it. The homeowner or installer should request the required documentation from the HOA. Then, before the panels are installed, the intended design must be sent to the HOA for review. Depending on how often your HOA holds meetings, this process could be completed in a week and up to one month. The California Solar Rights Act mandates that the process for going solar must be streamlined. Therefore, a homeowner must get HOA approval, but their review process cannot take an unwieldy length of time.