Installing Solar & Wind in a Colorado HOA Community

At All Things Renewable, we often have customers who want to add renewable energy to their properties, but are worried that their HOAs will keep them from putting solar modules on their rooftops or a small wind turbine in their back yards.  Well they’re in luck!  Last year, on August 6, 2008, the State of Colorado passed The HOA Bill for Home Owners’ Associations.  This new law states that HOAs are not allowed to prohibit homeowners from installing or using renewable energy devices on the property they own.

Solar Installation

The following is excerpted from the Colorado Governor’s Energy Office.

 

HOA’s [sic] have the ability to make a strong impact in establishing more energy efficient and sustainable communities within Colorado. This page includes information about The Homeowners’ Association (HOA) Bill for HOA’s. Read about the implications of the law, and how you can best use the law in this section.

The Basics

  • The law went into effect on August 6, 2008
  • HOA’s are not allowed to prohibit the installation or use of renewable energy devices or energy efficiency measures within their communities based upon aesthetic rules and restrictions.
  • Residential and commercial property owners have the legal right to erect and use renewable energy generation devices on property they own.  These include:
    • Photovoltaic (PV) solar electric panels
    • Solar thermal systems (solar water heaters)
    • Solar lighting systems
    • Wind electric generators
  • Residential property owners also have the right to install and use energy efficiency measures on property they own. These include:
    • Awnings, shutters, trellis, ramadas, or other energy reducing shade structures
    • Garage or attic fans
    • Evaporative coolers
    • Energy-efficient outdoor lighting
    • Retractable clotheslines
  • Any and all of these devices and measures must meet all building code, electrical and bona fide safety requirements.
  • Residential property owners do not have the right to erect or install renewable energy devices or energy efficiency measures on limited or general common elements of the Common Interest Community(CIC). This is particularly important for condominium and town home communities, where residents may not own the exterior of their units.
  • Unreasonable restrictions on renewable energy devices are void and unenforceable. This law overrides any covenants, restrictions, or conditions contained in any deed contract, security instrument or other instrument affecting the transfer or sale of, or any interest in, real property (residential or commercial) that attempts to restrict or prohibit the installation of solar energy devices and wind-electric generators.
  • HOA’s can impose reasonable restrictions on the dimensions, placement and external appearance of the renewable energy device. However, an HOA/CIC cannot:
    • Prohibit the installation or use of a renewable energy device.
    • Significantly increase the cost of installation or use of the renewable energy device.
    • Significantly decrease its performance or efficiency

 

If you are concerned that your HOA will not be receptive to your renewable energy improvements, we might be able to help. Contact us for more information on renewable energy improvements for your home or business, or to speak to your HOA on why renewable energy is good for your community. When your neighbors realize how renewable energy systems improve property values, they will undoubtedly become more receptive.

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  1. Another great way to deal with your HOA is to join the board! I joined the board of my HOA specifically because I wanted to make sure there were no roadblocks to installing solar panels on my house.

    Although my house won’t be the first in the neighborhood, I had the pleasure of approving the first installation of solar in our neighborhood, with nary a complaint from anyone.

  2. Many other states are taking a similar approach. In addition, if a neighbor wants to build an addition or plant a tree that will block sunlight reaching your solar system, many areas will deny the proposal. I am glad to see that the government is backing renewable energy. We have a bright future ahead of us!

    http://www.pvsolarsalestraining.com

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