For years North Carolina has
followed the national trend of promoting and encouraging green technology and cleaner
and more efficient ways of producing energy.
For homeowners associations, the
trend has been for state legislatures to create laws allowing installation of
solar collectors, regardless of what the HOA may say. Some states have required HOAs to allow
installation under all circumstances, while other states have limited an HOA’s ability
to deny an application to install a solar collector to certain specific
For an overview of the current
solar laws in North Carolina and how they impact your homeowners association,
take a look at my earlier
post on North Carolina solar laws.
Basically, most HOAs in North Carolina have the ability to deny solar
collectors in many cases and can regulate location of the solar collector and
even require that they be screened.
Several factors impact the determination and we advise every homeowners
association board or architectural committee to consult an experienced HOA
attorney if they have any questions.
In North Carolina, several
proposals have been submitted to modify or adjust the current solar laws for
homeowners associations in this state.
For example, House Bill 750 was introduced in 2019 and would seek to
eliminate some of an HOA’s ability to deny installation of solar
collectors. It proposes to delete the current
statutory language allowing an HOA to deny placement of solar collectors in
certain areas (like the front yard or the front roof). At the same time the proposed bill would
require any HOA to allow installation of a solar collector if an HOA’s
regulation “reduced the operating efficiency” of a proposed solar
collector. It defines “reducing the
operating efficiency” of a solar collector as any reduction of more than 10% in
efficiency. In other words, if an HOA’s
rule or regulation requires placement in a particular place (such as the rear
roof) and placing it there reduced the system’s efficiency by more than 10%
then the HOA would not be permitted to require placement there.
At the current time this bill
does not appear to have support, but it is an example of the types of proposals
we have seen.
Because there is a clear push to
eliminate barriers to installing solar technologies it may only be a matter of
time before North Carolina does pass a revision to the current HOA solar
laws. Because of that trend, we usually
advise our community association clients to look at adopting a solar policy for
their community. It allows them to
proactively address this growing area of greener energy production and to be
prepared when homeowners do submit an application to install something.
I’ve worked with a number of communities with
questions and have assisted many others to draft solar policies. Reach out to a community association attorney
in one of our Charlotte, Greensboro, Triangle, or Coastal offices today to find
out how we can help you.
Author: David Wilson
Articles have been Reprinted with permission from Black, Slaughter, Black.
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