Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Do Homeowners Associations and Solar Mix?

Few people should have a beef with homeowners installing solar, right? It's not like your neighbor wants you to pay for it (though you do through the tax code, but that's another issue).

Oh sure, some claim it's an eyesore. So are those whirly things on the roof and no one gets worked up about them. But to appease the architecture Nazis in positions of power within homeowners associations, the homeowner who wants solar can install the panels on the back of the house. Who could object then?

Apparently the Wellington subdivision of Flower Mound, Texas could. When a homeowner installed 44 solar panels on the back of his roof, the HOA sued. People can see the panels from a jogging trail/bike path than runs behind his house.

Check out the photograph. It is a lot of panels, but it is his private property. The HOA should get over it.

It's appropriate to question the economics and reliability of solar power for utility base load generation. However, if an individual wants to make the investment, shouldn't he be able to?

Here is the energy delima. The Feds force much of the country to buy high efficiency air conditioners with paybacks that are far longer than the life of the equipment. HOAs prevent homeowners from installing PV panels.

I think the bigger issue is liberty. I don't like someone telling me I have to buy 13 SEER air conditioners or 1.6 GPF toilets. I also don't like someone telling me I can't install PV panels. I want these decisions to be my choice, not some HOA Nazi or government bureaucrat's choice.


  1. Thank goodness Florida had enough sense to pass a law to allow owners to put a solar system and specifies that NO government agency, homeowners, or condo association can stop you.

  2. HOAs suck in general. But it is not right to classify them as Nazis - that unfairly tarnish the image of Nazis! :-)

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