Last spring, we were thrilled when Solar United Neighbors and other solar advocates efforts to pass legislation clarifying homeowners’ rights within an HOA were successful. The passage of their bill through the Virginia legislature meant anyone living within an HOA now had clear guidelines about how much an HOA can be involved in a solar project. The law now states that HOAs cannot instruct the homeowner to make changes to a project that would increase the cost by more than 5%, or decrease the expected output by more than 10%.
A New Threat to Homeowners’ Solar Rights
The 2020 effort was seen as a huge success in balancing the rights of solar owners and HOA authority, but in this year’s General Assembly, a bill has been introduced to block that previous ruling. The new 2021 bill, SB1463, would undo our progress and much more. It would give developers the ability to restrict solar in planned, new developments. They could do this without input from residents. This would act like a solar moratorium for future residents.
SB 1463 would:
• Give developers unilateral control to restrict solar for new, planned developments without input from residents.
• Cost jobs in the solar industry
• Hinder the ability of homeowners to save money with solar
• Stifle progress in building clean, resilient energy into our local communities
• Weaken a consensus statute passed with overwhelming bipartisan support
What this means
HOA restrictions can be a serious barrier to solar. They can add hassle and cost to the process. These delays have cost millions of dollars in lost savings for Virginia families and lost revenue for solar installers.
What you can do
Use this form to send an email to your legislators. Let them know that SB 1463 is a step backwards for solar rights. If you have solar on your home, tell your lawmakers how solar has benefited your family. If you don’t yet have solar, tell them why you are concerned this bill could harm your ability to go solar.