Residential solar panels have become an increasingly popular sight in communities and neighborhoods all over the country. And this shift has happened despite some homeowners associations’ (HOAs) hesitancy to adapt to the popularity or update their guidelines to allow for this solar transition. While there is no question that sustainable energy is the way of the future, some HOAs had concerns over such factors as the aesthetics of solar panels, preferring that homeowners place the panels out of sight or not at all. And homeowners willing to fight for their right to install solar panels make some of the best customers for residential solar installers.
However, homeowners are regularly bringing new challenges against these antiquated regulations. Some are on a neighborly and personal level, while others have found their way to courts. Overwhelmingly, residential solar panel adoption has only just begun gaining momentum, and the tide is turning fast.
From Neighborhoods to States
In some instances, neighbors are taking it upon themselves to change the regulations or ordinances that once upon a time prevented them from putting solar panels on their home rooftop. For instance, a North Carolina homeowner, Aaron Snead, was told by his HOA that solar panels had to be installed on the back or behind the house, even though his front rooftop had the most exposure to the sun.
Aaron acquired signatures from nearly all of his neighbors, pushing for a change to the HOA regulation, which ultimately passed and allowed Aaron the flexibility he required. And to see this type of shift happening on a local level is important, as it reaffirms that everyday civilians want the opportunity to have solar energy powering their homes and are tired of relying on fossil fuels.
But it is also happening at a larger level. Earlier this year, the North Carolina Supreme Court ruled in favor of a citizen who installed solar panels in the front yard. Though the case was unrelated to Snead’s, it demonstrates that individual homeowners are taking the initiative to transition to solar more quickly than their HOAs.
Furthermore, North Carolina is not an outlier in these steps. In 2021, we wrote about Texas passing a law (Senate Bill 398) to prevent HOAs from unreasonably restricting residential solar panel rooftop installations, marking a big win for homeowners in the Lone Star state. A similar initiative was passed in Ohio just this year (Senate Bill 61), establishing protections for property owners who want to install solar panels on their property. Indiana is another state that recently made it more difficult for HOAs to restrict the installation of solar panels (House Bill 1196), a battle stuck in the state’s legislature for the past six years.
And yet, had it not been for neighbors and individuals bringing their cases and rounding the support of other neighbors, these initiatives would never have gotten any traction. It shows that when it comes to solar power, citizens are making up their minds and choosing a future of sustainable energy.
The Road Ahead is Getting Sunnier
As more and more protections get enacted for solar panel access, more and more homeowners will be able to enjoy transitioning from traditional fuel-based energy to sustainable energy. And what helps is that thanks to Trina Solar’s 410W Vertex S series, residential panels are sleeker, more compact, and provide higher output than previous models.
Residents will continue turning to the future, courts will continue offering additional protections to make this future a reality, and Trina Solar will continue to deliver more efficient and practical solar technologies. And with the TrinaProtect 25-year product and performance warranty program available in the U.S., homeowners can be optimistic about their protected solar future.
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