Recently, Senator Mark Udall of Colorado introduced a bill that would make it easier for the owners of solar photovoltaic (PV) panels connected to community solar gardens to received federal renewable energy tax credits. While shared solar gardens are a great option for anyone who is unable to install a rooftop system, such as renters or condo owners subject to homeownerse association (HOA) rules, something for California residents to remember is that it is actually illegal for an HOA to prohibit its members from installing solar power.

The right to construct solar energy and other renewable power sources on your property is guaranteed by the Solar Rights Act of 1978, which barred HOAs from enforcing rules that would limit the expansion of such technologies. It is important to keep this in mind because, although a community solar garden is certainly better than no solar energy, homeowners are much better off if they have a rooftop system installed on their home. Doing so allows the resident to take full advantage of tax credits and utility rebates without having to pay a fee or share those benefits with the operator of a solar garden.

That the state protects the right of homeowners to make modifications to their property is a good thing, because although there are some legitimate reasons to enforce HOA rules, such as aesthetic consistency and safety concern, solar panels offer only benefits to the neighborhood. A residential PV system provides an unlimited, clean source of electricity without producing emissions or pollutants that can be detrimental to public health and air quality.

If you’re interested in finding out more about the benefits of North California solar power for your community, contact West Coast Solar today.