J.T. from Hartford County writes:
Dear Mister Condo,
Can a Planned Community where Homeowners own their individual lots and dwellings restrict or regulate the installation or maintenance of Solar Panels on their individual homes or lots?
Mister Condo replies:
J.T., as you can imagine there has been a growing interest in solar panel installation all across the nation over the past decade as traditional energy rates have risen and solar panels have become more affordable. Homeowners associations are often challenged as to what action to take to keep their communities looking great but allowing residents the options to choose how to power their homes and, in some cases, sell extra energy produced from the solar panels back to the local power supply utility. It is a state by state issue and you can learn a great deal about what different states have already regulated by visiting the following page at the CAI National website – http://www.caionline.org/govt/Pages/SolarRightsandEasementsbyState.aspx
It really is a mixed bag of states that protect, deny, or are silent on the subject. You will see that Connecticut is one of the 10 states that do not have provisions to address solar rights issues within HOAs like yours. That means it is currently up to the Board to restrict or regulate the use of solar panels within the community. In other words, it is in your best interest to make sure a majority of association members want the option to install solar panels before you petition the Board for your own installation. Good luck!