Can an HOA prevent you from having solar panels?

The short answer, no, an HOA cannot legally stop you from installing solar panels on your home. If you live in the great state of California, there’s a chance you may live in a neighborhood that has an HOA (Homeowners Association). And being a part of a community with an HOA includes a monthly or yearly contribution to the association in exchange for shared property aesthetics and the amenities within that development, like tennis courts, pools, fitness centers, etc. These monthly or yearly membership fees you pay can often be quite costly, depending on where your community is located. 

So, you live in a neighborhood with an HOA, and you want to save money by going solar. Now what? It’s a common misconception that HOA’s do not allow solar panel installations on the homes within their community. While this can be true in some states, it is NOT true for the state of California. 

Many of our customers here at Sun Energy California reside in HOA communities and have had no trouble going through with the installation process. This is primarily because our sales department knows exactly what to do and handles all the legalities and paperwork with your HOA, leaving the process stress-free and seamless for you. 

Now that we got that out of the way, let’s talk about WHY the HOA can’t stop you from installing solar panels on your property in California…

What is The California Solar Rights Act?

The California Solar Rights Act started in 1978 and prevents restrictions by HOA’s on the installation of solar panels. It did not originally apply to cities, counties, municipalities, or other public entities but subsequent legislation extended these restrictions to all public entities and common interest developments. They can impose reasonable restrictions on a solar energy system, however, these restrictions cannot SIGNIFICANTLY increase the cost of the system (no more than $1,000 cost increase), or SIGNIFICANTLY decrease its efficiency or specified performance (no less than 10% decreased efficiency). 

The act also states that the approval or denial of solar panels by the HOA must be received within 45 days. If there is no response within 45 days, the installation will be deemed approved and the owners can move forward with the installation process. 

If you would like to review the California Solar Rights Act yourself, you can do that by clicking here.

Questions? Comments? Or just simply interested in knowing more about solar? Reach out to us at 760.545.8466 or contact us by clicking here. And, as always, we offer free, no-pressure, consultations, and estimates! Cheers! 


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