On Monday, April 17, 2019, Representatives John Szoka (R- Cumberland), Wayne Sasser (R- Cabarrus, Stanly), and Bobby Hanig (R- Currituck, Dare, Hyde, Pamlico) filed House Bill 750, which will create more freedom for the placement of residential solar installations.
Currently, deed restrictions, covenants, and binding agreements, such as those made with a homeowner’s association (HOA), can prohibit residential solar installations that are public-facing. A homeowner’s association or management company can stop a solar project, or force a homeowner to reposition a solar installation, which in many cases, reduces the sunlight exposure and thus the generating performance of the installation.
NCSEA heard from its members, both individual homeowners and rooftop solar companies, that these restrictions were stopping solar installations and discouraging potential customers from investing in solar. In response to this feedback, NCSEA drafted legislative language that prevents the prohibition of solar by these agreements.
House Bill 750 adopted this language and will expand opportunities for the placement of residential solar installations. This is good news for the rooftop solar industry, as well as for customers who are currently limited by binding agreements or HOAs.
If H750 becomes law, no deed, covenant or similar binding agreement, such as the bylaws of a homeowners’ association, can prohibit or have the effect of prohibiting solar. This includes the installation of a solar collector that gathers solar radiation as a substitute for traditional energy for water heating, active space heating and cooling, passive heating, or generating electricity for a residential property on land subject to the deed restriction, covenant, or similar binding agreements. It also allows binding agreements to reposition a solar installation only if it doesn’t reduce operating efficiency by more than 10%.
The bill has not yet been referred to a Committee, but NCSEA will continue to monitor its movement through the General Assembly and keep our members informed of updates. If you want to be the first to hear about legislative updates, consider becoming an NCSEA Member!