Category Archives for "Solar Panel Laws"
In the world where everyday things become more expensive. It’s nice to know that we do have the opportunity to decrease our electricity costs.
With the increase of information about solar energy being shared around the world.It’s not surprising to find yourself asking, should I install panels in my home? The answer is, yes.If you have the money to invest now, in the future you will save anywhere from 50-100 dollars a month.
But, before you rush ahead and get started on your new adventure. let’s take a look at some of New Hampshire’s Laws and Regulations on installing solar panels.
1) Building code requirements.
The state building codes apply throughout New Hampshire. however, towns, cities,counties and village districts are able to adopt their own building codes.
The first thing you should do is check with your local municipality to see all your requirements.
2) Home owner’s association restrictions
If you live in an area with a home owner’s association they may have their own rules pertaining to the installation of solar panels.
You will need to speak with the president of your association to get a current copy of your bylaws.
3) Solar Access laws
New Hampshire has a law that allows you to create a solar skyspace easement. This easement is to ensure that you will have direct access to the sun for your solar panels.
In other word’s your neighbors could not build a structure or plant a tree that would cause a shadow over your solar panels.
4) Net Metering and group net metering Payments
This law allows the owner of solar panels to receive payment or credit for any excess amount of renewable energy that is produced by their panels.
This law also allows the solar panel owner to share their renewable energy with another property.
5) Zoning Regulations
Most municipalities allow renewable energy systems installed on existing residential structures.
However, when they are installed on the ground of the property setbacks and other zoning related requirements may be put into place.
Municipalities in New Hampshire will require you to have a permit to install your solar panel systems.
You will need to contact your local code officials to see about fee’s and requirements.
The task of installing your new solar panel system may seem daunting. But in the long run, you will be happy to know you are not only saving money every month, you are becoming more independent
You can choose to work with one of our recommended companies to make the process a lot easier. We offer a free quote to New Hampshire residents, click here to get your quote.
At the heart of the debate is the net metering compensation and the credits offered for residential or commercial solar panel instruction projects. Currently, the state offers two programs that provide subsidies.
Success of the programs
In Massachusetts, there were an estimated 50,000 homes running off of solar power. Since the introduction of these initiative, an increase in the number of solar installations have been completed.
In 2015, $803 million was invested in solar projects, a one percent increase from the previous year.
With the estimated 1,020 megawatts of solar energy installation projects in Massachusetts, the state is ranked as the sixth state in the nation for solar capacity. Estimates state that 163,000 homes were powered by solar energy.
For a household that installed a solar roofing system, the household can save an estimated $36,000 over 20 years. The average install is approximately $14,000 and would pay for itself in less than 10 years.
Recent developments in solar energy in Massachusetts
In fall of 2015, the House passed the H.B. 3724 “An Act Relative to a Long-term, Sustainable Solar Industry” bill.
The Secretary of Energy and Environmental Affairs recently signed into law a new piece of legislation designed to spark an interest in more solar development projects. The chief objective, to make solar power much more attainable, as it will benefit taxpayers interested in transitioning to solar power.
Highlights of the legislation
• Cap will be set to 3 percent for both public and private projects.
• Reimbursement rate will be decreased to 40 percent, which translates into 11 or 12 cents per kilowatt hour.
• Government, municipalities and residential projects can get full retail rate.
• Projects in progress remain unaffected by the new legislation.
• Customers receive a minimum monthly bill by the Department of Energy.
There are certain restrictions in place for installers and the equipment that can be used in these projects. Laws require that all solar power systems installed must use new equipment in the project and conform to IEEE standards. Installers working on a particular project must be pre-approved.
Massachusetts has embarked on an ambitious goal of expanding their solar capacity to 1.6GW by 2020. As a result of the recent legislation, ratepayers will be able to take advantage of the program and save 40 percent.
If you’re thinking about installing solar panels in Massachusetts, you’ll want to get a free quote from our recommended provider here.
Solar Panel Laws in Pennsylvania
Every year your home emits as much as 20 metric tons of carbon pollution. Installing solar panels will decrease the carbon footprint of your home by at least 3 metric tons a year.
Do you know how many trees that is?
You would have to plant 88-100 trees a year to offset that much carbon dioxide!
If you live in Pennsylvania and have decided that you just can’t afford to plant that many trees’ here is a list of rules that you will need to follow.
You will need to obtain a permit before you start the installation of your solar panels. The types and cost of permits that you need will vary, depending on the municipality that you live in.
According to the National Electrical Code (NFPA70), your roof must be capable of supporting the weight of your solar panels in any type of weather conditions, e.g., snow, Ice, or wind.
It also requires that the Panel system complies with the fire classifications for roof coverings. Roof mounted Panels are permitted to slightly exceed the building height limitation for the principal structure.
Any systems not attached to the roof are required to comply with the minimum yard or setback requirements for accessory structures in your local zoning district.
When your Panels are being used to provide electricity to your home, business or farm, it should be regulated as an accessory similar to a swimming pool, satellite dish or shed.
There are no laws that directly address the issue of a neighboring property owner whose trees or buildings cast shadows over your solar panels causing interference.
However, the general rule of thumb is to talk with your neighbor and see if they are willing to create an easement that prevents one property owner from blocking another’s sunlight.
In the state of Pennsylvania, the municipalities are able to create their own zoning ordinances according to the needs of their citizens.
It’s good to keep in mind that each municipality may have different rules and regulations regarding the installation of Solar Panels. Always make sure you contact an employee of your municipality before you begin your project, they will be able to steer you in the right direction.
You should know that Pennsylvania offers many rebates and incentives. These incentives are offered at the state and local level and by individual utility companies.
You can find out about these incentives and rebates by contacting the state energy office and/or a solar company located near you.
If you are looking for our recommendation for a solar panel service provider click here for a free quote.
As more and more emphasis is being placed on energy efficient buildings, and people are looking for alternative methods of heating and lighting there homes, solar energy is become increasingly popular.
Although this industry got off to a shaky start some decades ago, as improvements have been made with it, more people are installing and using solar panels as a primary energy source for their their homes.
Although the number of American homes using solar energy remains well under 10%, the number of solar energy panel users is steadily increasing, as is the number of companies installing these panels for homeowners.
However, just because solar energy is an alternative source, that doesn’t mean that it’s still not regulated by law.
Solar panel installation and use is governed by Federal and state law.
While states are given a fair amount of leeway in administering solar energy, users need to make sure that they don’t violate various Federal laws concerning clean air, water, hazardous and archeologically sensitive sites.
Solar power was a popular concept from its very beginnings, sue to the state’s very favorable energy consumption laws.
Its net metering policy means that consumers making their own energy are unlimited in when they may use it, meaning that solar energy may be stored and used at anytime.
Because of these liberal policies concerning solar power, in addition to private residents, large corporations like Dow and General Electric have shown great interest in Colorado.
The state now has twelve solar farms, ranches, and power plants , both privately owned and on government installations. All of them must be regulated by the following state laws.
These organizations are not permitted to prevent members of a HOA from installing solar panels on their roofs or anywhere else on their property.
A HOA can restrict the type and dimensions of a homeowner’s solar panels, provided that these restrictions don’t interfere with the ability of panels to generate power.
Homeowners can’t place solar panels on “commonly owned” property without prior HOA approval. And a HOA in turn cannot place panels on properties without the prior permission of owners.
Colorado allows neighbors to voluntarily grant each other easements to have access to unobstructed sunlight across each other’s property.
Separate laws exist to govern the rescinding of such easements.
In 2008, Colorado updated its alternate energy laws to allow the use of outdoor accessories on properties to help enhance the functioning of panels and other energy devices.
Homeowners may be compelled to remove these devices, however, if they cannot show an appreciable increase in the functioning of the panels.
If you are living in Colorado and looking at installing solar panels, we recommend getting a free quote from our recommended provider by clicking here.
Some recent laws having passed into legislation in Arizona are strangely favoring home owners and solar company providers on one hand, while seemingly undoing and off-setting the benefits reaped on the other hand.
One case in point are the new laws enacted to protect home owners from some home owner associations, (HOA) who strictly regulate the use of solar panels on the roof of private residences.
1) Notwithstanding any provision in the community documents, an association shall not prohibit the installation or use of a solar energy device as defined in section 44-1761.
2) An association may adopt reasonable rules regarding the placement of a solar energy device if those rules do not prevent the installation, impair the functioning of the device or restrict its use or adversely affect the cost or efficiency of the device.
3) Notwithstanding any provision of the community documents, the court shall award reasonable attorney fees and costs to any party who substantially prevails in an action against the board of directors of the association for a violation of this section.
That being said, Arizona law is essentially stepping up to a home owner’s right to private property and to solar access by nullifying any preëxisting covenant, restriction or stipulation attached to the deed of said property in question to solar-powered energy.
Along with an accompanying law, A.R.S. 44-1761, which defines terms such as “collector,” “heat exchanger,” “solar day lighting,” “solar energy device,” and “storage unit”, both laws hopefully will make life a little easier for those trying to save energy costs in a HOA kind of environment.
While Arizonians are being favored by protective measures in one respect, in April of 2015, solar users were “blessed” with an additional rate charge of approximately $50 per month.
Based on a newly invented “demand charge,” as defined by the Salt River Project (SRP), the charge will be implanted–regardless of how much electricity is consumed by customers.
The SRP, one of the nation’s largest public utilities, has been at the forefront in favor of this new fee, in addition to other renewable energy fees because of company claims that the fees are needed to “cover grid infrastructure and maintenance costs.”
On final approval of the plan by its elected board, there’ll also be included a 3.9 percent increase for all energy utility customers.
All this being said, there seems to be a love/hate relationship between utility companies in Arizona who up to now have offered incentives for solar system users, and as of late, seem to be in denial and a reversal of previous said policies.
If you live in Arizona and are looking at installing solar panels, we offer a free quote from our recommended provider here.
Oregon Laws Encourage Switching to Solar Power
While installation of solar panels may be expensive, they pay dividends in the long-run. Home and business owners who are considering a switch to solar power should be aware of the laws governing solar panels in the state of Oregon.
HB 3516 and Solar Panels
In 2012, the Oregon state legislature passed House Bill 3516. This law affects the installation of solar panels in two positive ways:
1) Permit Approval
HB 3516 makes the permit approval process quicker and easier for those homeowners who wish to install solar panels.
2) Permitted Use
HB 3516 declares solar energy to be an “outright permitted use” within residential zones, which means that Home Owner’s Associations (HOAs) cannot outright ban the installation of solar panels in their neighborhoods.
Tax Law and Solar Panels
Changes to state tax law have helped to make solar panels more affordable to install. There are two primary tax advantages to owning solar panels:
1) Income Tax Credit
Oregon has a rather high state income tax rate, starting at 5% and topping out at 9.9%, but solar panels can help you save come tax time. A credit, unlike a deduction, directly reduces the total amount of tax you owe by an amount equal to the credit.
Your savings cannot exceed the amount of taxes you owe, but Oregon tax law allows home owners and businesses to take up to a $6,000 credit for solar panels. This credit is not awarded all at once, but at a rate of $1,500 a year for a period of four years.
2) Property Tax Exemption
Another tax advantage of solar panels is that they are exempt from property tax. You will not be taxed on the increase in property value that occurs when you add solar panels to your house.
Between House Bill 3516 and state tax law, Oregon has made a concentrated effort to reduce the costs, in both time and money, of switching to solar power.
If you live in Oregon and are thinking about getting solar panels, we offer a free quote from our recommended service provider here.
Texas has been behind other states when it comes to production and application of solar energy.
It has one of the most stringent rules that prohibit a fast growth of the solar industry despite the state having clear skylines most of the year.
Here are some of the laws that govern application and installation of solar panels in Texas.
Solar Banning is not Allowed
According to HOA (Home Owners Association) bylaws, solar panels are not allowed because they interfere with the landscape and general aesthetic outlook of a given property and its surroundings. However, the Texas legislature stated otherwise in the biennial session that ended in June 2009. The law stipulates that HOA may not ban solar panels and other solar systems as long as they meet certain criteria.
The law also allows homeowners to install solar panels to areas other than those stipulated by the HOA. As long as the owner proposes a place that meets all the conditions, the installation can be done.
For instance, the alternative place must have at least a 10% production capacity more than the area indicated by HOA.
HOA can only ban the installation process if such criteria are not met by the homeowner.
Texas legislation allows HOA to exercise caution in some circumstances. For example, the association can withhold approval if the system has features that interfere with the use and enjoyment of land or causes discomfort to people.
However, Texas legislation requires HOA to produce strong and convincing evidence indicating that such unsuitable conditions exist.
This particular clause seems to protect property owners who want to install solar panels. However, it also gives HOA powers to flex their muscles by banning solar panel installations under controversial dimensions.
Sometimes, the adjacent property owners might also influence the outcome. If they feel that the installation of the panel can contribute to their discomfort and other upfront problems, then HOA can withhold the approval or ban the whole process.
If the owners in a given subdivision withhold the approval, then installations can be banned in the entire division.
The solar shingles law is stipulated in the new legislations which will be enacted in September this year (2016).
The law makes it easier for home owners to install high energy efficient solar panels and solar shingles by alleviating the ban.
The law requires that the shingles meet certain aesthetic conditions. This means that HOA will still chip in to ban certain materials that are quite an eyesore to the environment.
We offer free quotes for those of you living in Texas. Click here for a free solar quote.