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.
What Are The Solar Panel Laws in Texas?
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.
Solar Production Laws in Texas
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.
HOA Approval rules for Solar Panels in Texas
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.
Solar Shingles Laws in Texas
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.
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