It’s Getting Hotter With Arizona Solar Panel Laws
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.
A.R.S. 33-1816 Solar energy devices; reasonable restrictions; fees and costs
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.
Solar Panel Laws in Arizona
If you live in Arizona and are looking at installing solar panels, we offer a free quote from our recommended provider here.