Texas Legislature Addresses Restrictions on Solar Panels

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The 82nd Texas Legislature addressed the interrelations of property owners’ associations (POAs) and homeowners vis-à-vis solar power equipment.  House Bill 362 modified the Texas Property Code to prohibit POAs from restricting solar devices.  While this sounds appealing to some homeowners wishing to harness renewable energy, the devil resides in the details.

There are broad exceptions that still allow POAs to prohibit solar equipment located in areas other than rooftops or in a fenced yard or patio.  POAs may still regulate equipment that does not conform to the slope of the roof or is not parallel to the roofline.  There are also specific requirements for support brackets, piping, and wiring.  Finally, even if a homeowner avoids the exceptions of HB 362, a POA may regulate solar energy devices if placement of those devices causes “unreasonable discomfort or annoyance to persons of ordinary sensibilities”.

These are just a few examples of the exceptions contained in House Bill 362.  Interested homeowners may review the bill in its entirety at http://www.legis.state.tx.us/tlodocs/82R/billtext/pdf/HB00362F.pdf#navpanes=0.

This column is published for informational purposes only. It should not be construed as legal advice and is not intended to create an attorney client relationship. The views expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of the author’s law firm or its individual partners.

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