Utah’s Solar Access Laws limit the degree to which Home Owners Associations can restrict the installation of rooftop solar and allow for the creation of Solar Easements, which protect a property owner’s investment in solar.
Solar and Home Owner’s Associations (HOAs)
Senate Bill 154 – Solar Access Amendments was passed in 2017 and limits the degree to which HOAs can restrict the installation of rooftop solar. HOAs rules regarding solar installations may not decrease the system’s production by more than 5% or increase the cost of the system by more than 5%. This law only applies to detached dwellings where the HOA does not have an ownership interest in the roof, and HOAs with existing rules regarding solar prior to January 2017 are exempt from the law.
Utah Code, Title 10 Chapter 9a Section 610 gives land-use authorities the power to refuse approval or renewal of HOAs or other Private Covenants that attempt to prohibit “reasonably sited” solar collectors. For this code to take effect, a city, town, or county council must pass it into law.
Solar Easements: Protect Your Investment
Utah Code, Title 57, Chapter 13 establishes a framework for voluntary solar easements, designed to protect long-term access to sunlight. A solar easement is a written agreement between adjacent property owners that serves to protect long-term access to the sun. The easement must be duly recorded and filed in the office of the recorder of the County in which the easement is granted. A solar easement, once created, runs with the land and does not terminate unless specified by conditions of the easement. All citizens and businesses with solar (and their contractors) should consider filing a solar easement to protect your investment and ensure unobstructed access to the sun over the extended life of your solar installation.