The Nevada Senate voted Monday for an alternative energy bill that would limit a homeowner association’s ability to restrict the installation and use of solar energy systems.
Sen. Mike Schneider, author of SB 114, says the bill strengthens existing laws that already prohibit homeowner associations from interfering with installation of solar energy systems. Currently, a homeowners’ association in Nevada can impose restrictions that, while not prohibiting solar energy systems, could make them so much more costly and so much less efficient that the restrictions effectively act as a prohibition.
Under the bill, the director of the Nevada Office of Energy would have final say as to whether a restriction imposed by a homeowner association violates the rights of a homeowner to use or install a solar energy system.
The proposed bill also deems any restrictions that reduce efficiency of solar energy systems by more than 10% to be unreasonable.
Coupled with California’s Climate Change Solutions Act, a clear trend is emerging requiring HOAs to focus more attention on all aspects of energy efficiency.
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That trend seems to be prevailing across the continent. Similar legislation is propsed here in Ontario (Canada). A legitimate concern is whether green energy projects undertaken by unit owners (which cannot be prevented by the condo by-laws or rules) will adversely affect common elements and cause safety issues.