The short answer to this question is that solar panels are not illegal in Florida. However, you may have come across this question while researching solar power options in Florida and wondered why people are asking this question. Don’t worry, we’re here to let you know not only is it legal to power your home with solar panels in Florida, but it’s also a pretty smart investment. Let’s go over what the law has to say, what HOAS can do about your solar initiative and the financial benefits that come with investing in solar panels. Read on!
What the Florida Solar Rights Act Says
According to Florida Statute 163.04, any enforceable agreement (whether between HOAs or otherwise) prohibiting a property owner from installing solar is illegal. An HOA may limit where you may install solar panels, but not if the system’s performance decreases as a consequence. House Bill 697 built on this law by allowing condominium boards to install solar on their properties for the benefit of unit owners without seeking previous agreement from the unit owners. It also permits condo owners to put solar panels on their own property.
Solar easements can be negotiated under Florida Statute 704.07 to ensure that a property owner’s solar panels receive adequate sunlight exposure.
What Can Florida HOAs Do About Home Solar Panels?
While homeowners cannot be banned from building a solar energy system, various limitations can be placed without breaking the law. These limits, however, must be fair, not arbitrary, and universally enforced on homeowners in a subdivision. The limits must not affect the operation of a solar system, or they will be interpreted as “essentially” forbidding solar.
The legislation expressly prevents a homeowner association from blocking the installation of rooftop solar collectors. Although the association may choose where the collectors are located on the roof, as long as the installation is within the region necessary for its efficient functioning, that is, south, east, or west of due south, the installation is permitted.
As a result, the organization is restricted from imposing criteria to effectively reduce the system’s operational efficiency or raise the system installation cost. As a result, if the association modification hinders the system’s efficiency, requirements for hiding the system from view, whether by trees or fences, ground mounting, or limiting installation to an area not visible from the street, are inconsistent with the spirit and text of the legislation. The regulation also prohibits requiring the system to adhere to a specific color (i.e., merging with the color of the roof) because the collector surface must be black to properly absorb the sun’s heat (and, in fact, is the only available material on the market).
Are There Any Solar Incentives Available for Florida Residents?
There are several Florida solar incentives available to help reduce the overall cost of adopting solar. We’ve already discussed net metering, but you may also get state and federal tax rebates and sales tax exemptions. And, depending on where you reside in Florida, you may be able to apply for a PACE loan, which may possibly finance 100% of the cost of going solar, making bundling a battery backup even more affordable!
So, if you live in Florida, don’t worry about whether or not you’re breaking the law by installing solar panels on your home. While the Florida Solar Rights Act prohibits HOAs from banning the installation of solar panels, they can place certain limitations on where the system is placed. However, those limitations must not interfere with the system’s efficiency.
If you’re looking to install a solar energy system, get your quote from the leading solar panel contractors in Florida today. At West Bay Energy, we’ve got the expertise and skill to get you the best results out of your installation.