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Incentives/Policies for Renewables & Efficiency

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Solar Rights   

Last DSIRE Review: 08/06/2014
Program Overview:
State: Texas
Incentive Type: Solar/Wind Access Policy
Eligible Renewable/Other Technologies: Solar Water Heat, Solar Space Heat, Photovoltaics, Solar Pool Heating
Applicable Sectors: Residential
Authority 1:
Date Enacted:
Date Effective:
Texas Property Code § 202.010
Authority 2:
Date Enacted:
Date Effective:
Texas Tax Code § 171.107
1981 (subsequently amended)

Property Owners' Associations (also known as Homeowner Owners' Associations or HOAs) are not allowed to include or enforce provisions within their regulations, covenants, or by-laws that prohibit or restrict homeowners from installing a solar energy device. While in theory this law protects homeowners' right to go solar, there are several caveats and exceptions that allow HOAs to maintain authority to include and enforce provisions that could prohibit or regulate the solar energy devices in certain situations.

HOA Restrictions

Specifically, HOAs may prohibit solar energy devices if they are found to be illegal or violate public health and safety, as decided by a court. HOAs may prohibit or regulate solar on common property within the subdivision or property that is owned or maintained by the association. HOAs may also regulate (or prohibit) solar devices that are on the roof if they extend above the roofline, are not parallel to the roofline, or do not conform to the slope of the roof. The HOAs may also regulate (or prohibit) solar energy devices installed on the ground in a fenced yard if they are taller than the fence.There are a few additional caveats that would allow HOAs to prohibit or restrict the installation of a solar energy device: if the solar energy device is installed in a way that voids its warranties or if any frames or wiring/piping are not silver, bronze, or black.

The law also stipulates that the HOA may designate where the solar device should be located on a roof, unless a homeowner can show that the designation negatively impacts the performance of the solar energy device and an alternative location would increase production by more than 10%. To show this, the law requires that modeling tools provided by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) be used. While not specified by name in the law, one of NREL's available tools that could accomplish this is called PVWatts Calculator.

Prior Approval

The HOA may be allowed to prohibit the installation of a solar energy device if the homeowner does not receive prior approval from the association. If, in seeking the approval, the HOA finds that the proposed solar energy device will create a condition that harms or interferes with other people's "use and enjoyment of the land," the HOA may prohibit the installation as well. Homeowners should seek written support from neighboring properties in order to prove that this condition does not exist.

Builder Restrictions

In the case of developments or subdivisions that are still under the builder's control and the HOA has not yet transferred to the property owners, the builder can prohibit or restrict a homeowner for installing a solar energy device.


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Disclaimer: The information presented on the DSIRE web site provides an unofficial overview of financial incentives and other policies. It does not constitute professional tax advice or other professional financial guidance, and it should not be used as the only source of information when making purchasing decisions, investment decisions or tax decisions, or when executing other binding agreements. Please refer to the individual contact provided below each summary to verify that a specific financial incentive or other policy applies to your project.

While the DSIRE staff strives to provide the best information possible, the DSIRE staff, the N.C. Solar Center, N.C. State University and the Interstate Renewable Energy Council, Inc. make no representations or warranties, either express or implied, concerning the accuracy, completeness, reliability or suitability of the information. The DSIRE staff, the N.C. Solar Center, N.C. State University and the Interstate Renewable Energy Council, Inc. disclaim all liability of any kind arising out of your use or misuse of the information contained or referenced on DSIRE Web pages.

Copyright 2014 - 2015 North Carolina State University, under NREL Subcontract No. XEU-0-99515-01. Permission granted only for personal or educational use, or for use by or on behalf of the U.S. government. North Carolina State University prohibits the unauthorized display, reproduction, sale, and/or distribution of all or portions of the content of the Database of State Incentives for Renewables and Efficiency (DSIRE) without prior, written consent.