Texas 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.
Property Owners’ Associations (HOAs, also known as Homeowner Owners’ Associations) are not allowed to include or enforce provisions of 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.
In June of 2015, SB 1626 was signed into law. It provides that during the development period, the developer may only prohibit a property owner from installing solar in developments with 50 or fewer units. Prior to the law, Developers could block residents from installing solar if the neighborhood was still in the development phase.
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