Townhome owners have options for installing solar panels for the benefit of themselves, and their community. Many states are benefiting from limited access to solar energy. New York state ranks tenth in solar energy and only 2.23% of the state’s electricity comes from solar energy but the price of solar has dropped by 38% over the last five years and 412,772 homes are powered by the sun.
Townhomes may feel that they are unable to take advantage of what solar power has to offer but they are mistaken. Solar panels have been installed on townhomes across the states but even if your roof isn’t suitable for solar panels, there are other means to benefit from solar energy. Townhome owners can use the following tips to take advantage of solar power with or without panels.
Get Permission from The Homeowner’s Association
Townhome owners share walls and live in communities traditionally governed by a Homeowner’s Association (HOA). The HOA oversees the community and has to be consulted before solar energy panels are installed. Having their permission will make your solar installation process much easier. HOAs may need approval in the following instances:
- Placement of solar panels,
- Sometimes they require presenting plans and pictures of the proposed system
HOAs will want assurances that solar panels won’t damage roofs and are covered by a warranty if they do and that the panels won’t decrease the building’s value.
Common Townhome Solar Restrictions
If your townhome is located in a historic district, then the community may deny your access to solar panels within the community in order to preserve the historical character of the neighborhood. Historical districts could also place restrictions on the color of the panels, where they are placed, and if they’re in sight.
Being familiar with your HOAs and district policies on solar panels could save you time and effort. If solar panels on your roof is not an option, then joining a community solar project could be your best option. Half of the states have policies in place that protect homeowner’s rights to solar energy.
Townhome Solar Project
A townhome owner has options for installing solar power in their home or community. Multiple townhome owners can work together to lobby their HOA in favor of installing solar panels that power areas shared by the community and distribute excess power to the community evenly.
Townhome owners can also work with a few neighbors to install joint solar panels for their homes only, as long as they don’t impede on the rights of others, and they have permission from the HOA. This joint solar panel project can provide energy for their homes and the excess energy generated could be used to power common areas or sold back to the power grid for electricity credits.
Community Solar Projects
When installing solar panels on your roof isn’t a viable option, then townhome owners can opt to join an existing community solar project or rally the community to start one. Community solar projects use an uninhabitable area of the community to install solar PV panels that are maintained by a company.
The company that maintains the community solar project sells the electricity at a monthly premium to members or they sell or lease panels to members of their community and all the electricity generated by their panels belongs to them.
Article Submitted By Community Writer