On June 14, 2022, the Ohio Legislature passed, and Gov. Mike Dewine signed into law Senate Bill 61 (SB 61). This bill will protect homeowners from unfair restrictions on solar installations. This is excellent news for all homeowners who live in communities governed by Homeowners Associations (HOAs).
SB 61 will take effect on September 13, 2022.
Homeowners Association & Solar Installation
Across Ohio, some neighborhoods are governed by HOAs. Historically, HOAs rely on restrictive rules that guide their decision-making. HOA rules oversee how property in a neighborhood is used and styled. Ultimately, these rules exist to maintain uniform aesthetics in a neighborhood.
Until 2022, the law in Ohio allows HOAs to restrict solar access for homeowners.
Often, we find that HOAs do not have rules that govern solar, so it falls on the HOA board to evaluate requests. Once an HOA makes a decision, the decision affects not only the resident who has brought their desire to go solar forward but can affect future rules for residents who wish to go solar.
If you’re a member of an HOA and interested in going solar, check out our guide to working with your HOA.
Understanding SB 61
Under the new law, solar panel installations are allowable in HOA-governed areas unless specifically regulated in the bylaws or deeds.
After the passing of SB 61, HOAs are still able to “establish reasonable restrictions” on solar panels in their bylaws. So, there is still some wiggle room for HOAs to maintain solar restrictions. However, modifications to bylaws often entails obtaining approval from 75% of homeowners in the neighborhood.
So, unless specifically regulated or new bylaws are passed, homeowners are allowed to install solar.
According to a quote from Ohio Sen. Nickie Antonio, one of the representatives who introduced the bill, published in an article from Energy News US:
“The whole tenor and intention of the bill is to make things possible,” Antonio said. There needs to be some “wiggle room” to cover unforeseen circumstances or future developments, she said. But the expectation is that associations will “have rational discussions and not automatically ban solar.”
Ohio SB 61 Next Steps…
SB 61 took effect on September 13, 2022.
Please reach out if you belong to an HOA or sit on your community’s HOA board. We have knowledgeable team members ready to present, answer questions, and help guide discussions about solar energy.
Fill out the form below for a free solar evaluation, or to request a conversation with one of our knowledgeable solar experts.
We look forward to talking with Ohio homeowners and Home Owner’s Associations alike to help them understand what solar installations may look like at their homes and in their communities.
Kokosing Solar (Previously Third Sun) has been designing, building, and financing clean energy solutions for residential & commercial clients across the Midwest since 2000. We bring more than 22 years of solar installation experience as Ohio’s longest-standing full-service solar installer. In 2022 we became Kokosing Solar and are strengthened by the 71 years of experience of Kokosing, Inc., one of the largest family-owned construction companies in the Midwest and Mid-Atlantic. We serve residential and commercial clients in Cleveland, Cincinnati, Columbus, and beyond. We are a fully insured and licensed Electrical Contractor committed to delivering safe, high-performance systems with top-notch customer service.