Is it possible to have solar panels for your townhouse? In most cases, yes. Solar panels aren’t just for single-family homes only. In fact, solar panels are an excellent choice to provide green, efficient energy to townhomes. However, it’s important to know how to go about asking for and installing solar panels on a townhome.
Are There Solar Panels For Townhouses?
From a structural point of view, there should be no issue with installing solar panels on a townhome. Solar panels come in a variety of sizes to accommodate different roof types, and solar contractors understand how to safely install solar panels on a variety of buildings and environments. In fact, you can even have solar panels installed on your RV.
How Much Do Solar Panels Cost For Townhouse?
The cost for photovoltaic (PV) panels will truly vary per townhome and situation. Factors such as available roof space, HOA rules, state laws, how many townhome owners want solar power, etc. will affect cost.
Owning a Townhome…Who Approves of Installing Solar Panels on a Townhome?
With home ownership, you can renovate or alter the home wherever you want. With renting, you pay a landlord to inhabit the space and may be permitted to hang pictures at most. Townhomes however are somewhat in the middle between the two. You may outright own the unit, but because of shared walls and ceilings, you may be prohibited from doing any drastic home improvement. These kinds of rules may also extend to the townhome’s exterior.
If you’re interested in having solar panels installed on your townhome, you’ll need approval first, from your Homeowner’s Association (HOA), or whoever is in charge of the property. They collect fees from townhouse owners and in return upkeep the property and associated facilities. Essentially, a townhome’s HOA has the power to approve solar polar or not. However, it’s important to note that HOA rules will vary from property to property. State laws can also affect the ability of townhomes to have solar panels.
Solar Access Laws
As of this writing, 25 states have some form of solar access laws that limit or prohibit restrictions to installing solar systems. For example Colorado Homeowner’s Association Law website states that HOAs “are not permitted to prohibit the installation of solar panels on a unit or property which is owned by a member of the association.” In simple terms, if you own the roof, you can choose to have solar panels installed.
Be aware however that there are exceptions and regulations to solar access laws, as these laws also vary within their state.
Do Your Research
Plan ahead and come prepared before asking your HOA Board about having solar panels installed.
Learn About Your State’s Solar Access Laws or Easements
Learn if your state has solar access laws or solar easements, as well as any accompanying restrictions or exceptions to these rules. For example, learn what objections the HOA may raise. The more you can learn, the better.
Understand Your HOA’s Rules
Research your HOA’s rules and restrictions. What alterations have they allowed townhouse owners to do in the past? Have they allowed others to install solar panels? What issues were involved and how were they resolved?
Know and Be A Good Neighbor
Ask neighbors if they’re also interested in having solar panels. If so, consider making the case together, to show the HOA the importance of the issue.
It also pays to be a good neighbor. The HOA may be more likely to grant your request if you’re a well-behaved resident. Take time to attend board meetings and learn who the most influential members are. Make friends on the inside, and you may possibly learn that some HOA members are interested in solar power as well.
Factors To Consider
Here are factors to consider before having a solar PV system installed:
If you live in an especially sunny region, emphasize this in your proposal to the HOA. They may be more likely to approve solar panels if the property experiences sunshine year-round.
The positioning and allotment of solar panels on the roof must be fair to all lot owners. Consider the roof of the townhome by looking at the property using Google Maps. How many sun-facing areas are there?
It’s worth being prepared for an objection from the HOA citing aesthetic concerns. Other neighbors and properties may or may not object to seeing PV panels on a neighboring building. If aesthetics are a concern, note that solar panels come in three types, one of which are amorphous panels. These panels have an all-black, sleek design, and are generally considered the most attractive solar panel. These panels are also the easiest to install and are usually the most affordable PV panel option.
Advantages of Solar Power For Townhomes
There’s a common misconception that solar panels work best for single-family homes only. However, solar panels are beneficial for all sorts of residences, including townhouses.
The interest in and use of renewable energy only continues to increase. The sun’s rays are a limitless source of energy that PV panels efficiently harness.
Reduced Energy Bills
Solar power can reduce energy bills for each lot owner.
Option To Install Solar PV System Later
Depending on the arrangement of installation, each unit owner may have the option to have PV panels installed at a time best for them.
Group Buying Power
The more townhome owners who want solar power, the more affordable it will be for individual owners.
The Bottom Line
In the majority of cases, townhomes can have solar panels. The demand for renewable energy sources continues to grow, so having solar panels is a great way to do your part for the environment. To help sway the HOA in favor of PV panels, be sure to do your research beforehand. The more you know, the better. Talk with other townhouse owners to gauge their interest. Approach the HOA as a group to make the case more convincing and highlight the advantages of having solar panels. As always, reach out to us at Atlasta Solar Center with any questions, or for a quote. We’ll help you get solar panels for your townhouse!