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House Bill 20 – Solar Panels on Your Roof | Legal Insights Blog

Our blog and quarterly events addressing the issues affecting condo association and HOA boards.

House Bill 20 – Solar Panels on Your Roof

On February 12, 2019, House Bill 20 was introduced in the Ohio House of Representatives which if passed would allow individual condominium unit owners and homeowners in an HOA to install solar panels on the roof or exterior walls of the building or home.  The Bill would allow the Association to pass reasonable rules regarding the installation and placement of the solar panels, but association Rules may not significantly increase the cost or decrease the efficiency of the solar collector.  

The Bill states that solar panels may be installed if there is “no competing use of the roof or exterior walls.”  There is no definition of what a “competing use” may be, but presumably if a chimney or skylight, flashing, gutters or other design elements of the roof or walls would not allow solar panel placement, the association would be able to deny construction.

While most homeowners are in favor of solar energy production, this Bill has the potential to change significantly the look of common roofs in a condominium or the look of a home in an HOA.  It also would create maintenance, construction, supervision and insurance problems for the condominium association.  These are issues which will have to be addressed in the Bill itself or by Rule of the Association.  

This Bill has not moved out of committee, and no hearings are scheduled for HB 20 at this writing.  The Ohio Legislative Action Committee of CAI will be following this Bill and working with the sponsors to refine it to meet the legitimate concerns of condominium and homeowner associations as it moves through the legislative process.  We will keep you informed, but you also may follow the progress of the Bill at the following link: www.legislature.ohio.gov/. Type in HB 20 in the search box, and you will find the text and status of the Bill.

Call Williams & Strohm, LLC, Attorneys at Law, if you have questions, concerns or comments about HB 20.  614-228-0207.

Charles T. Williams

Charles T. Williams

Charles T. Williams is the founder and a principal in the firm. A native of Columbus, Ohio, and a veteran of the Vietnam war, Mr. Williams earned his law degree from Boston College Law School. He is widely recognized as one of Ohio’s foremost attorneys practicing homeowner association law and condominium law. Read Charles T. Williams's full bio.