Trying to Go Green May be Harder Than it Seems


By: Matthew Jones

There is more and more urgency for people to utilize “greener” products in an effort to be environmentally friendly and more efficient.  Some of these products include electric cars, water efficient toilets, and solar panels, to name a few.  The government, both state and federal depending on the jurisdiction, even incentivize people to use these products by discounting the purchase price or providing a tax credit.
However, purchasing and then using some of these products is not as simple as that.  Specifically, homeowners’ can run into problems using solar panels if they are part of a Homeowners’ Association (“HOA”).  As part of its governing power over the homeowners in its area, the HOA can control what is done in the common areas or even what is visible in the common areas.  Some people are experiencing that control and receiving pushback from HOAs that do not like the color, build, or location of the solar panels, thereby rejecting the homeowner’s request to utilize the product.  Such restrictions have resulted in frustration from the homeowner who is claiming an attempt to simply “go green” and save some money on electricity bills.
Given this back-and-forth between HOAs and homeowners, a common ground or solution needs to be reached.  And, with these always-changing products and incentives, generic HOA guidelines, rules and regulations, and bylaws will have to adapt, or else litigation is likely to follow.
If you have questions or would like more information, please contact Matthew Jones at