Bill to Prohibit Unreasonable Restrictions of Solar Power Systems Signed by Governor

Legislation overrides outdated homeowner’s association by-laws

New York State Assemblywoman Sandy Galef and Senator Kevin Parker’s bill, A1933/S2997, was signed into law by the Governor on August 2. The bill prohibits homeowners’ associations (HOA) from unreasonably restricting the installation or use of a rooftop solar power system. This law will take effect in sixty days.

While the state has promoted and incentivized increased use of solar power systems in recent years, many homeowners are unable to take advantage due to restrictive and out-of-date HOA by-laws. This law expands access to the clean energy that is critical to New York reaching our climate goals of a 40% reduction in greenhouse gases by 2030 and 85% reduction by 2050. This law is similar to legislation passed in several states, including Massachusetts, Arizona, Florida and California.

This new law will prevent unreasonable restrictions, including inhibiting the rooftop solar power system from functioning at its maximum efficiency and increasing installation or maintenance costs by more than 10%. HOAs can still deny permission to install solar power systems but must include detailed justification in writing.

“I was glad to sponsor this legislation that will help New York achieve its renewable energy goals,” said Assemblywoman Galef. “We all have a role to play. This bill will ensure that constituents living in HOAs who want to establish solar power systems to help the environment and to save money can do so. Those who have been denied that opportunity in the past will not face those barriers anymore.”

"As the State works to reach our clean energy goals it is imperative that we establish laws that will make it easier for our constituents to play their part and reduce their carbon footprint. This bill will allow all homeowners the right to install their solar rooftop systems without any restrictions, while giving them the opportunity to take advantage of the State's various clean energy incentives,” said Senator Kevin Parker.I am proud to work alongside Assemblymember Galef and the advocates to make this important legislation law. This law is a step in the right direction as we work to ensure a clean energy future."

“Sustainable Westchester is promoting solar photovoltaic and energy storage throughout the County and is looking forward to this bill to remove barriers to implementing the expansion of locally generated electricity that would bring renewable electricity and resiliency to its residents,” said Michel Delafontaine, Director of Sustainable Westchester.

“Homeowners shouldn’t have to worry that their homeowners’ association will get in the way of reducing their carbon footprint and lowering smog and soot in the air by powering their home with solar energy,” Environmental Advocates of New York said. “This bill gives homeowners the right to choose solar.”

“Solar power is an environmentally clean and cost-effective way for New Yorkers to produce energy,” said the Alliance for Clean energy New York. “Solar is increasingly viewed as a common component of homes, and its use should not be restricted. In addition, if paired with energy storage, solar power can allow the homeowner to generate power when the grid is inoperable due to severe storms, which are becoming more common.”

“Creating a common standard for the instillation of these systems empowers New Yorkers to transition to more sustainable energy use and save money on their power bills,” said the New York League of Conservation Voters. “This bill will help New York reduce its greenhouse gas emissions and meet its renewable energy goals.”