Nebraska introduces legislation to prevent HOA from barring solar installation


The Nebraska Judiciary Committee heard testimony for a proposal that would prohibit homeowners associations (HOA) from restricting the installation of solar panels on homeowner property. 

The bill, LB1119, was introduced by Lincoln Senator George Dungan. If passed, HOA would not be permitted to restrict installations in any covenant, bylaw, deed contract, or other agreement. Any regulations prohibiting solar installations would be deemed void and homeowners would have a civil cause of action if a violation occurred. 

Merlyn Bartels of Lincoln, Nebraska testified in opposition to the bill. He expressed concerns that solar panels on a home ecould increase insurance costs for people who obtain insurance through their HOA. 

The Sierra Club testified in support of the bill. It said solar energy has become more popular, affordable and durable in recent years, and tax credits have made installation lucrative for homeowners. Sierra Club said there is no evidence that homes with solar panels lower the value of neighboring properties.   

“Solar panels on a roof are not an eyesore but an adaptation to a new technology, which is helping our planet reduce the use of fossil fuels and should be encouraged rather than opposed by local and state governments,” said Al Davis, Sierra Club, Nebraska chapter, in a testimony for the bill. 

The bill’s author, George Dungan, said homeowners should, within reason, be able to do what they wish with their property.

(Read: “50 states of solar incentives: Nebraska“)

Many states currently offer similar homeowner protections to the ones presented in LB1119. Read more about policy trends in distributed solar and storage on pv magazine USA. 

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