Red brick home with sunpower solar maodules in Cincinnati Ohio

Ohio SB 61 Passes: Limits HOA Restrictions on Solar Installations

On January 26th, the Ohio Senate passed Senate Bill 61 (SB 61). This bill would protect homeowners from unfair restrictions on solar installations. This is excellent news for all homeowners who live in communities governed by Homeowners Associations (HOA’s).   

The bill is now in the Ohio House of Representatives for further consideration.   

Homeowners Association & Solar Installation    

Across Ohio, some neighborhoods are governed by HOA’s. Historically, HOA’s rely on restrictive rules that guide their decision-making. HOA rules oversee how property in a neighborhood is used and styled. Ultimately, these rules exist to maintain uniform aesthetics in a neighborhood.  

Currently, the law in Ohio allows HOA’s to restrict solar access for homeowners.   

Often, we find that HOA’s do not have rules that govern solar, so it falls on the HOA board to evaluate requests. Once an HOA makes a decision, the decision affects not only the resident who has brought their desire to go solar forward but can affect future rules for residents who wish to go solar.   

If you’re a member of an HOA and interested in going solar, check out our guide to working with your HOA.  

Understanding SB 61

SB 61 would nonetheless let associations “establish reasonable restrictions” on solar panels in their bylaws.

So, there is still some wiggle room for HOA’s to maintain solar restrictions.

According to a quote from Ohio Sen. Nickie Antonio, one of the representatives who introduced the bill, published in an article from Energy News US:

“The whole tenor and intention of the bill is to make things possible,” Antonio said. There needs to be some “wiggle room” to cover unforeseen circumstances or future developments, she said. But the expectation is that associations will “have rational discussions and not automatically ban solar.”


Next Steps…

We look forward to keeping you updated as Ohio SB 61 continues to move through the Ohio General Assembly.   

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