Indianapolis homeowner Joey Myles fought a months-long battle for the right to install solar panels on his own property, the Indianapolis Star reports.
According to Myles, owning solar panels has been a lifelong dream. “It really means a lot to me to be able to save money and be energy efficient and green,” he told the outlet.
When he was looking for a home to purchase, he was sure to check the local HOA bylaws to find an area where they were allowed. But according to his investigation of 250 HOAs across Marion and Hamilton counties, about 80 completely prohibit solar panels, and an additional 80 don’t allow them on rooftops.
“This is about homeowner’s property rights,” Myles said.
Most of the remaining HOAs require homeowners to have solar panel installations approved by the organization’s architectural review committee.
Myles told the Indianapolis Star that he went through that process, but his original application was denied because of how the solar panels would look. He was only allowed to install panels in a different location where they get less sunlight.
“I really came to hate the word ‘aesthetics’ from this,” he said. “I’m losing as much as 52% efficiency because I had to put them on the back of my house, but I should be getting way more.”
Myles isn’t the first homeowner to butt heads with an HOA over solar panels. One homeowner in Pennsylvania faced similar objections to panels on their south-facing home. Other homeowners in North Carolina and Illinois had to challenge objections from their HOAs in court.
All of this resistance creates delays and added expenses for homeowners who just want to save money on their electrical bills and produce less air pollution.
Fortunately, many states have laws preventing HOAs from restricting solar panels — and, last year, Indiana joined them, the Indianapolis Star reports. House Bill 1196 restricts an HOA’s power to deny solar panel applications, giving homeowners a way to petition the neighborhood directly instead.
“I just can’t believe it, oh my gosh,” an ecstatic Myles told the Indianapolis Star. “It’s finally done.”
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