Recently the Idaho House of Representatives passed the Homeowner's Solar Rights Bill by a vote of 55-13.  The bill will ensure that homeowners who want to install solar panels won't be restricted by their Homeowner's Associations.    The sponsor of the bill is Democrat State Representative Illana Rubel of Boise.  She shared the importance of protecting homeowners who want to invest in solar power.

“By passing this bill, legislators have shown that they value Idahoans’ property rights.” She explained. “Homeowners should have the ability to make their own choices about what kinds of energy they want to use in their homes. This bill strikes a sound compromise between the interests of homeowners and HOAs.”

This legislation applies to owners, not renters or residents, who are leasing their home.  HOAs have restricted the placement of solar panels in homes due to concerns over appearance.  Solar panels, like many technological appliances, have become more aesthetically pleasing to the eye.

Current Home Owner Associations have supported the legislation.  The issue whether in this case solar panels or other HOA covenants are too restrictive has not been lost on Representative Illabel.

“Current HOA covenants are often irrational and unreasonably restrictive given existing solar panel technology.” Rep. Rubel said. “A lot of the time, you can’t even tell that a house has solar panels. Several HOAs spoke in support of the bill because they realized that homeowners know what is best for them and should be able to make their own decisions.”

The bill now moves to the Senate for consideration.