May 24

Renewable Energy: Are Solar Panels Welcome in Your Neighborhood?

by Mike Ferguson

(St. Charles, MO) – More Missourians want to put solar panels on their homes to cut costs and to reduce their traditional energy usage. For the most part, everyone is in favor of more renewable energy being used.

So what’s the problem?MWSnap093

In some places, neighborhood associations and local governments have rules that restrict or even ban them. In others, the rules (and covenants) were simply written before renewable energy became mass produced enough to be available to homeowners.

Is access to solar energy a property right that should be protected by the law, even if it runs afoul of agreements like homeowners association rules? Or is it another aspect of home ownership that is subject to the same rules and regulations as everything else, like fences and sheds?MWSnap094

Solar energy advocate Frances Babb, who works with Renew Missouri, has been in that legal battle before. She explains why she doesn’t want homeowners associations – or anyone else – stopping the use of solar energy in Missouri.

Patrick McClanahan and Marvin Nodiff from the Community Associations Institute, which represents homeowners associations throughout Missouri and the nation, say it’s not that simple. While they are in favor of using renewable energy, they say there are other issues involved.

On the web:

Renew Missouri: www.RenewMO.org

Community Associations Institute: www.CAIonline.org

Permanent link to this article: http://missouriviewpoints.com/renewable-energy-are-solar-panels-welcome-in-your-neighborhood/