Homeowners could see easier access to solar energy under new bill

Homeowners could see easier access to solar energy under new bill

HAMPSTEAD, N.C. (WECT) - With the increasing popularity of solar energy, homeowners are looking for more energy efficient ways to live.

A bill that has been in effect for over a decade already allows homes to use solar panels. The catch, however, is that HOA agreements put in place before the existing law was passed in 2007 aren’t required to follow the existing rules.

HB750 would change that. All restrictions placed on homeowners using solar collectors to power a residential property would be “void and unenforceable” under the new law.

Fred Mitchell recently installed solar panels on his home and has been told by his HOA to take them off. Originally, Mitchell was upset, but soon realized he was in the wrong, according to the current law.

“Its not an architectural design, its a power source," said Mitchell. "If you want to call that an architectural design to the house, you’d be saying our electric that comes into the house is an architectural design and its not, it’s a power source.”

Mitchell is a big supporter of solar energy since he started using it. He believes there are more than a few people in the same situation he’s in.

“There’s a lot of HOAs out there that obviously [were established] prior to this October 1, date," said Mitchell. "I’m sure there are a lot of frustrated people that would like to have this but can’t get it in, so the faster this new law can come in; this wouldn’t even be an issue if the new law was in effect.”

Mitchell was supposed to take his solar panels down Thursday, but said Cape Fear Solar and his property management company are trying to work out an agreement.

Copyright 2019 WECT. All rights reserved.