Solar power represents one of the many ways homeowners have access to renewable energy. Once you have a solar system it makes sense to want to catch as much of the sun’s rays as possible. There exist protections at the state and municipal level that help with this.
It all depends on the solar access easement you have in place.
What is an easement?
Easements are sometimes a tricky thing to wrap your head around. It is essentially the right for someone to use your land for a specific purpose.
One example includes your utility companies. You may own your house, but you do not own the power and gas lines running underneath your property. The utility companies possess an easement through your property to provide you with power.
How does solar come into this?
Just as you own the ground beneath you, you own some of the airspaces above you, just like your neighbors. As Solar Panels Network describes, a solar easement is a voluntary agreement in a neighborhood to keep that airspace clear for solar panels.
The solar rays that power your solar system pass over other houses to get to you. An easement prevents a neighbor from planting a tree or installing another obstruction to block your light and energy. Some easements stipulate compensation requirements in the event a neighbor blocks it anyway.
Navigating the laws surrounding solar power might seem daunting, especially when state, county, and municipal statutes affect them in different ways. It is important for any homeowner to lean on their resources when learning about, drafting, and enforcing solar easements.