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House Bill Would Require Homeowners Associations To Allow Solar Installations

Amy Quinton
NHPR file photo

State lawmakers worked on a bill Monday to make condominium and homeowners associations allow the installation of solar arrays.

The bill comes from Brentwood Democratic Rep. Liz McConnell, with bipartisan co-sponsors and backing from Senate Democrats.

It says HOAs must treat requests to install solar as they would any other architectural change, and can't restrict them for aesthetic reasons.  

It also prohibits these groups from restricting solar installations in home deeds, or making any rules that would increase solar use costs more than 10 percent.

New Hampshire gets less than one percent of its electricity from solar power. The state has fewer solar installations than any New England state other than Maine.

The cost of solar in New Hampshire has fallen more than a third in the past five years, according to the Solar Energy Industry Association. Advocates say state regulations should change to better encourage the use of the renewable energy source.

McConnell’s HOA bill got a House committee work session Monday.

A similar bill, from Concord Democratic Rep. Rebecca McWilliams, would prohibit HOAs from restricting solar installations by anything other than a simple majority vote.

That bill got a committee hearing early in the session. Both are due to the House floor by early March.

Annie has covered the environment, energy, climate change and the Seacoast region for NHPR since 2017. She leads the newsroom's climate reporting project, By Degrees.
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