HB1535 (2020) Detail

Relative to installation of solar photovoltaic energy systems by condominium unit owners and owners subject to deed restrictions in a homeowners association.


HB 1535 - AS INTRODUCED

 

 

2020 SESSION

20-2587

10/01

 

HOUSE BILL 1535

 

AN ACT relative to installation of solar photovoltaic energy systems by condominium unit owners and owners subject to deed restrictions in a homeowners association.

 

SPONSORS: Rep. McConnell, Rock. 11; Rep. Van Houten, Hills. 45; Rep. Backus, Hills. 19; Rep. Merner, Coos 7; Sen. Feltes, Dist 15; Sen. Dietsch, Dist 9

 

COMMITTEE: Commerce and Consumer Affairs

 

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ANALYSIS

 

This bill prohibits condominiums and homeowners' associations from prohibiting or restricting the installation or operation of a solar photovoltaic energy system.

 

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Explanation: Matter added to current law appears in bold italics.

Matter removed from current law appears [in brackets and struckthrough.]

Matter which is either (a) all new or (b) repealed and reenacted appears in regular type.

20-2587

10/01

 

STATE OF NEW HAMPSHIRE

 

In the Year of Our Lord Two Thousand Twenty

 

AN ACT relative to installation of solar photovoltaic energy systems by condominium unit owners and owners subject to deed restrictions in a homeowners association.

 

Be it Enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Court convened:

 

1  New Section; Condominium Act.  Amend RSA 356-B by inserting after section 19 the following new section:

356-B:19-a  Installation of Solar Photovoltaic Energy Systems.

I.  Notwithstanding any contrary provision in a condominium instrument or bylaws, no condominium shall prohibit or create unreasonable barriers to the installation and operation of a solar photovoltaic energy system which conforms to all applicable building codes in a unit, on its exterior, or on an adjoining roof.

II.  Whenever approval is required for the installation or use of a solar photovoltaic energy system, the application for approval shall be processed and approved by the unit owners' association in the same manner as an application for approval of an architectural modification to the property, and shall not be willfully avoided or delayed.  

III.  An "unreasonable barrier" includes purely aesthetic considerations when there is no competent basis for claiming that the claimed unsightliness would result in an actual diminution of property value greater than the value added by allowing solar photovoltaic energy system.

IV.  A unit owners' association shall not adopt and shall not enforce any rule related to the installation or maintenance of solar photovoltaic energy systems if compliance with a rule would increase the solar photovoltaic energy system's installation or maintenance costs by an amount which is estimated to be greater than 10 percent of the total cost of the initial installation of the system, including the costs of labor and equipment.  A unit owners' association shall not adopt and shall not enforce any rule related to the installation or maintenance of  solar  photovoltaic energy systems, if compliance with such rules inhibits the solar collectors from functioning at their intended maximum efficiency.

2  Condominium; Alterations Within Units; Installation of Solar Photovoltaic System.  Amend RSA 356-B:30, I to read as follows:

I.(a)  Except to the extent prohibited by the condominium instruments, and subject to any restrictions and limitations specified therein, any unit owner may make any improvements or alterations within his or her unit that do not impair the structural integrity of any structure or otherwise lessen the support of any portion of the condominium.  [But] Except as provided in subparagraph (b), no unit owner shall do anything which would change the exterior appearance of his or her unit or of any other portion of the condominium except to such extent and subject to such conditions as the condominium instruments may specify.

(b)(1)  No unit owner shall be prohibited from the installation, operation, and maintenance of a solar photovoltaic energy system which conforms to all applicable building codes.  A condominium's policy, condominium instrument, or bylaw governing such installation, operation, and maintenance shall not be unreasonably applied.  Whenever approval is required for the installation or use of a solar photovoltaic energy system, the application for approval shall be processed and approved by the unit owners' association in the same manner as an application for approval of an architectural modification to the property, and shall not be willfully avoided or delayed.

(2)  A unit owners' association shall not adopt and shall not enforce any rule related to the installation or maintenance of solar photovoltaic energy systems if compliance with a rule would increase the solar photovoltaic energy system's installation or maintenance costs by an amount which is estimated to be greater than 10 percent of the total cost of the initial installation of the system, including the costs of labor and equipment.  A unit owners' association shall not adopt and shall not enforce any rule related to the installation or maintenance of  solar  photovoltaic energy systems, if compliance with such rules inhibits the solar collectors from functioning at their intended maximum efficiency.

3  New Section; Interests in Realty;  Solar Photovoltaic Systems.  Amend RSA 477 by inserting after section 22-a the following new section:

477:22-b   Solar Photovoltaic Systems; Enforcement of Restrictions; Homeowners' Associations.

I.  Any covenant, condition, or restriction contained in any deed, contract, mortgage, security instrument, or other instrument pertaining to a conveyance, sale, or transfer of real property or interest therein which prohibits or unreasonably limits the installation or use of a solar photovoltaic system shall be void and unenforceable.

II.  A covenant, condition, or restriction shall be considered "unreasonable" for the purposes of this section if it significantly increases the cost and expense of the solar photovoltaic system to its owner or user, or significantly decreases its efficiency, or otherwise effectively discourages the installation or use of a solar photovoltaic system.

4  Effective Date.  This act shall take effect 60 days after its passage.

Links

HB1535 at GenCourtMobile
HB1535 Discussion

Action Dates

Date Body Type
Jan. 29, 2020 House Hearing

Bill Text Revisions

HB1535 Revision: 7181 Date: Dec. 3, 2019, 10:59 a.m.

Docket

Date Status
Jan. 8, 2020 Introduced 01/08/2020 and referred to Commerce and Consumer Affairs
Jan. 29, 2020 Public Hearing: 01/29/2020 10:45 am LOB 302
Feb. 24, 2020 Subcommittee Work Session: 02/24/2020 09:00 am LOB 302