Indianapolis-based accountant Joey Myles knows how much electricity he uses each day with the help of an app on his phone. When it comes to saving money and promoting a sustainable way of living, he isn’t the first person to install solar panels on their home.
But his homeowners association isn’t letting him achieve energy independence that easily.
Even though homeowners have frequently claimed to love living in their HOA-run communities for the seventh time in the last 13 years, Myles is fighting to change his local HOA in the name of energy independence.
After paying more than $28,000 on solar panels for his home, the HOA for Myles’ neighborhood has prohibited the homeowner from installing the panels on his home.
It’s common for many homeowners associations to establish rules and regulations regarding aesthetics throughout the community. But for Myles’ purchase to pay off, he would have to install his solar panels on the street-facing side of his home where it gets the most sunlight. After all, more than 90% of homeowners who choose to install solar panels do so because of the financial benefits. Studies show that installing energy efficient features in older homes can also be up to eight times more efficient than making small improvements to newer homes.
“[The HOA] are concerned that aesthetics and consistency with other homes, they don’t want them to be seen, so since my home faces the street, the south faces the street, they said, ‘Well, we can’t let you put them there. That is going to be street view, and people are going to see them, and they are going to think they are ugly,'” Myles claims.
Myles is reportedly allowed to install solar panels on the other side of his home, but this is giving him less than half the expected power his solar panels can achieve.
In light of these strict rules, Myles has taken legal action against the state of Indiana.
Myles claims that the language used by the HOA and its rules against solar panel use is too vague, necessitating a change to Indiana state law. Backed by several lawmakers, such as Sen. Jim Merritt, the new law would stop HOAs from prohibiting solar panels or creating rules regarding their placement.
The drafted bill currently being considered has made it to the Senate for a third reading, according to Wish TV.