This is an excerpt from EERE Network News, a weekly electronic newsletter.

March 19, 2003

Arizona Court: Homeowners Have a Right to use Solar Energy

Believe it or not, not everyone in the United States is in favor of solar energy. In fact, some homeowners associations require solar energy panels to be hidden from view, a restriction that in many cases would block the panels from sunshine and make them essentially useless. That's the challenge that faced two retired families in Arizona, who installed solar panels on their roofs to heat their swimming pools. The families spent five years in litigation and finally fought off a legal challenge from their homeowner's association, which aimed to have the systems removed and the two families fined. A ruling in late February by the Arizona Court of Appeals concluded that the restriction violated an Arizona law that protects an individual homeowner's property rights to use solar energy. See the press release from the Arizona Solar Energy Industries Association, or go directly to the full ruling on the Arizona Court of Appeals Division One Web site (PDF 102 KB). Download Acrobat Reader.