The new laws in California regarding the installation of solar energy systems can be found in amendments to Cal. Civil Code Section 714.1 and 4600 and New Section 4746
The new laws prohibit an association from establishing a general policy prohibiting the installation or use of a rooftop solar energy system for household purposes on the roof of the building in which the owner resides, or a garage or carport adjacent to the building that has been assigned to the owner for exclusive use. The laws also prohibit an association from requiring approval by a vote of members owning separate interests in the common interest development in those circumstances. Any action by an association that contravenes these provisions would be void and unenforceable.
Civil Code Section 4746 provides additional requirements for homeowners/applicants intending to install a solar energy system including that the association must:
- Require the applicant to notify all owners;
- Require the owner and each successive owner to maintain a homeowner liability coverage policy at all times and provide the association with a corresponding certificate of insurance within 14 days of approval of the application and annually thereafter;
- Require an applicant to submit a solar site survey showing the placement of the solar energy system prepared by a licensed contractor or contractor’s registered salesperson knowledgeable in the installation of solar energy systems to determine usable solar roof area. This survey or the costs to determine useable space shall not be deemed as part of the cost of the system as used in Section 714.
- Require the owner and each successive owner of the solar energy system to be responsible for all of the following:
- Costs for damage to the common area, exclusive use common area, or separate interests resulting from the installation, maintenance, repair, removal, or replacement of the solar energy system.
- Costs for the maintenance, repair, and replacement of solar energy system until it has been removed and for the restoration of the common area, exclusive use common area, or separate interests after removal.
- Disclosing to prospective buyers the existence of any solar energy system of the owner and the related responsibilities of the owner under this section.