Missouri Solar and HOAs


Written by Davey Newlove

The Missouri state legislature has made it easier for homeowners to install solar on their homes. In the past, homeowners associations (HOAs) have been able to block homeowners from installing solar. One of the ways they have done this is by complaining about the dated, bulky look of the solar panels. Thanks to a law that took effect on January 1, 2023, HOAs can no longer ban solar installations in their neighborhoods.

Who Governs HOAs in Missouri?

The state of Missouri does not have a specific statute governing HOAs. If a HOA is organized as a non-profit, which is the case with most of them, it will be governed by the Missouri Nonprofit Corporation Law. According to the Homeowners Protection Bureau, “homeowners’ associations are bound by its governing documents (Bylaws, Declaration, Articles of Incorporation).” These Bylaws generally dictate the duties and responsibilities of its board. This includes meetings, voting procedures, elections and management of the association. The Declaration will normally set restrictions, obligations of the association and its members, and property rights. The HOA’s corporate status, limits and powers are normally defined in the Articles of Incorporation.

Can a HOA Deny Solar Panels in Missouri?

On June 29, 2022, the Missouri state legislature passed bill SB820. This bill prevents HOAs from banning installations of solar panels on homes across the state. HOAs had to comply with this bill when it went into effect on January 1, 2023. According to bill SB820, “a homeowner’s association may adopt reasonable rules regarding the placement of solar panels or solar collectors to the extent those rules do not prevent the installation of the device or adversely affect its functioning, use, cost or efficiency.” This means that the HOA may be able to dictate where you place you solar panels on your property, but they cannot block the installation of your solar energy system.

How to Appease Your HOA

Even though your Missouri HOA can’t block you from installing solar panels, they can still make it more challenging for you to do so. You may even be dealing with an HOA if you don’t live in Missouri. Thankfully, there are still ways that you can work around HOA restrictions. The first way is to use available roof space that is not in the front of your house. HOAs are more open to allowing an install if the panels are more difficult to see.

The second way is to create a sleek aesthetic look. Here at JSunPV we like to use the REC Alpha PURE modules. These panels have a very stylish look due to thin, barely visible wires and an all-black color to them. The full-black look is a brilliant piece of design work that is one of the most elegant features for your property. REC also has a gapless model available that increases the active area of the panel to help capture more sunlight.

For issues with conduit runs for the wiring for a solar system, you have multiple options there too. One option you may choose is to paint the visible conduit runs and electrical equipment cabinets. This helps make the equipment more invisible to the naked eye. Customers also have the option of adding “panel skirting” to help conceal under the array wires and brackets.

Over the last three years, installers have been starting to use the CAMO hidden end clamps. This great product from IronRidge further helps clean up the look to the solar array. The CAMO hidden end clamps secures the modules flush to rail ends helping further create a clean sleek look that your HOA will love.

If you live in Missouri, dealing with HOAs has now become a bit less of a headache for solar installations. If you do have a HOA to deal with, this will hopefully help you clear some of the hurdles they put in front of you. Ready to install solar on your property? Contact JSunPV today to get started on your project!

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