Once again the State of California is taking the lead toward cleaner, renewable and, hopefully less expensive, energy sources with the passage of Assembly Bill (“AB”) 2188 (which amends Civil Code §714). The purpose of this Bill is to expedite the process for approval of solar energy systems within California’s common interest communities by further limiting associations’ ability to restrict or ban the installation of such systems.

Civil Code §714 had permitted associations to impose reasonable restrictions which do not significantly increase the cost or significantly decrease the efficiency of solar energy systems. The law will now prohibit restrictions which increase the cost or decrease the efficiency of domestic water heating or solar swimming pool heating systems by more than 10%. With regard to photovoltaic systems, Civil Code §714 provides that an association’s restrictions may not increase costs by more than exceed $1,000.00 or decrease efficiency by greater than 10%. Boards should take note that in accordance with the amendment, any application to install a solar energy system which is not denied within forty five (45) days shall be deemed approved.

We all must do our part to decrease reliance on foreign oil, improve the air we breathe and find ways to incorporate renewably energy sources into our lives.


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