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Working with an HOA

Are you a member of a homeowner's association, common interest community association or condominium association ("Association") AND your building is less than 30 feet high?  

If so, there are specific legal requirements in Illinois that may apply to the application for, and approval of, Solar Energy Systems ("SES") on your home or property. The Homeowner's Energy Policy Statement Act forbids such associations from prohibiting the installation of SES on a member's home or property.  It further requires the Association to adopt an "Energy Policy Statement" that addresses the location, design and architectural requirements of SES.  Your application for approval to the association either will be guided by the specifics in its energy policy statement or, if not yet available, will trigger the adoption of an energy policy statement by the Association.  Know too, that in addition to obtaining the approval of your association, the law requires that your SES meet the applicable standards and requirements of State and local government permitting authorities.

The above requirements do not apply to the "Common Areas" in any Association building.

Suggested Process for Association Member Interested in Solar Installation

  1. Research Whether Solar is Right For You
    1. Solar Potential: Find out your property's solar potential based on rooftop characteristics and electricity use.
    2. Locate a Certified Solar Contractor: Research and consult with/hire an authorized/certificated contractor
    3. Investigate Permits: By law, the installation of SES requires a homeowner/property owner to get a permit and be in compliance with any other ordinances enacted by the city, town, township or other local governmental authority. Contact the local governing authority for information on permits, restrictions and limitations. 
  2. Contact Your Association
    1. Apply to Your Association: Many Associations require members to seek approval before making any improvements to the exterior structure. In Illinois, Associations may not prohibit the installation of SES. The specific process for receiving approval depends on your Association. Ask for a copy of your Association's Energy Policy Statement. Work together with your contractor to submit an application for permission to install SES in accordance with the Association's Energy Policy. See a "sample" application. NOTE:  If your Association does not yet have an Energy Policy Statement, then work with your contractor to formally request an Energy Policy Statement when submitting your application for permission to install SES. In Illinois, these events trigger the Association's adoption of an Energy Policy Statement. Once the Energy Policy Statement is adopted, your application must be reviewed and processed within 90 days. See a sample request for a policy statement and an approval application

    2. Obtain Necessary Permits: After the Association has approved your application, work with your contractor to obtain a permit for your solar installation.  The law requires a homeowner/property owner to get a permit and be in compliance with any other ordinances enacted by the city, town, township or other local governmental authority.
  3. Apply to ComEd to interconnect your SES to our electric grid.
    Once you have obtained approval from your Association to install SES and you have obtained the necessary permits, work with your contractor to submit an interconnection application to connect your system to ComEd's electric grid. Then you can track your progress through the process.
  4. Install and operate.
    Once ComEd has approved your interconnection application, have your contractor install your SES.  Flip the switch and start generating energy.
  5. Apply for Net Metering Credits. 
    Receive net metering credits when your solar energy system produces more energy than you consume (up to 110% of your annual historical usage).  Learn more about all incentives and rebates. 

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