Solar Easements & Rights Laws (Massachusetts)
Last modified on February 12, 2015.
Rules Regulations Policies Program
|Name||Solar Easements and Rights Laws|
|Incentive Type||Solar/Wind Access Policy|
|Applicable Sector||Commercial, Fed. Government, Industrial, Local Government, Nonprofit, Residential, Schools, State Government|
|Eligible Technologies||Passive Solar Space Heat, Photovoltaics, Solar Space Heat, Solar Thermal Electric, Solar Thermal Process Heat, Solar Water Heat|
|Energy Category|| Renewable Energy Incentive Programs
|Date added to DSIRE||2000-01-01|
|Last DSIRE Review|| 2012-12-17
Solar access provisions in the General Laws of Massachusetts allow for the creation of voluntary solar easements to protect solar exposure and authorizes zoning rules that prohibit unreasonable infringements on solar access. Similar to solar easement provisions in many other states, Massachusetts solar easements allow for the voluntary creation of solar access contracts, but do not make solar access an automatic right. In addition, the statutes allow for communities to authorize zoning boards to issue permits creating solar rights.
Massachusetts also prohibits restrictions on solar devices, voiding "any provision in an instrument relative to the ownership or use of real property which purports to forbid or unreasonably restrict the installation or use of a solar energy system ... or the building of structures that facilitate the collection of solar energy."
Furthermore, Massachusetts zoning laws prohibit local governments from enacting local laws that prohibit or "unreasonably regulate" solar energy systems.
|Contact Name||Public Information Officer|
|Department||Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources|
|Address||100 Cambridge Street|
|Address 2||Suite 1020|
|Phone|| (617) 626-7300
Authorities (Please contact the if there are any file problems.)
|Authority 1:|| M.G.L. ch. 187 § 1A. Solar easements
|Authority 2:|| M.G.L. ch. 184 § 23C. Solar energy systems; installation or use; restrictive provisions
|Authority 3:|| M.G.L. ch. 40A § 1A. et seq.
|Authority 4:|| M.G.L. ch. 41 § 81Q. Planning board; adoption of rules and regulations
|Authority 5:|| M.G.L. ch. 40A § 9B. Solar access
- Incentive and policy data are reviewed and approved by the N.C. Solar Center's DSIRE project staff.