Solar Rights (North Carolina)

This is the approved revision of this page, as well as being the most recent.
Jump to: navigation, search


Last modified on February 12, 2015.

Rules Regulations Policies Program

Place North Carolina

Name Solar Rights
Incentive Type Solar/Wind Access Policy
Applicable Sector Multi-Family Residential, Residential
Eligible Technologies Passive Solar Space Heat, Photovoltaics, Solar Pool Heating, Solar Space Heat, Solar Thermal Process Heat, Solar Water Heat
Active Incentive Yes

Implementing Sector State/Territory
Energy Category Renewable Energy Incentive Programs














































Date added to DSIRE 2007-07-31
Last DSIRE Review 2012-08-09



References DSIRE[1]


Summary

Cities and counties in North Carolina generally may not adopt ordinances prohibiting the installation of "a solar collector that gathers solar radiation as a substitute for traditional energy for water heating, active space heating and cooling, passive heating, or generating electricity for residential property."* However, city and county ordinances may prohibit the installation of solar-energy collectors that are visible from the ground and installed (1) on the facade of a structure that faces areas open to common or public access; (2) on a roof surface that slopes downward toward the same areas open to common or public access that the facade of the structure faces; or (3) within the area set off by a line running across the facade of the structure extending to the property boundaries on either side of the facade, and those areas of common or public access faced by the structure.

Furthermore, deed restrictions, covenants or similar binding agreements that run with the land recorded on or after October 1, 2007,** that would prohibit the installation of solar-energy collectors for residential property on land subject to the deed restriction, covenant or agreement are void and unenforceable. However, this provision does not apply to solar-energy collectors that are visible from the ground and installed:

  • On the facade of a structure that faces areas open to common or public access;
  • On a roof surface that slopes downward toward the same areas open to common or public access that the facade of the structure faces; or
  • Within the area set off by a line running across the facade of the structure extending to the property boundaries on either side of the facade, and those areas of common or public access faced by the structure.

City and county ordinances, deeds, covenants and other binding agreements may regulate the location or screening of a solar-energy collector, provided they do not have the effect of preventing the reasonable use of a solar-energy collector for a detached single-family home. In any civil action related to North Carolina's solar-access laws, the court may award costs and reasonable attorneys' fees to the prevailing party.


  • SB 670 of 2007 used the term "detached single-family residences". HB 1387 of 2009 changed this term to "residential property". The sections of the bill dealing with city and county ordinances use a simple definition for residential property: "property where the predominant use is for residential purposes." The section of the bill dealing with deed restrictions and covenants uses a more nuanced definition for residential property, specifically stating: "residential property does not include any condominium created under Chapter 47A or 47C of the General Statutes located in a multi-story building containing units having horizontal boundaries described in the declaration. As used in this section, the term "declaration" has the same meaning as in G.S. 47A-3 or G.S. 47C-1-103, depending on the chapter of the General Statutes under which the condominium was created."
    • SB 670 of 2007 established that the law applied only to deed restrictions, covenants or similar binding agreements recorded after October 1, 2007. HB 1387, in amending the law to apply to a wider definition of "residential property", established that the law only applies to property fitting the new definition if the deed restriction or covenant was recorded after December 1, 2009.


Incentive Contact

Contact Name Bob Leker
Department North Carolina Department of Commerce
Division State Energy Office
Address 1830 Tillery Place

Place Raleigh, North Carolina
Zip/Postal Code 27604
Phone (919) 733-1907


Email bleker@nccommerce.com
Website http://www.energync.net
     
     

Authorities (Please contact the if there are any file problems.)

Authority 1: SB 670 (subsequently amended)
Date Effective 2007-10-01
Date Enacted 2007-07-27


Authority 2: HB 1387
Date Effective 2009-12-01
Date Enacted 2009-08-28

















  • Incentive and policy data are reviewed and approved by the N.C. Solar Center's DSIRE project staff.[1]

References

  1. 1.0 1.1  "Database of State Incentives for Renewables and Efficiency (DSIRE)"