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.
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.
Do the Illinois rules about solar apply to all homeowners’ association, common interest community association, and condominium unit owners’ associations (“Associations”)?
No. The Illinois Homeowner's Energy Policy Statement Act (Act) only applies if your building is less than 30 feet high.
No. The Act prohibits Associations from adopting a bylaw or exercising any power that prohibits the installation of solar.
Do I need approval from my Association to install solar?
While Associations in Illinois may not prohibit the installation of solar, they may still require members to obtain specific approvals before installing solar. Many Associations require approval to make any improvements to the exterior structure. The specific process for receiving approval depends on your Association. Ask for a copy of your Association's Energy Policy Statement.
Then work together with your solar contractor to submit an application for permission to install solar in accordance with the Association's Energy Policy Statement and your Association's other applicable rules and bylaws. See a sample application.
What is an Energy Policy Statement?
In Illinois, Associations are required to adopt an Energy Policy Statement, which must address: (1) the location, design and architectural requirements of SES, and (2) whether a wind energy collection, rain water collection, or composting system is allowed, and, if so, the location, design, and architectural requirements of those systems.
The Energy Policy Statement must be included in its homeowners' common interest community, or condominium unit owners' association declaration. See a sample energy policy statement.
What other applications/approvals are necessary before I can install solar?
ComEd must approve your interconnection application before installation of my Solar Energy System can begin. In addition, you need to apply for all necessary permits with your local governing authority.