Senator Johnson

SPRINGFIELD – Property owners’ associations couldn’t stop Illinois households from making the switch to greener energy alternatives under a plan sponsored by State Senator Adriane Johnson (D-Buffalo Grove), which has passed the Senate.

“Solar panels are one of the best tools we have to make our homes greener and cleaner,” Johnson said. “Homeowners who want to install this technology on their own property shouldn’t have to wrestle with obstacles and delays.”

The legislation would expand the Homeowners’ Energy Policy Statement Act to prevent property owners’ associations from enacting policies that outright or effectively prohibit their members from installing solar energy systems on buildings under 60 feet in height that do not have a shared roof. Currently, the act only covers buildings under 30 feet in height.

Property owners’ associations could still determine the configuration of the solar energy system on a roof, as long as the new configuration does not prohibit installation in any way or limit energy production by more than 10%.

Johnson’s initiative would also shorten the timeline for property owners’ associations to respond to solar energy system installation applications or requests for policy statements, helping reduce delays for individuals looking to install solar panels on their homes.

“Switching to solar energy is better for the planet and our pocketbooks,” Johnson said. “I’m excited to see this legislation advance, opening up the door for more residents to reduce their environmental footprints.”

House Bill 644 passed the Senate Thursday with bipartisan support.