Energy/Water Conservation

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How climate change could affect maintenance fees

Summer 2016 was one of the hottest on record in the Greater Toronto Area, with experts predicting summer temperatures could soar to 44 degrees Celsius by 2050. In this rapidly changing climate, the city’s high-rise buildings are also feeling the

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Lawmakers pass bill limiting HOA control on solar (UT)

A bill that limits the ability of homeowners associations to regulate rooftop solar installations made it through the Utah Legislature late Thursday.  Senate Bill 154, sponsored by South Jordan Republican Lincoln Fillmore, would prohibit rules against solar in most cases,

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Ocean Hills community considers water options (CA)

The Ocean Hills housing community is considering more cost effective ways to water its greenbelts. Options on the table are connecting to city recycled water lines or digging a local well.  Residents are also looking at landscape changes to conserve

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My Position on the Pending Solar Legislation (UT)

I surprised a few people at the Utah Legislature last week, by testifying against a bill that would arguably facilitate the installation of solar panels in Utah. Those who know me (and those who follow this blog) are well aware

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Utah Op-ed: Let HOA residents join fully in the solar revolution

As the manager of a Utah business, it’s very important to me that we do our part to help protect the health of our community. That’s one of the big reasons we at Mark Miller Subaru chose to invest in

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Utah homeowner associations may be forced to allow solar panels

Lawmakers on Friday advanced a controversial bill to require, in most circumstances, homeowner associations (HOAs) to allow solar panels.  The Senate Transportation Committee voted unanimously to endorse SB154, and sent it to the full Senate for consideration.  Its sponsor, Sen.

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Four Ideas for Water and Energy Savings for Condo Owners

Electricity and water conservation should be a major priority for all Condo Associations. While things like solar panels and EV chargers are the provenance of Associations, there are many things that support water and energy savings for Condo Owners. These

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HOA Homefront: Are we STILL dealing with drought? (CA)

Q:  Regarding water cutbacks and dead lawns, can an HOA require homeowners who stopped watering to replace their dead lawns with other types of ground cover such as drought tolerant landscaping, compost, artificial turf, etc? Or are we stuck with

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Green Technology and Conserving Water in a Condo Association

Electricity is usually one of the biggest expenses in a Condo Association, but not too far behind it is water. Some Condo Associations have individually metered units, but others do not. Irregardless of that disposition, conserving water in a Condo

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Lee’s Summit homeowner fights for right to install solar panels (MO)

Tim Ely wants to do something to his Lee’s Summit home that he believes is every homeowner’s right: install solar panels.  But so far, Ely hasn’t been able to get his homeowners association — Arborwalk Community Association — to agree.

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Energy Efficiency in Your HOA

While there is continuing debate about the reasons driving climate change, most agree on the need for better stewardship of the Earth. While governments often move at a glacial pace to enact green policies, self help is readily available today.

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SB 814: Discouraging Excessive Water Use (CA)

California is experiencing the worst drought in over a century. While recent rains bring good news for our water supply, the California Legislature has enacted a number of laws aimed at water conservation that still stand. Existing law requires the

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Green Technology and Electricity Savings in a Condo Association

Electricity is one of the biggest expenses for a Condo Association. As such, green technologies or other ways to promote electricity savings in a Condo Association is definitely something you’ll want to look into. Improvements to and investments in your

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How to Grow Veggies at Your Apartment or Condo

No access to land for growing a vegetable garden? No problem. You can still grow a vegetable and herb garden, enjoying all the benefits of gardening without the added cost and maintenance of a large outdoor garden bed. Perfect for

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Homeowners, HOA clash over landscape rules (CA)

Richard and Carole DeProspo say they wanted to curb their outdoor water use in light of the drought, not pick a costly fight with their homeowners association.  And yet that’s where they’ve found themselves—headed to court to ask a judge

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The drought defense: Homeowners take association to court over landscaping fines (CA)

Richard and Carole DeProspo say they wanted to curb their outdoor water use in light of the drought, not pick a costly fight with their homeowners association.  And yet that’s where they’ve found themselves—headed to court to ask a judge

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Solar Panel Showdown (FL)

A showdown over solar panels in a South Florida community. One man says he was trying to save money, but says his homeowner’s association gave him a hard time. So he called Help Me Howard With Patrick Fraser.    Read

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Designs by RGA Landscape Architects Earns Ironwood Community Association an Award

From RGA Landscape Architects: RGA Landscape Architects, Inc., a leading landscape architectural firm on the forefront of water efficient design and planning, provided design services to address water conservation for Ironwood Community Association, now recognized by Coachella Valley Water District

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Proposed energy code changes target glass boxes (ON)

Fewer glass towers will be appearing in Canadian skylines if proposed changes to the National Energy Code for Buildings (NECB) are adopted. Consumer demand may be driving the proliferation of high-rise condominiums with extreme window-to-wall ratios, but recently released documentation

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How to make your old condo building more eco-friendly

Condos produce some of the highest levels of carbon dioxide emissions in the United States each year, experts say.  Of course, constructing a building using sustainable energy sources is probably the most sensible way to go to try to reduce

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DEQ awards $980,000 low-interest drinking water construction loan to Teton Reserve Homeowners’ Association (ID)

The Idaho Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) on Thursday announced the award of a $980,000 low-interest drinking water construction loan to the Teton Reserve Homeowners’ Association in Teton County.  The funding will be used to install two wells and associated

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Tesla New Solar Roof Tiles Are A Game Changer

Tesla’s new solar roof tiles are a game changer IMO and here’s why. Homeowner Associations have rules on installing solar panels. You need to get approval from the Architectural Committee, which works under guidance from the Board of Directors. The

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Limitations on Community Association-Imposed Solar and Renewable Energy Restrictions (FL)

Due to its climate, Florida – the “Sunshine State” – is ideally situated to take advantage of unlimited and environmentally friendly solar energy. In the last two decades, the price of solar collectors has dropped significantly in cost and many

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Recycled water project reaches milestone in Encinitas Ranch (CA)

One of Encinitas’ largest residential neighborhoods is weaning itself away from using drinking water to irrigate its parks, trails and landscaping, and celebrated a major milestone in the process this week.  Officials with San Dieguito Water Authority, San Elijo Joint

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ADOT agreement could provide water security for Ahwatukee golf courses (AZ)

The Arizona Department of Transportation and three homeowners associations have reached an agreement that could provide added security for the future of Ahwatukee’s three remaining golf courses: An infrastructure for cheap water. The agreement eliminates the problem that the South Mountain

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Tips for Eco-Friendly High-Rise Living: Living Sustainably in the City

Many multifamily properties and high-rises want to implement “green” living practices and create eco-friendly communities, but not everyone knows where nor how to get started. Here are some effective and easy tips to help you be proactive and successful in

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White Bear Lake lawsuit: Plaintiffs amend complaint (MN)

Parties on both sides of the lake level lawsuit were back in Judge Margaret Marrinan’s courtroom Oct. 12.  Attorneys representing the plaintiff, the White Bear Lake Restoration Association (WBLRA), and the intervenor association, White Bear Lake Homeowners, presented arguments that

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Rainwater Collection Part 2: Guidelines on Collection

Rainwater collection is popular, but many people wonder if it is actually legal in their states. Most states don’t have laws stating it is illegal, but many states do have some guidelines on collecting rainwater. Check out some of the

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City, not golf course owner, started water problem, Club West leader says (AZ)

Golf-course owner Wilson Gee is forced to use potable city water to irrigate the course because he has no other source of water, such as reclaimed water, which generally costs a fraction of drinking water.  Gee says that he can’t

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Rainwater Collection Part 1: The Collection System

Many people love the perks of rainwater collection. It is a cheap way to water plants and grass, but the collection system can draw from the attractiveness of the neighborhood. Some HOA communities may forbid homeowners from installing these systems,

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Lessons from HOA lawsuit over Florida-friendly grass

The long-fought lawsuit between a homeowner near Windermere and her HOA makes me realize three fundamental truths at the exact same time, to borrow a phrase from the Hamilton soundtrack.    No. 1: This state’s Florida-friendly law is neither very

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Settled lawsuit over grass leaves few answers (FL)

A legal battle between an Orange County homeowner wanting to eliminate irrigation and fertilizing in her yard and a neighborhood association favoring lush lawns has ended in a secret settlement, disappointing those hoping for an environmentally favorable precedent.  Read the

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Sewer line raises concern (CT)

The massive project for Woodridge Lake seeks to put an end to a decades-long battle between the Woodridge Lake homeowners association and the state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection. In 1989, the agency issued a consent order over concerns

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What’s easier: Turning off water indoors or outside? (FL)

To put this data into context, about 50 percent of Floridians’ daily water use is for outdoor purposes, such as landscape irrigation, according to the South Florida Water Management District. The 50 percent figure is 20 percent more than the

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23ABC Investigates: HOA warns residents of potential fines for dead lawns, CA water board disagrees

Several residents in the Rio Vista Community Association received notices that they were going to be fined for having brown spots in their lawns.  Many of those residents said they were watering the maximum three days per week and felt

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City of Chicago Passes Ordinance Requiring Associations to Implement Source-Separated Recycling Programs

Recently, the Chicago City Council passed the Chicago Recycling Ordinance. Effective January 1, 2017, the ordinance requires commercial and multi-unit residential buildings – including apartment buildings, condominium associations, and cooperatives – to provide a system for source-separated, single stream recycling

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Rain barrels in Colorado – what you need to know

Are you ready for rain barrels?  Next Wednesday, August 10 is the first day that most Colorado residents can legally collect rainwater off their roofs into rain barrels. Mother Nature doesn’t seem to have taken much note of it – the

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Rainwater Collection Systems Policies in Your Homeowners Association

Some states like Texas prohibit HOA communities from banning rainwater collection systems, as the benefits of these systems are tremendous. However, if you are considering when outlining your HOA rainwater collection policy.   Read the article………….

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Looking to Go Green? You May First Need to Check with Your Homeowner’s Association

If you live in a subdivision, your property is likely governed by a homeowner’s association (HOA) and a written declaration of covenants, conditions, and restrictions regarding the use, condition, and overall appearance and aesthetic of your home (“Declaration”). As the

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Dry your tee? Senate brings back the old way (MA)

To promote energy conservation, the State Senate has taken the surprising step of legally reaffirming residents’ rights to a traditional but increasingly threatened practice — the option of hanging laundry out to dry on a clothesline.     Read the article………….

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Village resident embroiled in battle with neighborhood HOA (CA)

A Vandenberg Village resident is embroiled in a years-long battle with his neighborhood’s homeowners association, an organization the resident said has overstepped its bounds.  Aaron Dixon, who lives in the Providence Landing subdivision, said he thought he was being a

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Strata owners look to green ideas

Strata owners — who make up nearly a quarter of Vancouver Island property owners — are going green, says the non-profit Vancouver Island Strata Owners Association.  Owners in many condo or townhouse complexes around Oak Bay have been suggesting “green”

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Turf War: Resident/HOA battle sprouts over use of synthetic grass (AZ)

Byrne has been accused of violating the community’s covenants, conditions and restrictions, commonly referred to in homeowner association parlance as “CC&Rs.”  That’s because Byrne’s lawn is actually synthetic grass. Not that, it should be noted, the same tacky stuff that

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HOA & Xeriscaping

When you hear the word “xeriscaping,” does it evoke images in your mind of endless gravel, rocks, and cacti? Well, if you’re like most people, this is probably how you tend to view xeriscaping and it may seem less-than-appealing to

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Major increase in water rates stirs debate (CA)

The rate hikes will vary widely, though, depending on the customer. Some homeowner associations, for instance, would see rates jump by more than 50 percent if they continue using the same amount of water – a change that for some

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Longmont (CO) HOAs watch rising water rates closely

Some Longmont Homeowners Associations are watching a possible dramatic water rate increase closely as it will increase landscape watering costs and might cause them to raise dues.     Read the article………..

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Valencia Lakes residents picket FPL, asking for LED street lights (FL)

A debate is brewing over street lights in one western Boynton Beach community.  Residents at Valencia Lakes want to put LED fixtures in the lamps. Florida Power and Light (FPL) said it’s not that easy.  Read the article………….

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Is It Worth It for Your HOA to Go Green?

There’s no question that going green has a positive impact on the environment as a whole. But, as those who prefer organic food over regular know well, it doesn’t come cheap. Making changes that benefit the earth might not be

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Resident fighting to install solar panels on her house (SC)

A Summerville resident has been denied permission from her homeowners association to erect solar panels on her house, but she plans to put them up anyway.  Read the article…………..

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Court says solar panels must go (MO)

A Missouri appellate court rejected a homeowner’s appeal of an order to remove solar panels from property in the Lake of 12 Oaks subdivision.  The Western District of the Missouri Court of Appeals issued an 18-page judgement Tuesday denying all

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