Landscape rebates decrease for HOAs, businesses, multifamily properties in 2025 (NV)

The Southern Nevada Water Authority (SNWA) announced on Tuesday that landscaping rebates will be decreasing in 2025 for homeowners associations, businesses, and multifamily properties.  The Water Smart Landscapes Rebate is a program that pays properties to convert their lawns to water-efficient landscaping as part of water conservation efforts.      Read the article…………………………….

New Rooftop Exhaust Fans Save Future Condominium $24,000 Annually in Energy Costs (NY)

Ultra-efficient rooftop exhaust fans at The Future Condominium are helping the 165-unit building in Kips Bay save $24,000 in annual energy costs. Replacing the building’s decade-old exhaust fans with more than a dozen newer models was a no-brainer for the board, especially as Con Edison incentives covered 70% of the $120,000 project cost. “This money […]

Going Solar in a Condo Association (MA)

More and more Americans are going solar every year. The economic and environmental benefits are hard to ignore. Let’s take a closer look at how going solar within an association differs from individual homeowners and how these solar projects can work.    Read the article…………………………….

Michigan’s New Renewable Energy Siting Law and its Implications on Municipalities

Governor Gretchen Whitmer previously signed House Bill 5120 (now Public Act 233 of 2023) into law in November 2023. The regulations, which specifically affect municipalities and developers, create a new siting path for utility-scale wind, solar, and energy storage facilities with the Michigan Public Service Commission (“MPSC”) and become effective on November 29, 2024. Once […]

HOAs in Michigan lose veto power over rooftop solar, home EV charging and more

Homeowners’ associations across Michigan just lost the right to block energy efficiency elements in their neighborhoods like rooftop solar panels.  Gov. Gretchen Whitmer signed legislation today, July 8, 2024, that was previously adopted by both the state House and Senate to invalidate any HOA provisions against a litany of energy efficiency home improvements.    Read the […]

East Village Co-op Cuts Fossil Fuel Use by 80% Through Hybrid Electrification & Heat Pump Install (NY)

The International Tailoring Company Building has achieved a triple-play with hybrid electrification: cutting fossil fuel use by over 80%, reducing annual energy use by 57% and — crucially — making apartments more comfortable. Improved climate control was a key driver for the upgrades at the 173-unit East Village co-op, which enable shareholders to enjoy both […]

Installing Solar Panels In Michigan In 2024

Michigan aims to produce 60% of its electricity from renewable sources and phase out coal power plants by 2030. Although the state has been a leader in wind power production, Michigan’s solar energy capacity has been largely undeveloped until recently. As it rapidly boosts its renewable energy generation, numerous opportunities exist for contractors to install […]

Private property rights are more important than ‘local control’ (MI)

A new law is set to take effect in Michigan that would prohibit homeowners associations from limiting installation of solar panels, electric vehicle charging stations, energy efficient windows and other energy-saving improvements. It would also prevent associations from banning clotheslines.   Read the article…………………………….

Condo residents transform parkway into sustainable landscape (CA)

In an effort to keep their homeowners association (HOA) fees stable, residents living in the 29-unit, three-story condominium at 4407 Francis Ave. (in Windsor Village) took advantage of a rebate program offered through the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP). Board members were aware that a significant chunk of HOA fees paid the […]

Legal Mess Ties Up $500 Million Wyoming Wind Farm Project

The dust-up over the future of Rail Tie is the result of the Fish Creek Preserve Homeowners Association, which had filed a lawsuit to halt the development. The group claims that the bureaucratic mess on whether to build the project has been upended because of the Industrial Siting Council’s missteps.  “They don’t know what they […]

St. George got hammered in the national media as a water waster. Can the green spot in the desert become a saver? (UT)

Zach Renstrom was pitching water conservation ideas several years ago to a homebuilder in his neighborhood — and clearly boring the man’s wife.  ”One option,” Renstrom said, “is we just pay you to rip out the grass in your yard.”  She suddenly wasn’t bored anymore. “His wife looked up” from her phone, Renstrom remembers, “and […]

Michigan Senate Approves Bill for Energy Conservation

The Michigan Senate approved a measure with a vote of 2018 on Thursday. It grants homeowners’ associations (HOAs) members the right to set up electric vehicle gear, clotheslines, and equipment for energy conservation like rooftop solar panels. The expectation is that Gov. Gretchen Whitmer will give her approval to this legislation soon.   Read the article…………………………….

Energy bill affecting HOA’s on Governor’s desk (MI)

A bill to invalidate certain provisions in homeowners’ association agreements that prohibit the replacement, maintenance, installation, or operation of certain energy-saving improvements or modifications or the installation of solar energy systems; to provide for the adoption of certain policy statements; to prescribe penalties and remedies; and to provide for the powers and duties of certain […]

Laredo leaders address concerns over HOAs with new lawn watering rules (TX)

City Council adopted an ordinance for homeowners who may deal with strict restrictions by Home Owner Associations throughout the city as drought contingencies continue to affect Laredo residents’ lawn care. District VII Councilmember Vanessa Perez brought up the item at a recent meeting speaking on behalf of her constituents and others in the city who […]

Shining a Light on Rooftop Solar for Massachusetts Condo Owners

After the Trustees of his condominium refused his request for an Architectural Variance to install rooftop solar photovoltaic (SPV) panels on his unit, the owner brought suit in the Land Court seeking a determination that the Master Deed and the Declaration of Trust “which restricts the installation of objects in common areas without the Trustees’ […]

Condo Column: Something to think about (NH)

While many owners have large condominium units, say something around or above 1,000 square feet, many owners have much smaller ones, as little as 200-400 square feet. In such places, space is at a premium, and that leads the issue of ventless dryers.   Read the article…………………………….

Shining a Light on Rooftop Solar for Massachusetts Condo Owners

After the Trustees of his condominium refused his request for an Architectural Variance to install rooftop solar photovoltaic (SPV) panels on his unit, the owner brought suit in the Land Court seeking a determination that the Master Deed and the Declaration of Trust “which restricts the installation of objects in common areas without the Trustees’ […]

Shining a Light on Rooftop Solar for Massachusetts Condo Owners

After the Trustees of his condominium refused his request for an Architectural Variance to install rooftop solar photovoltaic (SPV) panels on his unit, the owner brought suit in the Land Court seeking a determination that the Master Deed and the Declaration of Trust “which restricts the installation of objects in common areas without the Trustees’ […]

What Can Be Done About Solar Panels? (FL)

If you are living in a Homeowners Association the Board or the Architectural Review Committee generally cannot prohibit the installation of solar panels (or “solar collectors”). A Florida law, F.S. 163.04, provides that any “deed restriction or declaration” or even any “similar binding agreement” may not prohibit — or have the effect of prohibiting — […]

Industry groups applaud new energy codes set by HUD, USDA

The newly adopted code requirements are designed to strengthen efficiency requirements for new houses and multifamily units that are purchased with federally backed loans such as Federal Housing Administration (FHA) and USDA mortgages, along with new homes with funding from other HUD programs. These new homes are primarily occupied by low- and moderate-income homeowners and […]

House passes bill making it easier for condo owners to install solar (CT)

The bill serves as an expansion of the solar rights of members of common interest communities, which include condominiums, community apartments, planned developments, etc. A provision in the State’s Clean Air Act, passed in 2022, already prohibited common interest communities from adopting or enforcing rules that would prohibit community residents from installing solar panels. That […]

Bill advances to give condo owners a new way to buy into rooftop solar (HI)

Condo owners may have a new pathway to access benefits from rooftop solar.  The Hawai?i Senate is considering a bill to create a Solar Hui Program, allowing multi-family property owners to pay into a collective investment fund that would go towards energy projects and loans.   Read the article…………………………….

Harnessing Sustainability: HOA Community Composting and Rainwater Harvesting Programs (CA)

In the global pursuit of sustainability, homeowners associations (HOAs) are taking the lead by adopting innovative practices to make their communities greener. Two key initiatives, community composting, and rainwater harvesting programs, are gaining traction worldwide. These eco-friendly practices not only contribute to environmental sustainability but also foster a sense of community and shared responsibility among […]

City of Chicago Adopts New ‘Cooling Ordinance’: What Do Chicago Community Associations Need to Know? (IL)

On June 22, 2022, the City of Chicago adopted a new ordinance commonly referred to as the “Cooling Ordinance”. The Cooling Ordinance modifies the cooling requirements for certain residential buildings, which does include condominium and community associations as well as residential cooperative high-rises that meet the building criteria discussed below.    Read the article…………………………….

HOAs are blocking solar panels and native lawns. Here’s how to fight back.

More Americans than ever are running afoul of their HOAs for updating their homes in ways that benefit the environment, adding solar panels, native lawns, EV chargers, clotheslines or gardens. Once a rarity, 84 percent of newly built, single-family homes sold in 2022 were part of HOAs, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.   Read the […]

Condo Smarts: Inadequate power supply causes brownouts (BC)

Dear Tony: Our 36-unit townhouse complex in the Okanagan has an energy supply problem. Over the past 5 years, six owners have converted their gas furnaces to heat pumps and three owners now have electric vehicles with charging stations, and there are several air conditioners installed.     Read the Q&A………………………………..

A Glimmer of Hope for Co-ops and Condos Struggling with LL97 (NY)

A bill giving tax breaks to co-ops and condos in return for energy efficiency upgrades has a strong chance of passing in the State Senate, thanks to support from a majority of New York City Council members. If enacted, the Green Buildings Act would offer a lifeline to apartment buildings struggling to meet Local Law […]

Homeowner challenges HOA over solar panels (FL)

Solar panels are devices that convert sunlight into usable electricity. They have been gaining popularity in recent years as homeowners seek ways to reduce their utility bills, as well as their carbon footprints. A Florida homeowner is reportedly feeling frustrated, however, regarding solar panel installation on a roof. The Homeowners Association where the individual lives […]

Is “Mediated Resolution” a Free Pass for Local Law 97 Deadbeats? (NY)

When it comes to New York City’s landmark climate legislation, Local Law 97, it seems that every push results in a vigorous pushback. For instance, when many building owners, including co-op and condo boards, howled that they could not possibly afford retrofits that would bring their buildings’ carbon emissions in line with the law, the […]

Going green in multi-family buildings (IL)

In Forest Park, a condominium development is proving that it’s possible to live green in a multi-family building.  The board and residents are working together to back new sustainability measures that they think can be applied to other buildings in the area.   Read the article…………………………….

Kansas homeowners urge lawmakers to ban ‘punitive’ rooftop solar restrictions

Alan Bauman would put solar panels on his Prairie Village home if he could. He’d like to benefit from the savings on his energy bill and have more security when his electric utility suffers power outages.  But his homeowners association restricts his and neighbors’ ability to install solar power.   Read the article…………………………….

City Has a Skeleton Staff to Enforce Compliance With Local Law 97 (NY)

Some 50,000 large New York City buildings, including thousands of co-ops and condos, will be required to comply with the city’s sweeping climate law, Local Law 97, which went into effect on Jan. 1 of this year. And how many inspectors does the Department of Buildings (DOB) have on staff to make sure those buildings […]

Australia: How stratas are derailing unit owners’ bid to lower bills

Unmotivated owners and strata policies are preventing more apartment blocks from moving to renewable energy.  ReNewCo founder and CEO Matthew Summerville has recently installed solar to a block of units in Clovelly and said that unit owners have more options than they realise.   Read the article…………………………….

Another solar panel fight in west St. Louis County heads to court (MO)

Kean is friends with the trustees on the board — he used to be one — so he asked why he was denied. It wasn’t so much about his proposal, the president of the board allegedly told him, but that the trustees were afraid an approval would set off the “wild west of requests, and […]

Embracing Sustainability: The Power of HOA Community Recycling Programs (CA)

In an era where environmental consciousness is paramount, Homeowners’ Associations (HOAs) play a pivotal role in fostering sustainable practices within their communities. Furthermore, one such initiative gaining momentum is the HOA Community Recycling Program. This comprehensive guide explores HOA recycling programs’ benefits, implementation, and key considerations.    Read the article………………………………

For Co-op and Condo Boards, Electrification Looks Better and Better (NY)

A growing number of co-op and condo boards are buying into the gospel of electrification — switching from fossil fuel-powered buildings systems to electric-powered ones as the electric grid gets greener and cleaner. This, they believe, is the best way to cut their buildings’ carbon emissions enough to comply with Local Law 97, which goes […]

Electrification Is Facing Some Strong Headwinds (NY)

Earlier this week Habitat reported on 420 Beekman Hill, a 110-unit Manhattan co-op that’s replacing the building’s steam heating, cooling and hot water system with rooftop electric heat pumps. The cost of the $3.2 million project is being defrayed by more than $1 million worth of incentives from Con Edison and the New York State […]