Roll Out the Barrel!

House Bill 15-1259 (“HB 1259”) was just introduced in the Colorado House of Representatives to permit the use of rain barrels to collect water to irrigate lawns and gardens.    Read more……….

Kalama Terrace (HI) doing its part to combat climate change

After two years of planning, Kalama Terrace, a forward-thinking condominium and vacation rental complex in Kihei, Maui, has flipped the switch on a newly installed 147 Kilowatt solar array. The solar array, consisting of 578 solar panels, is expected to produce 263 megawatts of clean energy every year – enough to offset almost 100% of […]

AB 2188, Changes Solar Energy System Restrictions in HOAs

Solar energy technology has advanced considerably over the years. It is arguably the cleanest renewable energy source available. Modern technology is capable of harnessing this energy for generating electricity, providing light, or heating water. As such, the technology can significantly reduce a homeowner’s energy bills. In light of the benefits of the technology, the State […]

Bill would force HOAs to allow fake grass

California homeowner associations would be forced to allow artificial turf in front yards under a bill recently proposed by the San Diego County Water Authority.     Read more……….

Top 10 Energy Tips: Good Advice Makes Saving Simpler

There’s probably not a condo, co-op, or HOA board that doesn’t worry about money at some point or another, which is why staying on top of the latest money-saving opportunities is vital for any building or community to be successful. One of the biggest ways to save money is to cut energy costs, and there […]

New California Law Cuts Solar-Permitting Red Tape

A new law that could help scrub cost from solar inspection, interconnection and permitting was just signed by Calif. Gov. Brown.   The law cuts in half the allowable limits homeowner associations can apply to rooftop solar and prevents a city or county from holding up permit review based on the HOA process.   Read more…….

Solar Panels, HOAs, and Condominiums in North Carolina

Our modern society is always looking for opportunities to limit our footprint on the environment and to increase sustainability in a modern world. Wind, solar, and other renewable resources are common topics of conversation. As part of this push, many states have enacted laws that encourage businesses and individuals to incorporate and use these technologies […]

Top 10 Energy Tips: Good Advice Makes Saving Simpler

There’s probably not a condo, HOA or co-op board that doesn’t worry about money at some point or another, which is why staying on top of the latest money-saving opportunities is vital for any building or community to be successful. One of the biggest ways to save money is to cut energy costs, and there […]

In Eldorado (NM), there are rules about solar

Dear Eldorado residents and anyone who lives in a common-interest subdivision governed by a homeowners association (HOA) with covenants in New Mexico.  There is misinformation going around Eldorado, my HOA, that there is a federal/state law forcing HOAs to allow homeowners/members all the solar they want and any kind of solar they want. What’s more, […]

Water Efficient Landscape Maintenance – The Easy Way

Here in California we’re experiencing one of the worst droughts in decades. State wide, officials are calling for more stringent limitations on water usage. Water conservation is becoming necessary and even mandatory.Whether your HOA needs to save water to comply with state mandates, wants to save money or simply wants to be eco friendly – […]

HOAs Prohibited from Fining Homeowners for Failure to Water (CA)

As residents of homeowners associations (“HOAs”) began responding to the Governor’s plea by reducing their irrigation, HOAs fined their members for failure to maintain their yards in accordance with the governing documents. This led to swift action by both the Governor and the California Legislature.     Read more……….

Going Green to Save Green

These days, it seems like everybody is looking to ‘go green.’ The term is shorthand for a movement of environmental awareness that involves everything from the way architects design new buildings and homes to the ways HOAs recycle their waste. In other words, green means to help the environment by reducing the amount of energy […]

The saga of solar panels

We applied for a permit to install solar panels on the roof of our house in Great Island of Plymouth in September 2013.   On April 3, 2014, our panels started to produce electricity.  During the seven months between those dates, we encountered the most infuriating resistance from our homeowners association.      Read more………

(VA) State Senate: Solar panels should be allowed in HOA communities

Solar panels could become commonplace across the Commonwealth, if a bill patroned by Sen. chap petersen is signed into law. The House of Delegates voted to pass SB 222 today, sending the bill through its final legislative hoop before going to the governor for his signature. The House vote was 95-4.     Read more……..

A Queens Condo Finds Energy Savings in Preventive Maintenance

The condo board at Brook Haberman’s building is pretty savvy. At least, that’s what David Grumet thinks. Grumet is the director of operations at iAG Energy, a firm that performs energy audits, and he should know. He’s dealt with dozens of boards in the last year doing what he did for Haberman’s building: tracking down […]

Nielsen introduces drought relief legislation for homeowner association communities (CA)

For residents living in communities governed by homeowner associations, this means that they could be caught between breaking the water reduction mandate to comply with their covenants, conditions and restrictions to keep their lawns greens or pay their HOA potentially hefty fines. To relieve homeowners of this dilemma, Sen. Jim Nielsen, R-Gerber, introduced Senate Bill […]

Water Conservation – Save the Planet, Save Money

Many states, including our home state of California, are experiencing record low rainfall this season – an event that is sure to trigger tighter water restrictions for your Homeowners Association.     Read more…….

Evaluating Green Communities

So you’re buying a new home, and you’re committed to “buying green” — a house with good indoor air quality, that doesn’t cost a fortune to heat and cool, is efficient in the use of water, and it resides in an ecologically friendly neighborhood. How do you find out about all that? What do you […]

Solar Panels and Safety

A recent Fox News article brought to light a danger many people had not considered when looking to install solar panels on their roofs – the weight and electricity of solar panels can put fire fighters in danger when they try to put out flames.    Read more……

50 ways to reduce water consumption

1) When washing dishes by hand, don’t let the water run while rinsing. Fill one sink with wash water and the other with rinse water.  2)Some refrigerators, air conditioners and ice-makers are cooled with wasted flows of water. Consider upgrading with air-cooled appliances for significant water savings.   Read More……

Solar Panels And Community Associations: Sparks Can Fly

Green living sometimes can be at odds with community association living. As much as we all likely strive to live in an environmentally responsible manner, sometimes these ambitions clash with the wants and desires of our neighbors, bringing strife and dissension to a neighborhood. Though the Washington legislature has not attempted regulating chickens, clotheslines or […]

Solar Panels in Homeowner Associations

New Jersey law provides that homeowner associations shall not adopt nor enforce rules prohibiting the installation of solar collectors in certain circumstances (see NJSA 45: 22A-48.2). For instance, owners of single family detached residences, or townhome residences, in which the owner of the unit holds title to the building as well as the ground surrounding […]

Texas homeowners may have drought-resistant lawns

he Texas Legislature has guaranteed the right of landowners to install drought-resistant landscaping. The Senate passed a bill Monday denying homeowners’ associations the power to ban landscaping designs intended to save water. The bill now goes to Gov. Rick Perry for his signature.  Read more…

Green Exteriors: Upgrading for Lower Energy Costs

More often than not, when boards or associations broach the issue of their buildings “going green,” images of bamboo flooring, hemp drapes, or solar panels on the roof suddenly spring to mind. The impression seems to be that in a condo, green upgrades are difficult and costly—if not impossible—to do.  Read More……

The Effect of Homeowners Associations on Sustainability

The concept of an Homeowners Association, or HOA, isn’t one that typically comes to mind when most people think of sustainability. We see more and more horror stories in the news nowadays of homeowners slapped with hefty fines for growing gardens on their own property, or even thrown in jail for daring to keep a […]

Working With Homeowner Associations

Why should bird conservationists work with homeowners associations? San Diego Audubon has a great workbook answering this question, and providing guidelines for creating and implementing sustainable, nature-friendly landscaping projects within planned communities administered by a homeowners association. The 20 page guidebook also includes a case study from the community of Eastlake in Chula Vista, California, […]

The ARC and The Covenants

As we start to see signs of a housing recovery, slow as it may be, I feel the industry is in a great position. All the effort put in by so many to improve our energy codes, green building programs & rating systems will finally be able to bear fruit. We can start to build […]

Help with Going Green: Tapping Federal and State Incentive Programs

With the green movement in full swing across the country, it is not surprising that incorporating energy saving and efficient measures has trickled into condominium development. Today, many buildings in New Jersey pride themselves for having a variety of eco-friendly features ranging from green roofs, the use of sustainable materials and recycling on-site.  Read More……

Ten Hot (and Cool) Tips

Energy efficiency has become a “buzz word” over the past couple years in New Jersey and more and more gadgets and devices have come on the market that are specifically designed to use less energy. Saving energy does a lot more than just reduce a building’s carbon footprint and toxic emissions, however—going green can save […]

A Queens Co-op Slashes Its Electric Bill by 85%. How? With Cogeneration.

Cogeneration, also known as combined heat and power (CHP), is a natural-gas-fueled method of generating electricity for your co-op or condo building — and it’s down-to-earth, not pie-in-the-sky, as one Queens co-op found after getting got financing to install a cogeneration plant that’s reduced it Con Edison bills by 85 percent. Eight-five. Not a typo. […]

Sustainable Initiatives for Condos & HOAs

Unless someone strenuously objects, I‘d like to start an argument. When it comes to sustainability and the “green” theme, condominiums and HOA’s don’t get no respect.  Read More……

Green Light: Exterior Lighting Updates Can Save Energy, Too

As the ubiquity of the condo “green” movement reaches even greater heights, many property managers find themselves searching for new ways to spruce up their operations. And with the continual advances in lighting technology—each more revolutionary than the next—it may well be time to look again at your property’s exterior lighting.  Read More……