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Letter to the editor
HOAs shouldn't oppose solar homes
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Forsyth County News

 

We strongly believe that Georgians have a right to choose their energy source, including solar.  Many Georgia home owner associations ban or heavily restrict the installation of solar panels.  At a time when energy prices are increasing sharply and fossil fuel use is adding greenhouse gases and pollution, the bans and heavy restrictions on solar panels should be overturned by state legislation once and for all, matching progress in many neighboring states. We believe the majority of people want to see increased use of renewable energy and improve individual access to the technology. It is grossly unfair that a small number of people (an HOA board and architectural committee members) can so easily tie up progress in this area. 

Think of the job opportunities and growth for companies involved in manufacturing, selling, designing and installing renewable energy systems that are being stifled.  Other states are far ahead of us here in Georgia. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, almost half of the states have laws protecting homeowners’ rights to install solar energy systems. Georgia is not among them.

After four applications to install solar panels on the side roof of our home, it is puzzling beyond belief that the Vickery Lake HOA board continually states its reason for the denials is to “preserve the value of the homes in the development.” No one has provided any evidence whatsoever that the installation of visible solar panels will result in lower property values.  There is convincing evidence from many states in the US that solar panels have a positive impact on communities. We assert that the increased value of our home will ultimately increase the comparative value of other homes in the Vickery Lake community. Our federal, state and local government support and encourage the residential use of solar panels. It’s an excellent home improvement that has many benefits.

We firmly believe that it is unreasonable to require solar panels be hidden from view. Within a few years, the sight of solar panels will be commonplace everywhere in the world.

David and Angel Dobs

Cumming