Missouri’s New Law on Solar Panels: How the Legislation Impacts Homeowner Associations

By Kerri A. Mitchell

– Solar energy has been considered a property right in Missouri since 1979. A new law went into effect January 1, 2023 which affects the extent to which homeowner associations (HOAs) can control the use of solar energy within their communities. Section 442.404.1(3) of the Missouri Revised Statutes defines “solar panel or solar collector” as “a device used to collect and convert solar energy into electricity or thermal energy, including but not limited to photo voltaic cells or panels, or solar thermal systems.” Several other states have similar protections for homeowners, including Illinois.

The new statute applies to homeowner associations – not condominium owner associations or residential cooperatives – and gives homeowners the right to generate solar energy on their own roofs. However, HOAs can still prohibit the installation of solar panels on roofs owned by the Association and locations other than rooftops.

The new statute also allows HOAs to adopt “reasonable rules” regarding the installation and operation of the solar panels or solar collectors as long as the “rules do not prevent the installation of the device, impair the functioning of the device, restrict the use of the device, or adversely affect the cost or efficiency of the device.” (RSMo 442.404.1(3))

HOAs whose governing documents currently prohibit or limit homeowners from installing solar collection devices should consider reviewing and revising their governing documents to comply with Missouri’s new solar panel law.

If your neighborhood’s association needs assistance in reviewing or modifying your governing documents to comply with the new law, feel free to contact any member of our Homeowner and Condominium Association team.

Kerri A. Mitchell is a member of Carmody MacDonald’s Homeowner and Condominium Association team which provides a full range of client services to homeowner and condominium associations and cooperatives throughout the St. Louis metropolitan area, in both Missouri and Illinois. Our team has the experience and depth of resources to provide high quality and affordable representation for your Association. To schedule a consultation, please contact us at 314-854-8600.

This column is for informational purposes only. Nothing herein should be treated as legal advice or as creating an attorney-client relationship. The choice of a lawyer is an important decision and should not be based solely upon advertisements. Read our full Legal Disclaimer.

Posted on October 18, 2022. Updated on April 25, 2023.