Solar, Wind, and Energy Efficiency Easements and Rights Laws

Program Solar, Wind, and Energy Efficiency Easements and Rights Laws
Category Regulatory Policy
Implementing sector State
Last Update
State Colorado
Technologies Solar - Passive, Solar Water Heat, Solar Space Heat, Solar Photovoltaics
Sectors Residential
Note: Enacted March 2015, H.B. 15-1121 clarified rights and duties of parties entering into a agreements between landowners and wind energy developers and how to record such an agreement in county land records.
Colorado's solar access laws, which date back to 1979, prohibit any residential covenants that restrict solar access. In 2008, H.B. 1270 extended the law to protect installations of wind turbines that meet the state's interconnection standards and certain energy efficiency measures including awnings, shutters, and other shade structures; garage fans; energy-efficient outdoor lighting; retractable clotheslines; and evaporative coolers. Some exceptions are made to allow for aesthetic requirements that do not significantly increase the cost of the device or decrease its performance. H.B. 1270 further protects owners of solar or wind energy systems by awarding reasonable attorney fees to the prevailing party in any court case involving the significant increase in the system's cost based on aesthetic requirements.
Colorado also allows property owners to agree voluntarily to solar and wind easements with their neighbors for the purpose of protecting and maintaining proper access to sunlight and wind. The statute provides details about the process for filing an easement, and includes provisions regarding the reversion of easements. 
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