According to state law, effective July 1, 2008, community associations in Virginia generally may not prohibit a homeowner from installing or using a solar energy collection device on their property. A community association may, however, establish reasonable restrictions concerning the size, place, manner of placement of individual solar devices or restrict the installation of solar devices on common areas within the development served by the community association. H.B. 414 of 2020 further clarified that a restriction imposed by a community association will be deemed unreasonable if it increases the cost of installation by five percent or more, or if it reduces the energy production ten percent below the projected energy production of the initially proposed installation. This law does not affect covenants that were in effect prior to July 1, 2008.
In the context of this law, a solar energy device is a system "manufactured and sold for the sole purpose of facilitating the collection and beneficial use of solar energy, including passive heating panels or building components and solar photovoltaic apparatus."
In 2013, HB 2305 was passed and requires the resale certificate required under the Virginia Condominium Act and the disclosure packet under the Virginia Property Owners' Association Act to contain a statement setting forth any restriction, limitation, or prohibition on the right of an owner to install or use solar energy collection devices on his property. In addition, the bill adds to the seller's representation to a prospective purchaser of residential property under the Virginia Residential Property Disclosure Act that the seller makes no representations with respect to right to install or use solar energy collection devices on the property.
In April 2014 SB 222 limited the power of community associations to prohibit the installation of solar photovoltaics only in cases where a recorded declaration establishes a prohibition.