The  California Solar Rights Act allows for solar easements for solar energy systems on properties which are not owned by the owner. In other words,  if the appropriate steps are taken,  the solar host airspace above the P.V. system is guaranteed to be free of shade from vegetation growth, increased building heights as a result of: remodeling, and construction of new buildings on adjacent parcels can affect the amount of sunlight reaching a solar energy system in the future. 

 Now that you are aware of a what a solar easement is, lets explain how to go about obtaining a solar easement with your neighbors.

 First off, it’s important to identify which neighbor(s) has the potential to shade your solar energy system at some point in the future. Once you have identified the correct neighbor(s), you must create a solar easement in writing.

 Court rulings have established that an easement must be written to be enforceable.  California Civil Code Section 801.5 specifies that “any instrument creating a solar easement” must at a minimum include the following:

• Description of the dimensions of the  solar easement expressed in measurable terms,

• Restrictions that would impair or obstruct the passage of sunlight through the solar easement,

• The terms or conditions, if any, under which the solar easement may be revised or  terminated.

 In order for the solar easement to be valid, bilateral negotiations between the solar energy system host and the neighbor must be validated in writing.

Although, by law, the neighbor is required to comply with the Solar Rights Law, they may be reluctant to agree to the terms and refuse to sign the document.  If this is the case then it would be advised to contact a lawyer to try to find a way to get additional guidance, or to create a solar easement.

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