Solar Thermal Laws and Permits
As with anything, you have to comply with laws and permit requirements when it comes to installing a solar thermal system. For the most part, US laws favor solar energy.
Avoiding common problems is easy
- Choose a professional supplier or installer who knows local laws and standards.
- Like laws in general, permit laws are meant to protect you. Common problems with solar thermal systems include excessive roof load and unlawful tampering with water supply.
- You can save yourself a lot of trouble by researching local ordinances. Call your local city hall and get in contact with their own experienced experts on solar thermal systems.
Solar is often encouraged by the law
It's a general trend that states are actually leading the way in making solar energy in all its forms easy to buy and use, with new legislation and state incentives.
Most states and municipalities do encourage the use of energy sources that will reduce greenhouse gases and energy waste. The use of solar thermal is no exception. This trend is growing (as of summer 2005).
In one example, the state of California has a specific law protecting the rights of owners of solar panels, against obstructions. The Solar Shade Control Act of 1979 prohibits any shading of solar collectors by tree growth (e.g. by a neighbor's tree) after a solar collector has been installed. This Act applies to solar thermal collectors. The law is very specific, prohibiting the placement or growth of any plant that shades a solar collector more than 10% between 10am to 2pm.