In March 2012, West Virginia enacted legislation (H.B. 2740) that restricts housing associations from prohibiting solar energy systems on homes. Any governing document executed or recorded after June 8, 2012, that effectively prohibits or restricts the installation or use of a solar energy system is void and unenforceable. However, housing association members may vote to establish or remove a restriction that prohibits or restricts the installation or use of a solar energy system.
A solar energy system is defined as "a system affixed to a building or buildings that uses solar devices, which are thermally isolated from living space or any other area where the energy is used, to provide for the collection, storage, or distribution of solar energy."
This prohibition does not apply to provisions that impose "reasonable restrictions" on solar energy systems, including restrictions for historical preservation, architectural significance, religious or cultural importance to a given community. In addition, the law specifies that state and local authorities may regulate solar energy systems by establishing land use, health and safety standards, and that housing associations may restrict or limit the installation of solar energy systems installed in common areas and common structures.