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What is a solar easement?

When buying or selling a property, you might find yourself overwhelmed with the number of small, unknown details that go into the transaction. One of those details might concern solar easements if the property you want to buy or sell has solar panels.

But what are easements? And how does solar power factor into all that?

The definition of an easement

An easement is, in legal terms, an allowance for someone to use another’s property in a particular circumstance. A good example is a shared driveway where your neighbor may need to drive through your property to get to theirs. Utility companies also act as easement holders for your property, since their power lines and gas pipes run under your land.

The way you own your light and power

A solar easement takes this concept to an almost intangible level. When your property has solar panels on it, they generate power. This happens at certain times of the day and at certain angles. As DSIRE describes, New Jersey solar easement laws provide protections to ensure proper sunlight for solar energy devices.

If someone blocks your sunlight by building a new property or putting up a billboard, you don’t make power. Having a solar easement that describes that particular time of day, particular angle, or provisions for compensation may provide you with a valuable resource in the case of someone blocking your light.

When you purchase a property that has solar panels on it already, double-check for any previously established solar easements. If the local government has nothing on the books, there are resources for you to establish your own.