Delegate Sue Hecht recently presented a bill in a hearing before Maryland’s House Environmental Matters Committee that would prevent homeowners associations from banning solar panel installations and establish the right for homeowners to get permanent easements on access to the sun. The easements would protect a homeowner with solar panels from losing power production capability from a neighbor planting a large tree or building a structure, even if it complies with zoning laws, that blocks the panels.

Malcolm Woolf, director of the Maryland Energy Administration, has signed on to the bill, saying it solves real-world implementation problems associated with expanding solar use. The state’s policy should protect those who want to take a step toward energy independence. According to Woolf, solar production will become more important as transmission lines become clogged and Maryland does not produce enough power within the state. Solar power provides the most power during peak times. More solar use will help prevent energy shortages during those times, even adding power to the electrical grid.