Solar Easements & Rights Laws (Massachusetts)

From Open Energy Information

Last modified on February 12, 2015.

Rules Regulations Policies Program

Place Massachusetts
Name Solar Easements and Rights Laws
Incentive Type Solar/Wind Access Policy
Applicable Sector Commercial, Fed. Government, Industrial, Local Government, Nonprofit, Residential, Schools, State Government
Eligible Technologies Passive Solar Space Heat, Photovoltaics, Solar Space Heat, Solar Thermal Electric, Solar Thermal Process Heat, Solar Water Heat
Active Incentive Yes
Implementing Sector State/Territory
Energy Category Renewable Energy Incentive Programs

Date added to DSIRE 2000-01-01
Last DSIRE Review 2012-12-17

References DSIRE[1]


Solar access provisions in the General Laws of Massachusetts allow for the creation of voluntary solar easements to protect solar exposure and authorizes zoning rules that prohibit unreasonable infringements on solar access. Similar to solar easement provisions in many other states, Massachusetts solar easements allow for the voluntary creation of solar access contracts, but do not make solar access an automatic right. In addition, the statutes allow for communities to authorize zoning boards to issue permits creating solar rights.

Massachusetts also prohibits restrictions on solar devices, voiding "any provision in an instrument relative to the ownership or use of real property which purports to forbid or unreasonably restrict the installation or use of a solar energy system ... or the building of structures that facilitate the collection of solar energy."

Furthermore, Massachusetts zoning laws prohibit local governments from enacting local laws that prohibit or "unreasonably regulate" solar energy systems.

Incentive Contact

Contact Name Public Information Officer
Department Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources
Address 100 Cambridge Street
Address 2 Suite 1020
Place Boston, Massachusetts
Zip/Postal Code 02110-1313
Phone (617) 626-7300

Email DOER.Energy@State.MA.US

Authorities (Please contact the if there are any file problems.)

Authority 1: M.G.L. ch. 187 § 1A. Solar easements

Authority 2: M.G.L. ch. 184 § 23C. Solar energy systems; installation or use; restrictive provisions

Authority 3: M.G.L. ch. 40A § 1A. et seq.

Authority 4: M.G.L. ch. 41 § 81Q. Planning board; adoption of rules and regulations

Authority 5: M.G.L. ch. 40A § 9B. Solar access

  • Incentive and policy data are reviewed and approved by the N.C. Solar Center's DSIRE project staff.[1]


  1. 1.0 1.1  "Database of State Incentives for Renewables and Efficiency (DSIRE)"