Solar Easements & Rights Laws (Washington)

From Open Energy Information

Last modified on February 12, 2015.

Rules Regulations Policies Program

Place Washington
Name Solar Easements and Rights Laws
Incentive Type Solar/Wind Access Policy
Applicable Sector Agricultural, Commercial, Fed. Government, Industrial, Institutional, 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 2013-02-13

References DSIRE[1]


Washington's solar easement laws are similar to those in many other states. The law does not create an automatic right to sunlight. Rather, the law allows parties to enter into solar easement contracts voluntarily for the purpose of ensuring adequate exposure of a solar-energy system.

In April 2009, Washington enacted S.B. 5136, restricting homeowner's associations from prohibiting the installation of solar energy panels. A homeowner's association may issue guidelines related to visibility and aesthetic aspects of solar panel placement, but it may not prohibit a resident or owner from installing solar panels, provided that the solar panels meet certain criteria. Solar panels must meet local and state health and safety requirements. Solar water-heating systems must be SRCC certified (or certified by an equivalent national organization). Solar-electric systems must meet NEC, IEEE, and UL or other testing laboratory safety and performance standards.

Incentive Contact

Contact Name Phil Lou
Department Washington State University
Division Energy Extension Program
Address PO Box 43165
Address 2 905 Plum St SE Bldg #4
Place Olympia, Washington
Zip/Postal Code 98504-3165
Phone (360) 956-2132


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

Authority 1: RCW 64.04.140
Date Effective 1979
Date Enacted 1979

Authority 2: RCW 64.38.055
Date Effective 2009-07-26

  • 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)"