Maine Solar Easement Rights and Laws

May 26, 2023


Maine law requires that any municipal ordinance, bylaw, or regulation adopted after September 30, 2009 regulating solar energy devices on residential property follow certain requirements. The rules, bylaws, and regulations of homeowner associations (HOAs) must also follow these requirements. Specifically, these legal instruments may not prohibit a person from installing or using a solar energy device (including a clothesline or drying rack) on residential property owned by that person. In the case of a leased/rented property, the policy protects the renter's right to use a clothesline or drying rack.

The municipal reviewing authority may, to protect and ensure access to direct sunlight for solar energy systems, prohibit, restrict or control development through subdivision regulations. The regulations may call for subdivision development plans containing restrictive covenants, height restrictions, side yard and set-back requirements or other permissible forms of land use controls.

Ordinances, bylaws, or regulations may reasonably restrict the installation and use of solar energy devices to protect public health and safety, buildings from damage, historic/aesthetic values (when a comparable alternative is available), and to protect shorelands (under shoreland zoning provisions). Legal instruments may restrict the use of solar energy devices on residential property that is commonly owned with third parties or in the common areas of condominiums.

Maine allows for the creation of solar easements for the purpose of ensuring access to direct sunlight. They must be created in writing and shall be recorded and indexed in the same way as other conveyances of real property interests. Solar easements must be appurtenant and run with the land benefited and burdened, and are subject to court decreed abandonment and other limitations provided by law.

Program Overview

Implementing Sector: State
Category: Regulatory Policy
State: Maine
Incentive Type: Solar/Wind Access Policy
Web Site:
Start Date:
Eligible Renewable/Other Technologies:
  • Solar - Passive
  • Solar Water Heat
  • Solar Space Heat
  • Solar Photovoltaics
  • Solar Pool Heating


Name: Title 33 M.R.S § 1421 et seq.
Date Enacted: 06/03/2009
Effective Date: 09/30/2009
Name: Title 33 M.R.S § 1401
Name: Title 33 M.R.S § 4405

This information is sourced from DSIRE; the most comprehensive source of information on incentives and policies that support renewables and energy efficiency in the United States. Established in 1995, DSIRE is operated by the N.C. Clean Energy Technology Center at N.C. State University.