What is a Condo Manager’s Role in Facilitating Electric Vehicle Charging Stations (EVCS)?

While Ontario scrapped provincial cash incentives for purchasing electric vehicles in 2018, there are still some incentives for new buyers. 

On top of that, electric vehicles are becoming more affordable, and are predicted to be comparable to internal combustion vehicles within a few years.

With their rising popularity, condo corporations are seeing more demand for electric vehicle charging stations. As of 2018, changes to the Condominium Act outline the process for condo corporations and owners to install electric vehicle charging stations (EVCS). 

The condo manager ultimately needs to communicate the new requirements to their condo board. They may need to facilitate requests from owners who wish to install EVCS for their parking spaces and manage the implementation of all board decisions related to charging stations.

 

Does the Condo Board Need Owner Approval?

The condo board of directors may choose to install EVCS as a routine upgrade to the building. The Condominium Act outlines when owner approval is needed. 

If the estimated cost is 10% or less of the total annual expenses, the board can install the station without owner input or approval. Instead, they are required to provide 60 days’ notice. This notice must contain:

  • Description of the installation proposal
  • Estimated costs and how the corporation will pay for it
  • A statement informing the owners that the proposal would not cause a material reduction or elimination of their enjoyment of the units or common areas
  • Any additional information required by the by-laws

In cases where the cost of installation exceeds 10% of the annual budget, or where the board of directors believe installation could significantly impact the owners’ enjoyment of the units, common elements, or assets, the owners have a right to request a vote. In this case, your notice to residents should include:

  • A description of the installation proposal
  • Estimated costs and how the corporation will pay for it
  • A statement informing the owners that the proposal would cause a material reduction or elimination of their enjoyment of the units or common areas.  
  • A statement that informs owners of the right to requisition a board meeting within 60 days
  • Any additional information required by the by-laws

Once the 60 days have passed, you can proceed with installation if the owners met and voted to approve, or if no meeting was requested. 

Owners can dispute the proposal whether or not it meets the requirements to seek owner approval. They may submit disputes for private mediation and arbitration, and you may need to seek legal advice to settle the matter.

evcs station condos

Assess the Costs

Before you can submit a proposal to your unit, you’ll need to assess the cost of installation. Beyond the price of the stations and installations, there are other factors to consider. You may need to create new parking spots for the stations or invest more money in your electrical infrastructure. 

You will need to explain the plan and itemize the costs before you can submit a notice to your residents. You should also consider how many more stations you may need to add into the future, so you can explore all your options for providing power without impacting the building’s electrical needs. 

 

Planning for Power Use 

Condo managers will need to plan ahead, even if they are starting with one or two EVCS stations. Older buildings may not have the electrical infrastructure to support multiple charging stations. Multiple charging stations can strain your power use, and you may eventually leave your residents without enough energy to use their appliances.

You can mitigate power issues by using load-sharing technology to split energy amongst stations while limiting the total electricity use. This is often more cost effective than upgrades to the electrical infrastructure. Load balancing can also prevent peak loads that create charges for high demand.  

However, load-sharing may not be enough for your building. As the number of charging stations and users increase, charging vehicles can take more time. An EVCS installer can evaluate your power grid and determine how much energy is available for charging stations. They can also walk you through your options for addressing any issues. 

In some cases, it won’t be practical to install enough EVCS units to meet your building’s needs. In this scenario, you’ll need to develop some guidelines for how owners can share stalls, in addition to taking advantage of rapid-charging stations on the public network.

Bring the Benefits of EVCS to Your Tenants

Plug into our expertise for insight on EVCS for your condo buildings.

Can Condo Owners Choose to Install EVCS?

If a condo owner needs a charging station, they don’t have to wait for the condo corporation to get the process moving. They must submit a notice in writing in a manner approved by the corporation and owner, whether via email or on paper.

The Condo Board has 60 days to respond to an application. They may either approve the application, reject it, or propose an alternate installation location. The board may only reject the application if:

  1. It affects the structural integrity of corporation property
  2. It poses a serious risk to health or safety or damage to corporate property 
  3. It violates any general or special act

The CAO offers templates for owners to apply for charging stations, as well as response forms for the condo board. Lack of response is considered neither an approval or a rejection, and the owner may seek arbitration to settle the matter.

 

Partner with ICC

Managing EVCS installations takes forethought and decisive action, and it is just one of many issues a condo manager may face. Condo residents expect to have their needs met with prompt service, and managing challenges in multiple buildings takes time. 

ICC can partner with your condo corporation to facilitate your EVCS requirements, in addition to handling day-to-today maintenance issues, administration needs, and financial management. Our 24/7 emergency line is always available for residents and board members for prompt resolution. 

Reach out to us today for more information about how we can get you on the right path to EVCS installation.

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