The Condo Act Catch Up: Electric Vehicle Charging Solutions

Building residents who wish to install an Electric Vehicle charging station in their building’s parking area have reason to celebrate.

The newest adjustments to the Condo Act include a clear outline of the new process for residents to install electric vehicle charging stations. The International Energy Agency anticipates 40 to 70 million EVs will be on global roads by 2025. Submetering enables Electric Vehicle charging stations to be metered. The meters measure how much electricity is consumed when the Electric Vehicle is plugged in. The cost of the electricity is individually billed to the owner of the charging station or the owner of the building.

At Priority Submetering Solutions, we take care of the installation of the meters, meter readings and billing life cycle. In buildings where, common element parking spaces are assigned to residents for exclusive use, EV drivers may prefer to install their own personal charging station in order to have reliable and constant access. The amount of electricity that a vehicle will draw is dependent on the vehicle technology and the owner’s driving habits.

For existing buildings, it will require more patience and preparation by all parties involved to install charging stations. Despite the challenge, it is necessary for buildings to consider implementing charging stations as they will provide a foundation for new transportation options for current and future residents. An owner must deliver an application to the corporation, which includes drawings, specifications or information with respect to the proposed installation including its location. Think of it as an exciting project, where you get to bring your design ideas to life! Within 60 days of receiving a complete application (or other time period if both parties agree), the Board must respond to the owner in writing stating whether it rejects or accepts the application. If the board does not respond within 60 days the board will be deemed to have not rejected the application. Similarly, for Condo Corporations, it has become a simple process for ensuring the installation of Electric Vehicle Charging stations are completed.

The new process compliments eco-friendly initiatives and greenhouse gas emissions reduction programs in Ontario. Your condo corporation working in conjunction with property management, will send out a letter informing all residents that they will be installing EV charging stations including

  1. A description of the proposed installation;
  2. Estimated costs of the EVCS installation and a description of how the corporation will pay for the costs;
  3. A statement indicating that the board believes that the owners would not consider the installation of the EVCS to constitute a significant reduction or elimination of the use or enjoyment of units, or of common elements, or assets of the corporation; and,
  4. Any other information that the by-laws of the corporation require.

Residents have 60 days to respond or oppose the proposal. If no tenant resident chooses to request a board meeting for further consideration, and 60 days have passed, the condominium corporation can begin installation of the EVCS. The main point for condo owners and tenants to take away from this new process is that there is no vote required by owners.

In order for the condo corporation to proceed with installation the estimated cost of the installation must be less than 10% of the annual budgeted common expenses and in the opinion of the board, owners will not regard the installation of the charging station as negatively impacting the use and enjoyment of units, shared common spaces or assets of the condo corporation. Another important factor to consider when installing EV Charging Stations is the details of duties and responsibilities for the installer of the charging stations. As listed in Section 24.6.3.c of the Condo act: to set out the respective duties and responsibilities of the corporation and the owner with respect to the system, including the responsibilities for the cost of the use, operation, repair after damage, maintenance and insurance of the system and the cost of preparing the agreement and registering it. These are important and often over looked details that need to be addressed at time of installation to ensure no party is held unreasonably responsible for repairs and damages that can be in the thousands of dollars.

The last thing anyone wants to see is unusable charging stations because of ill-repair. For condo owners and property managers alike, a condo lawyer should always be consulted first before any action is taken to implement Electric Vehicle charging. With the new Condo Act requirements, it can be expected that condo law firms are up to date on their information and legal options with regards to the expansion on Electric Vehicle charging installations.