E.V. Charging Processes, Tips and Tricks
This guide outlines the processes for implementing electrical vehicle (“EV”) charging stations under the new regulatory framework, and provides tips that condominium corporations can utilize to better manage owners’ requests for EV charging stations in the future.
Two Methods for Implementing EV Charging in Condominiums
1. Community/Common Element EV Facilities
A community or common element EV charging station is one that would be available to residents on a first-come-first serve basis, and/or on a “pay-as-you-go” basis, similar to services provided at shopping malls and retail plazas.
If common element space is identified to accommodate a community charging station, and the board elects to proceed with the installation and make it available to residents, then condominium corporation must comply with the regulations with respect
to giving notice to the owners.
In summary, the condominium corporation must first conduct a cost assessment for the installation and provide owners with prior written notice with mandatory information about the installation. Assuming that notice must be given to owners, then
the board can only proceed with the installation after giving notice. The content of the notice will vary depending on the circumstances:
- Circumstance # 1: the cost of the installation is less than 10% of the annual budgeted common expenses and the board is of the opinion that the owners would not regard the installation as causing a material reduction or elimination of their use or enjoyment of their units or the common elements or the corporation’s assets. If this applies, then the corporation must give at least 60 days notice to the owners prior to proceeding with the installation.
- Circumstance # 2: regardless of the cost, the board is of the opinion that the owners would regard the installation as causing a material reduction or elimination of their use or enjoyment of the units
or the common elements or the corporation’s assets. If this applies, then the corporation must give at least 60 days notice, and must specify that the owners have the right to requisition a meeting to vote against the installation.
If there is no requisition submitted within the 60 day period, then the board may proceed with the installation.
Given that the regulation requires specific wording to be included in the above-referenced notices to owners, we suggest that condominium corporations contact their solicitor to prepare these notices.
2. Unit Owner Requests for EV Charging Stations
Even if a condominium corporation elects to implement a community EV charger(s), unit owners can still apply to install their own individual EV chargers. By way of summary:
- Owners must submit an application requesting an installation, which must be accompanied by drawings, specifications or information with respect to the installation – i.e. the type of charging station, the method and location for installation, the method for measuring and paying hydro consumption, etc.If an owner requests information in writing in order to assist him/her to fulfill the application requirement, then the corporation must provide that information as soon as reasonably possible.
- Once the owner delivers the application, the board has to assess whether the contents meet the requirements in the regulations – i.e. whether it contains all of the information necessary to evaluate the request. If the application does not meet the requirements, the corporation has an obligation to inform the owner as soon as reasonably possible of the missing information that needs to be included in the application.
- Once an application that meets the requirements in the regulations is served on the condominium corporation, then the condominium corporation has 60 days to inform the owner if the condominium accepts or rejects the application. The 60-day period can only be extended by agreement in writing between the owner and the corporation.
- If the corporation does not issue a response either accepting or rejecting the application within the 60-day period (or a longer time period agreed to by the owner and the corporation in writing), then the corporation is deemed not to have rejected the application, and the owner can proceed with the installation, subject to entering into an agreement to be registered on title to the owner’s unit.
- The corporation can only reject an EV Charging application in very limited circumstances. More specifically, the corporation would have to secure a report or an opinion (from a person whose profession lends credibility to the report or opinion
– i.e. an engineer) stating that the installation:
- will violate another law – i.e. Electrical Safety Act, Building Code, Fire Code, etc.;
- will adversely affect the structural integrity of the corporation’s property or assets; or
- will pose a serious risk (i) to the health and safety of an individual, or (ii) of damage to the corporation’s property or assets.
If the board rejects the application by relying on an opinion or report confirming any of the above matters, then the report must be delivered to the owner (unless the report contains information concerning another unit or another owner).
- The owner making the application and the corporation in assessing/responding to the application, are required to bear their own costs for satisfying their respective duties pursuant to the regulations. Cost responsibilities can be modified only by agreement between the owner and the corporation (discussed below).
- If the application is accepted (or deemed accepted), then the owner and the corporation must take all reasonable steps to enter into an agreement within 90 days (or another period of time agreed to by the owner and the corporation in writing). Although the agreement is not a section 98 agreement, it is similar to a section 98 agreement, since it has to be registered on title to the owner’s unit and must address such matters as, among other things:
- the manner of installation;
- allocation of costs for the installation;
- duties with respect to the EV charging station, including costs for the use, operation, maintenance, repair and or replacement of the station;
- responsibilities for insuring the EV charging station;
- ownership of the EV charging station; and,
- cessation of the use and operation of the system, or the termination of the agreement.
In addition to the above matters, the agreement can and should apportion responsibility for the cost and payment of hydro consumption.
Tips and Tricks: Be Proactive!!!
Tip # 1: Developing an EV Policy
While the regulations establish the process for applying and granting requests for EV charging stations, the regulations are drafted in such a way that can be confusing to many or may be misinterpreted. In order to provide adequate direction to owners and establish expectations how the board will assess and deal with applications and govern EV chargers on the property, we suggest that all condominium corporations implement an EV Policy. The EV Policy can address, among other things:
- Who can make an EV application (owners, tenants, residents, etc.).
- A description of the agreement that the owner and the corporation must enter into and that will be registered on title to the owner’s unit.
- Cost obligations (i.e. electrical consumption, installation costs, common element infrastructure costs, etc.)
- Installation requirements.
- Limitations in the corporation’s electrical capacity.
- Use of EV chargers (i.e. repairs, maintenance, etc.)
Tip # 2: Developing a Standard EV Application Form
When electric vehicles become more popular, condominium corporations will begin to receive an influx of EV Applications. If EV Applications submitted by owners are all different (i.e. they contain different information, inconsistent verbiage, varying documentary requirements), then the process to respond to owners’ EV Applications will be very confusing and difficult.
For this reason, we suggest that all condominium corporations develop and adopt their own EV Application Form, which will help to standardize the corporation’s processes for EV charging station applications, specify the documentation and deposits required in advance, and outline the obligations of the parties at the start of the process.
Tip # 3: Developing a Standard EV Agreement
Similar to the EV Application Form, it is a good idea for all condominium corporations to develop and finalize their form of EV Agreement in advance. The EV Agreement can include provisions dealing with:
- the manner of installation.
- allocation of costs for the installation.
- ongoing duties with respect to the EV charging station, including costs for the use, operation, maintenance, repair and replacement of the station.
- responsibilities for insuring the EV charging station.
- ownership of the EV charging station.
- cessation of the use and operation of the system, or the termination of the agreement.
- Indemnification for costs incurred by the corporation.
Deo Condominium Lawyers has plenty of experience assisting condominium corporations with the EV process. If your condominium corporation needs guidance on this process or is interested in implementing an EV Policy, EV Application Form and/or EV Agreement, then please contact Deo Condominium Lawyers.