Can we talk about Electric vehicles for a moment in condominiums homeowners associations and other forms of community associations? Although they may be great for the environment, they create a practical problem for communities. It’s convenient and practical to install charging stations in a common area, such as a clubhouse parking lot. And you would share the spaces among the residents according to whatever rules and regulations the board of directors would establish. However, it’s a completely different story if you will individual homeowners to install plugs in outlets where they want to.
Just as there are many different types and styles of community associations, each one presents different options for allowing charging stations to homeowners. A high-rise usually has a parking garage. Most all buildings have common electric rooms, where there are House meters and individual unit meters. Stay with me for one more moment, and I’ll explain a bigger problem.
When buildings and communities are built, they are electrically wired for certain capacities and voltage needs. In most cases neither the individual meters nor the house meters are designed to add EV power needs, without significant upgrades to the main feeds to these electrical rooms. That means a significant upgrade will be needed to the main Power grid to these buildings in order to supply the electric needed four EV charging stations.
Sure, you may be able to add one or two plugs are outlets, but that is about it. So if an owner requests and EV charging plug be installed a new parking space, and pay for that installation themselves, these days boards of directors are hard pressed not to allow it. The first couple are easy, even though they may not look good, the power grid existing may be sufficient. But, it’s those that follow that will face the power issue.
Upgrading the main power feed to a building is obviously a common expense to be shared by all owners. And before we debate, or even talk about whether it’s fair for someone with an electric car to have a plug versus someone without an EV car to have to pay for a part of that plug expense, better think again. These are very different times didn’t even 10 years ago. It’s like an owner on the first floor have a 10-story high-rise saying they don’t have to pay for a roof repair. Just because they don’t have a roof over their unit common expenses a common expense.
A power grid upgrade and a condominium, homeowners association, or other form of community association, whether it’s in your bylaws, governing documents, or not, it will not be cheap. It will be a significant cost. So I just wanted to make you aware of the hidden cost, And future costs, when you decide two allow charging stations in your community for EV equipment.