How do condos manage the charging of electric vehicles?



Ilyce Glink and Samuel J. Tamkin

Question: We have 12 units in our condo building, and each unit has its own garage. The association pays for electricity for all garage units. What if someone buys an electric car? Would this unit pay more because it consumes more electricity?

A: that’s a great question. We too have wondered what the condominium associations are going to do with this problem now that so many people are buying (and being encouraged to buy) electric vehicles.

The premise of your question is that it doesn’t seem fair that all unit owners share the electric bill equally when there is one or more owners who own EVs and power them in the garage.

Quite true. It doesn’t seem fair. Nonetheless, condominium boards have wide discretion over how to manage their associations. We have now visited a number of condominiums and seen charging stations. In each of these cases, it seemed to us that the charging station was connected to the building’s electrical system and was not measured separately. (One exception: a local training club has a meter on their charging station, but the cost is pennies for multiple hours of charging.)

If you do not want to increase the flow of the charging station, you can consider the charging station as a piece of equipment like any other. Some buildings have picnic and grill areas and provide owners with free gas, logs or other items for their parties and activities. Other buildings have party rooms with tables, chairs, and other items for their members to have parties. In most, if not all, of these other situations, any owner can enjoy the party room, swimming pool, recreational facilities, exercise room, and other perks available without paying any additional fees.

When the charging station is available to any homeowner, we see it as another convenience offered by this building, which will ultimately make the property more attractive to future buyers (and may even help increase values). However, if the charging station is only available to one owner (and only that owner), it may be fairer for that owner to pay the building the estimated cost of electricity – or perhaps reimburse the building for the cost of installing the recharge. station.

Perhaps the condo association could require owners to register for a niche and then charge those owners a monthly fee to use the charging station.

This is an easy workaround, as it’s probably too expensive to install a separate electric meter. But your association should compare past electricity bills with current bills to see how much the additional electricity cost and come up with a fair amount to charge that unit owner or any other unit owner who wishes to access the electricity. charging station.

Over time, you can decide if the monthly fees are fair or change them to make them fair for everyone. We would love to hear our readers explain how their condominium associations are dealing with this issue, especially since climate change seems to be on everyone’s mind these days.

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