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Condo Smarts: Even smaller stratas need electric planning report

The purpose of an electric planning report is to determine how much power is available to your strata corporation.
Tony Gioventu is the executive director of the Condominium Home Owners Association of B.C. SUBMITTED

Dear Tony: With the new regulations that require strata corporations of 5 units or more to have electric planning reports completed, will this apply to a small townhouse or bare land strata like ours which is only 14 units in Delta? With single detached units where each home has its own panel and meter, why would this report be of any value to our small community?

Jameson M.

In most strata corporations — whether they are 100-townhouse units, 200-apartment high-rise units, or an eight-unit bare land — every strata lot has its own panel and is metered by the service provider. This does not assure sufficient power for the future upgrades of electrification.

The purpose of an electric planning report is to determine how much power is available to your strata corporation, the current demand, possible future demands when upgrades are added for EV charging, heat pumps for units or common areas, and other conversions and whether upgrades will be required.

Your property may have current capacity to meet your demands, but we already have apartments, townhouse complexes and bare land strata corporations that have exceeded the limit of their supply by permitting extensive upgrades to units and building systems.

If your strata corporation is within a specified area and five units or greater, you must have an electrical planning report no later than Dec. 31, 2026. All other areas of the province by Dec. 31, 2028, and new strata corporations as of Jan. 1, 2024, will be required to have reports completed within five years of the filing of their strata plan. In addition to the requirements for the planning report, the regulations passed on Dec. 6 also determine the qualifications for the parties providing the reports, what information and evaluation must be contained within the reports.

The regulations also prescribe conditions for an owner application for EV charging, a requirement for strata corporations to respond to an EV request within 3 months, and the requirement for an Electric Planning Report to be attached to a Form B Information Certificate once it is obtained.

The specified areas include the Capital Regional District (Southern Vancouver Island and Gulf Islands), the Fraser Valley Regional District (Abbotsford, Chilliwack, Harrison Hot Springs, Hope, Kent, Mission, and eight unincorporated Electoral Areas), and the Metro Vancouver Regional District (Village of Anmore, Village of Belcarra, Bowen Island Municipality, Burnaby, Coquitlam, Delta, Electoral Area A, Langley, Township of Langley, Lions Bay, Maple Ridge, New Westminster, North Vancouver, Pitt Meadows, Port Coquitlam, Port Moody, Richmond, Surrey, Tsawwassen First Nation, Vancouver, West Vancouver, and White Rock).

Check the B.C. government website on strata housing for updates.

Tony Gioventu is executive director of the Condominium Home Owners Association.