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Condo Smarts: How Bill 22 affects EV charging infrastructure

With some changes to strata act pending, we are in an excellent window to plan for installations and evaluate the future energy demands of your strata community.
Tony Gioventu, executive director of the Condominium Homeowners Association. JASON PAYNE, VANCOUVER SUN

Dear Tony: Our strata has received several requests from owners for the upgrade of our parking garage and their townhouse garages to electric vehicle charging. They have identified the recent legislative amendments having passed and now we are pressed into responding and granting permission for installations. Several of the sections refer to regulations, but we cannot find them. Without the regulations it is impossible to respond to the requests. Some insight would be helpful.

John D. M., Kelowna

Under Bill 22, The amendments to the strata property act passed on May 11; however, there are only three key sections that are enacted at this time. 1. The definitions that identify an electric vehicle, EV charging infrastructure and motor vehicle. 2. The purchase and disposal of personal property of a strata corporation that relates to EV infrastructure only requires a majority vote, and 3. The significant change in use or appearance of common property that relates to EV infrastructure only requires a majority vote.

The remaining sections that relate to electrical planning reports, duration of exclusive use for EV charging, owner conditions for approval of EV installation, the administration of EV infrastructure and energy studies to ensure the strata corporation has sufficient capacity of power for future installations and upgrades are all pending regulations.

Strata corporations have an obligation to act reasonably when an owner makes an application for the installation of charging stations, but these amendments and future regulations also impose an obligation on the strata corporations and strata councils to ensure future demands are met. While it may appear straightforward to owners with allocated townhouse garages to arrange an EV installation, townhouse garages may be part of a strata lot, limited common property or common property, and the overall site capacity for energy of the community may be affected when you calculate installations of heat pumps as well as the EV stations.

A critical element of the amendments that will affect future consideration of EV stations is the duration that can be granted to an owner for exclusive use of a common property parking space. Under the current provisions of the act an owner may only be granted exclusive use of common property for a maximum of one year. While this may be renewed annually it does not provide comfort for an owner who has invested in an EV station for their parking space. There is a provision in the act for the regulations to consider a longer time period to ensure an owner’s installation is not displaced.

We are in an excellent window to plan for installations and evaluate the future energy demands of your community. Canvass your current ownership to determine interest in EV conversions and your future electrical demands.

Mark the date: CHOA is hosting a Webinar on June 13 to understand the introduction of the legislation and what we can expect from carbon capture credits. Planning for an EV upgrade.

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Tony Gioventu is executive director of the Condominium Home Owners Association