Electric vehicles are becoming more common. You may notice your neighbors driving EVs. Homeowners Associations will need to begin thinking about how to keep these vehicles charged. It also means HOAs will need to create EV charging policies, whether the stations are public or on the homeowner’s property.
Why You Need an HOA Electric Vehicle Charging Policy
HOAs are beginning to receive requests from residents asking to install community charging stations. However, it also means creating rules and regulations regarding EV charging.
An HOA EV charging policy often varies, depending on the neighborhood, but all should cover the following three items.
- How homeowners should pay for charging their electric vehicles.
- A proposal process for letting homeowners install their own charging stations.
- A schedule of charging station use.
Having an HOA electric vehicle charging policy helps homeowners navigate the above concerns. It limits the number of disputes and complaints from neighbors often levied at the board. Not having a charging policy can also result in legal action that can be disastrous for any HOA.
What are Your HOA’s Governing Documents?
HOAs in EV-friendly states like California, Florida, and Washington are seeing a rise in the number of homeowners driving electric vehicles. It is forcing HOAs to adapt more quickly, but it often presents challenges to older communities. Their CC&Rs and bylaws are often outdate and do not have provisions for electric vehicles.
Older communities typically have provisions concerning alterations or modifications to common areas. EV infrastructure can fall under these guidelines. Homeowners can refer to these bylaws to understand the HOAs responsibilities and authority over the charging stations.
It is necessary for the HOA to own the common area. Most HOAs are restricted from installing public EV charging units on private property. It’s a good idea for HOA boards to contact their management company or a local attorney to learn more about their rights, powers, and obligations. It can save time and money in future legal fees.
For more information on EV charging infrastructure for single family homes, click here. For more information on EV charging infrastructure for public use click here (if your HOA is considering public charging open to all residents).
Who Is Responsible for Purchasing EV Charging Stations?
HOAs with larger budgets often purchase and install the charging stations. The unit and installation costs can range from $850 to $4,500 per station. The costs typically depend on the type of EV charger. For example, home chargers and level 2 chargers are significantly less expensive than DC fast chargers.
When the HOA is responsible for purchasing and installation costs, there are advantages. With ownership, the HOA controls the charging stations operations, along with billing. To ease homeowners concerns about potentially rising electrical bills, onboard software can track users and charge the fees to drivers’ credit cards.
An effective way to separate the electricity going to the common area from the power used by the charging stations is to install a sub-meter. It will help prevent mistakes in billing that can frustrate homeowners.
Maintenance costs are something else for HOAs to consider. One option is to include the cost in homeowners’ HOA dues. The downside is determining which homeowners use the charging stations. Drivers of non-electric vehicles typically do not want to pay for something they are not using.
Another option is to work with an Electric Vehicle Service Provider (EVSP). They handle everything from installation and maintenance issues, to operating system management. EVSPs also take care of collecting the fees from homeowners using the charging stations.
Can Homeowners Install Private Charging Stations?
Not all HOAs want the responsibility of installing and managing EV charging stations. For some, the amenity is not in their budget. Allowing homeowners to install EV chargers on their property is often a viable option. In some states, homeowners have the legal right to install an EV charger. Known as the Right to Charge Law, it prohibits HOAs from preventing homeowners from installing an EV charger.
HOAs can benefit from allowing homeowners to install EV chargers. The homeowner is responsible for all expenses. Since most home EV chargers are installed in the garage or discretely on the side of the house, the HOA rarely has to step in to approve the alterations.
However, when a majority of homeowners drive EVs, it often makes more sense for the HOA to install community chargers.
Create a Homeowner EV Charging Policy
It’s a good idea to have an EV charging policy for homeowners. It will help ensure compliance across the community. It includes having homeowners fill out an application detailing their installation plans. HOAs can also require privately owned chargers be installed by a licensed and insured contractor.
Don’t forget to stipulate the homeowner is responsible for all costs.
After reviewing and approving the application, the homeowner can begin the installation process.
Scheduling EV Charging Station Use
HOAs often discover there are more EVs than available charging stations. To prevent issues, it’s a good idea to adopt a reservation systems. EV drivers can reserve a time to charge their vehicles. It helps prevent disputes among drivers. Another option is to use the first-come, first-served policy. Whichever option your HOA selects, homeowners must be made aware of the charging policy.
Common Challenges HOAs and COAs Face
A common challenge for HOAs and COAs occurs during installation. High-rises can encounter engineering problems due to its infrastructure. Often the building’s infrastructure isn’t strong enough to support EV infrastructure.
Installing multiple EV chargers can create additional challenges. For example, one parking spot must meet ADA requirements.
Is Your HOA Ready for the Future?
Electric vehicles are becoming more common, and homeowners are beginning to pressure their HOAs to adopt EV charging stations. We are here to answer any questions and help you create an EV charging policy.
Contact us today to learn more about HOA EV charging and what is required to install the infrastructure in your community.