Condo corporations, get ready for some big changes effective May 1, 2018! Things have changed since we last blogged about the proposed electric vehicle (EV) charging system regulations.
The new regulations, which will amend O.Reg 48/01, are now available online.
There were some concerns in the industry with the previous proposal, which included an obligation for condo corporations to install a minimum number of EV stations on the common elements. The new regulations will not require corporations to install EV stations.
The regulations have made it easier for corporations and unit owners who wish to have EV stations installed by removing some of the previous barriers imposed by section 97 and 98 of the Condo Act. Some of the highlights are below.
Installations by a Corporation
A corporation that wishes to install an EV station will be exempt from section 97 of the Act in two circumstances. In both cases, a corporation is required to conduct an assessment of the cost and send a notice to owners with prescribed information:
- If: (i) the cost to carry out the installation is not greater than 10% of the annual budgeted common expenses; AND (ii) in the reasonable opinion of the Board, the owners would not regard the proposed installation as causing a material reduction or elimination of their use or enjoyment of the units they own or the common elements or assets of the Corporation; the Corporation can install an EV station 60 days after sending a notice with the required information to owners. If the above two conditions are satisfied, owners do not have an opportunity to requisition a meeting to vote against the installation.
- Regardless of the cost (i.e. if the cost is more or less than 10% of the annual budgeted common expenses), if, in the reasonable opinion of the Board, the owners would regard the proposed installation as causing a material reduction or elimination of their use or enjoyment of the units they own or the common elements or assets of the Corporation, the Corporation can install an EV station 60 days after sending the notice as long as owners do not requisition a meeting where the owners vote against the installation at the meeting.
What appears not to be contemplated is a situation where the cost to install the EV station is greater than 10% of the annual budgeted common expenses, but the owners would not regard the proposed installation as causing a material reduction or elimination of their use or enjoyment of the units they own or the common elements or assets of the Corporation. As presently drafted, a corporation would be required to comply with the requirements of section 97 in that case.
Installation by an Owner
The installation of an EV station by an owner can now be exempt from section 98 of the Act.
In order to take advantage of the exemption, an owner must deliver an application to the corporation, which includes drawings, specifications or information with respect to the proposed installation including its location.
The corporation must provide, as soon as reasonably possible, any information, permission or authorization that the owner requests in writing and that on a reasonable basis is required for the owner to fulfill the part of the application requirement with respect to drawings, specifications or information.
The corporation must also, as soon as reasonably possible, advise an owner who has applied if the owner’s application does not contain the required information or otherwise does not meet the requirements for the application.
Within 60 days of receiving a complete application (or other time period if both parties agree), the Board must respond to the owner in writing stating whether it rejects or accepts the application. If the board does not respond within 60 days the board will be deemed to have not rejected the application.
The board may reject an application in very limited circumstances. The rejection can only be based only on a report or opinion of a professional stating that the proposed installation:
- will be contrary to any relevant legislation, including the Electrical Safety Code, but not including anything in the declaration, by-law or rules of the corporation;
- will adversely affect the structural integrity of the property or assets of the corporation; or
- will pose a serious risk to the health and safety of individuals or of damage to the property or assets of the corporation.
A corporation does not appear to be permitted to reject an application on the basis of limited electrical capacity in the system; corporations have raised these concerns in the past and this may prove to be a challenge for some grappling with many applications by owners.
The corporation may require the installation be carried out in an alternative location or manner that would not cause the owner to incur unreasonable additional costs if that would be necessary so that: (i) owners would not to regard the installation as causing a material reduction or elimination of their use or enjoyment of the units that they own or the common elements or assets of the corporation; or (ii) the installation would not be contrary to the declaration, by-laws, rules or shared facilities agreements.
If the application is accepted by the corporation, the corporation and the owner must take all reasonable steps to enter into an agreement within 90 days (or another time period agreed to). While section 98 does not apply, the agreement that is required to be entered into is very similar to a Section 98 agreement. It must be registered on title to the unit and must include provisions relating to:
(a) the manner of installation;
(b) the allocation of costs for the installation (without agreement, the owner is responsible for the costs of the installation);
(c) the duties and responsibilities with respect to the system, including the cost to use, operate, repair after damage, maintain and insure the system and the cost of preparing the agreement and registering it;
(d) who will have ownership of the system or any part of it; and
(e) the cessation of the use and operation of the system or the agreement.
Interestingly, the regulations do not appear to require that an owner’s installation of an EV station be located within an owner’s parking unit or exclusive use parking space. Only time will tell how this will play out.
All disagreements between the corporation and owners with respect to the installation of a charging station under these regulations are subject to mandatory mediation and arbitration.
Effective May 1, 2018 Status Certificates must contain: (i) a statement of any proposed installation of EV station that is subject to a requisition by owners; and (ii) a statement of whether the parties have complied with all current agreements between with respect to EV stations. New forms have already been released and are available here.