Electric Vehicle Charging Systems
From the Volume 13, Fall 2022 issue of the CCI GHC Condo News Magazine
Electric Vehicles are the way of the future and are driven by the need to change human consumption behaviours, which are causing the planet to overheat and as a product thereof - humanity is suffering from the devastating effects of a rise in temperatures globally and seasonally. From floods to fires, the effects of climate change cannot be ignored.
CCI Golden Horseshoe had a highly informative discussion at its May 17th, 2022 CondoTalk Webinar, which we recommend watching. It can be found in the CCI National Resource Centre: Going Electric
Via public policy, the Ontario government has committed Ontarians to reducing the environmental impact of cars and thereby, addressing one part of climate change causation. Since condominium living represents an ever-increasing portion of housing options in Ontario, the implementation of electrical vehicle charging stations with little or no barriers seems like a logical way to implement the government's public policy initiatives.
From a legal perspective, the following is worth considering:
Installation by the Condominium Corporation
Generally, when making a change to the common elements or a change in a service that the condominium corporation provides to unit owners, this must be done in accordance with section 97 of the Act. When it comes to Electric Vehicle Charging Systems (“EVCS”), however, O. Reg 48/01 exempts a condominium corporation from complying with section 97 of the Act, as long as the installation of the EV charging station is carried out in accordance with the provisions therein.
If a condominium corporation decides to install the EVCS, all costs associated with same will be considered common expenses. Accordingly, all owners will be responsible for paying for the costs associated with the installation, based on the statement of proportion set out in a condominium corporation’s Declaration.
O. Reg 48/01 provides for two (2) scenarios:
1. On notice, but without a vote of the unit owners
Under this scenario, the condominium corporation may unilaterally install the EVCS, on notice to unit owners, if certain prescribed conditions are met. Generally, if: (i) the estimated cost of the installation is not more than 10% of the annual budgeted common expenses for the current fiscal year; and (ii) the installation of the EVCS would not, in the eyes of unit owners, cause a material reduction or elimination of their use or enjoyment of their units or the common elements, then the condominium corporation may proceed with the installation.
2. Enhanced notice to unit owner’s and possible vote required
If the estimated cost of the proposed installation is in excess of 10% of the budgeted annual common expenses for the current fiscal year or the installation would cause a material reduction in the use or enjoyment by owners of their units or the common elements, then the condominium corporation will have to provide notice of the proposed change to unit owners, which notice must include a statement that the unit owners have the right, in accordance with section 46 of the Act, and within sixty (60) days of receiving the notice, to requisition a meeting of owners. The proposed installation will be approved only if:
A.The owners of at least 15% of the units have not requisitioned a meeting within sixty (60) days of receiving the notice;
B.If a meeting has been requisitioned, but a quorum is not present at the first attempt to hold the meeting; or
C.If a quorum is present at the first attempt to hold the meeting, but the owners have not voted against the proposed installation.
Installation by a Unit Owner
Generally, a unit owner who wishes to make a change to the common elements may do so under section 98 of the Act by obtaining approval from the corporation’s board and entering into Section 98 Agreement. Section 24.4 of O. Reg 48/01 provides an exemption to section 98 of Act for the installation of an EVCS by a unit owner, where the following process is to be followed.
Step 1: Written application
An owner must create an application and deliver it to the condominium corporation. The application must:
- Identify the owner and the owner’s address for service;
- Be signed by the owner; and
- Include drawings, specifications, and/or information relating to the proposed installation.
The condominium corporation then has an obligation to respond, in writing, and provide any information, permission, or authorization that the owner requests that will assist the owner in meeting the requirements for providing drawings, specifications, and/or other information.
Step 2: The Decision
Once the application has been submitted to the condominium corporation, the condominium corporation will have sixty (60) days to respond to the written application (this can be extended upon agreement of both parties). The condominium corporation can only reject the request for installation if, based on the opinion or the report of a qualified professional:
- The installation would be in violation of the Act or any other legislation;
- The installation would adversely affect the structural integrity of the property; and/or
- The installation poses a health and safety risk to the property and its occupants.
If the condominium corporation is rejecting an application for one of the aforementioned reasons, it is required to provide a copy of the report or opinion of the qualified professional to the owner.
Patricia Elia, B. Comm. LL.B., A.T. Coach
Elia Associates PC,
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