Implementing EV infrastructure in a strata building can be an overwhelming and confusing process. Many people we speak to describe it as a hair pulling out exercise. We find that this is because many Owners Corporations don’t have the right information at the right time. They think that the first step in the process is getting a quote for the infrastructure and they often don’t complete this step until they have enough interest from residents.
This is not the case.
There are things you can be doing now to start the process in your strata building and to ensure that your Owners Corporation has all the information it needs to make a decision when the time comes.
Step 1: Review your finances
Implementing the right EV infrastructure is vital to future proofing your building. Depending on how much you have in your capital works fund, this may require a levy raise or financing. We recommend as a first step you review your finances and start to put in place a plan to finance EV charging infrastructure. You can start talking to green financiers who offer low interest loans for renewable infrastructure or increase levies to top up the capital works fund.
*Remember, once your infrastructure is in place there are ways to recoup some of the installation costs. This can include adding a small amount to the energy usage by residents when charging or incorporating some of the backbone installation costs into their “last mile” costs when they install an EV charging station into their individual car space.
Step 2: Complete an EV Feasibility Study
An EV Feasibility Study will provide your Owners Corporation with all information they require to make an informed decision about EV infrastructure in your building. We will provide you with a final report that outlines what EV infrastructure we recommend for your building and what upgrades will need to occur in your current electrical infrastructure to facilitate this. You will be provided with an EV rollout plan for your building and understand the costs to implement it. If you would like to learn more about this study you can read our article here which breaks down what is included.
Step 3: Engage a strata lawyer to amend by-laws & policies
Once you understand the cost of the installation it is a good time to engage your strata lawyer to start to understand and draft the required changes to the by-laws and relevant policy documents.
Step 4: Approve the EV proposal at an EGM or AGM
When you are ready to move ahead with the infrastructure you will take the EV Proposal (based on the EV Feasibility Study) to a EGM or AGM. Any motion taken to an EGM or AGM in NSW can be brought as a Sustainability Infrastructure motion, as per a NSW government amendment to the Strata Schemes Management Act passed in February 2021. This lowers the threshold for proceeding with any EV charging installation from 75% to 50% of those present and entitled to vote, based upon unit entitlements.
Step 5: Complete the backbone infrastructure
This is where the fun begins. It includes installation of the entire electrical infrastructure, hardware, and software, as outlined in the EV Feasibility Study. It will mean that your building is now ready for every resident to install an EV charging station in their individual car space by simply connecting to the backbone infrastructure. It also means you will have the confidence that when residents start to connect to the infrastructure the circuit will never be overloaded (this is done through load management) . You’ll also be able to bill residents for their usage and recoup this cost to the owners corporation (this is done through billing software)
Step 6: Install resident’s charging stations
This is know as the “last mile”, where residents can connect to the backbone infrastructure and install an EV charging station in their individual car space. We provide all your residents a set price for the installation either including the charging station or for installation only (which one they choose depends on whether you allow them to bring their own charger or create choose a uniform charging station across the building.)
Step 7: Annual servicing and maintenance
This is an added service to ensure the energy management system, backbone infrastructure, and charging stations are operating optimally and includes a visual damage inspection, complete mechanical inspection, and operational inspection. For any chargers that are shared or used by the public, annual servicing becomes mandatory under Australian regulation.
As always EV Installations are always here to help should you have any questions regarding EV charging. Please get in contact with us below and we will be more than happy to guide you through the process.
We also recommend you check out the NSW Governments portal on Making your residential strata building EV ready. It includes some great information around EV charging and also includes templates which you can utilise within your building throughout the process.
If you would like a downloadable version of this article which you can share with other stakeholders, click here and you can download it.
We look forward to connecting with you.
Until then, happy charging!