Electric Vehicles and Chargers – An Update on Funding
As our readers will know, there are special regulations under the Condominium Act which are designed to facilitate approval for electric vehicle (EV) charging systems. See our previous blog (dated March 29, 2018) for more information. Very briefly:
- After providing 60 days’ notice to the owners, a condominium corporation can make upgrades for an EV charging system where such upgrades are estimated to cost less than 10% of the corporation’s annual budget.
- A condominium corporation can make upgrades for an EV charging system which are estimated to cost more than 10% of the corporation’s annual budget, but in such cases the notice to owners must include an opportunity for owners to requisition a meeting to vote on the proposed upgrades.
- Condominium corporations must give approval to an owner’s request to install an EV Charger (for the owner), provided refusal isn’t justified based upon expert advice (as set out in the Regulations) and provided the owner enters into an agreement dealing with responsibility for all related costs and other matters which is registered against the owner’s unit. In many cases, we find that a by-law is an excellent way to regulate the required agreements with owners.
What are the funding options for EV charging systems?
First and foremost, I should note that some loans and rebates are available in Ontario (and will no doubt evolve). For instance:
- Natural Resources Canada has a “Zero Emission Vehicle Infrastructure Program” (ZEVIP) which can offer substantial rebates to condominium corporations considering such upgrades. [See https://www.nrcan.gc.ca/energy-efficiency/transportation-alternative-fuels/zero-emission-vehicle-infrastructure-program/21876.]
- According to Natural Resources Canada, the program is currently “closed”, but is expected to reopen in the Spring of 2022.
- The City of Toronto’s “Home Energy Loan Program” (HELP) offers loans to some homeowners in Toronto, for certain energy saving projects (including Level 2 EV Chargers). [See https://www.toronto.ca/services-payments/water-environment/environmental-grants-incentives/home-energy-loan-program-help/.]
The federal government also has incentives for prospective EV owners.
- Incentives for Zero-Emission Vehicles Program (iZEV). [See https://tc.canada.ca/en/road-transportation/innovative-technologies/zero-emission-vehicles.]
- Used EV and Scrappage incentives. [See https://www.plugndrive.ca/electric-vehicle-incentives/.]
In terms of funding by the condominium corporation, unfortunately, initial EV Charging System Upgrades still cannot be funded (in most cases) from the reserve fund, because they generally don’t qualify as “major repairs or replacements”. Anticipated amendments to the Condominium Act (Section 93) and Regulations are expected to add green energy projects as proper reserve fund projects. However, the particular Regulations are not yet drafted and the amendments are not yet in force. But again, they are expected any time.
If you are thinking of an EV Charging System upgrade, remember to think about your status certificates. As soon as such an upgrade is being given serious consideration (so that the related cost is a “real possibility”), you need to consider whether or not this might result in an increase in common expenses (which risk would then have to be mentioned in Paragraph 12 of the status certificates).
We are available for any questions!
Stay tuned to Condo Law News to keep up to date on the latest developments on electric vehicles!