Can Body Corporate Install Electrical Vehicle Charging?

Firstly – so as not to upset anyone – we care about the environment and obviously the shift towards renewable sources of energy is and should be a fundamental goal. On this point, for many years we had in our office library a well-worn copy of Ashlee Vance’s fantastic book about Elon Musk.

Developers & Owners Corporations Victoria

The best time to get things right for owners corporations in Victoria would have been during the build stage however we’re probably a few years away from developers having to install EV charging to be competitive on their projects.

So where does that leave owners corporations in Victoria when it comes to EV charging?

We have been in communication with two owners corporations who either went through this process or were investigating how to go through this process.

The Realities of Retrofitting Electrical Vehicle Charging Infrastructure into Owners Corporations Victoria

The Chair of an owners corporation in Victoria that we helped to change owners corporation managers was quite passionate about EV charging. The Chair also happens to be a building professional and very technically savvy however these were some of the issues that he encountered:

  • The owners corporations in Victoria had a company undertake an initial supply audit at a cost of $3,500 (to the owners corporation).
  • The estimate provided to the owners corporation to install charging infrastructure was in excess of $190,000 plus a charge of $3,500 for each owner to connect to their parking bay.
  • Power supply was an issue; the energy company would have needed to install extra capability to make it worthwhile.
  • The existing power switchboard infrastructure on site was an issue; it was limited in its ability to deliver the required power.
  • There was discussion amongst the owners corporation about letting owners plug into existing power points for a slow charge but that was rejected as unsuitable.
  • A significant issue for the owners corporation related to the building’s residential strata insurance policy. The strata insurance company was not forthcoming with information on requirements to include EV charging, their view was this was an area of “troubled waters”- of particular note for them were two fires in Sydney resulting from EV charging. The strata insurance company would not give a premium price quote; they said it depended on the number of EV vehicles involved.
  • Given the above, the owners corporation ultimately did not pursue Fire Engineer Consultants to see what upgrades to fire protection may or may not be required.
  • In the end, the owners corporation decided it was best to put the EV Charge project on hold and wait to revisit it in the future when the technology has improved.

Should Owners Corporations Victoria be Guiding the Way

That depends on the appointed owners corporation manager that you have for your building – read our take on the landscape of owners corporation managers in Victoria.

Owners corporation managers in Victoria are paid their professional management fees to undertake the management of the OC. This entails the list of services detailed Schedule 2.1 of their owners corporation contract of appointment i.e. accounting, meetings, organising services/repairs, insurance, etc.

Some owners corporation managers will view the matter of installing (or investigating) EV charging in an apartment building as part of their scope and mandate. A few of the owners corporation managers in Melbourne that we work with are actually in the process of getting electrical vehicle charging into a few of the buildings that they manage. During one recent catch-up with one of OC managers, we informed them that they had been successful in bringing the embedded network provider to the table – which would save the OC a lot of money and headaches.

Strata Management Consultants – office@strataconsultants.com.au

 

The contents of this article or website are only intended to provide a general overview of the topics discussed. The author of this article makes no representations as to the accuracy or completeness of any information and the information is not intended to constitute investment, legal or professional advice. You should seek professional advice before acting or relying on any of the content. This article does not contain references to any specific company, organisation or individual, unless expressly specified.
Posted
May 29, 2024
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