There has been a major shift in public perception from traditional gasoline-powered vehicles to electric vehicles (EVs). Despite supply chain disruptions, economic and geopolitical uncertainty, and macroeconomic fluctuations, electric vehicle sales have been growing year over year because consumers are showing an interest in eco-friendly mobility.
While electric vehicles are more expensive than conventional cars, they also promise to eradicate the environmental issues that are often ignored. The need for charging stations has also increased with the increase in EVs.
The pros of having a charging station near your home are not just the convenience of recharging your car at any time. In fact, it can also increase the value of other nearby homes. People looking to reduce their carbon footprint will likely rush towards these communities and look for better ways to do so.
But before a charging station can become a part of your community, the Homeowners Association will have to set a few ground rules. Since an HOA is responsible for all of the tasks surrounding the upkeep and general maintenance of the community, a net positive like an EV charging station seems obvious.
Since there are no strict laws following people installing charging stations, it is up to the HOA to set proper policies for the new charging station. In this list, we’ll look at all of the important policies that an HOA should implement when installing an EV in a community.
EV Charging policies to implement
With the rise in popularity of Electric Vehicles, an electric charging station in your neighborhood does sound like a good idea. Here are ten policies HOA boards should consider before installing an electric vehicle charging station:
1. Decide Who Will Pay for the Installation:
Before installing an EV charging station, an HOA should draft an explicit agreement about any installation expenses. It needs to be a legal document containing all the relevant terms while clarifying who will actually be paying for it. This will help you in the legal proceedings if required.
Here are two avenues that they can take to get funding for a charging station:
- Individual Unit Owner: It suggests that every individual in the association should pay for the installation and maintenance costs that come with the charging station. Although this is a lot simpler, the problem really comes down to the residents who don’t own electric vehicles. It might be unjust for them to pay for services they don’t use or benefit from. However, an association can convince these owners through shared costs. Since a charging station does increase the home’s value, they see a benefit from the new charging station.
- Grant Program: The HOA can also apply for a grant program to help with the installation. The HOA must apply for a grant program that the government could give out for various green initiatives. However, the process requires a lot of paperwork and will likely require connections from the inside.
2. Establish All of the Necessary Requirements for the Charging Station:
Once you can establish financing for the project, the next step is getting clear on all the station details. Since the HOA will be distributing this information to all of the residents in the area, it needs to be honest and open about what they are doing and possibly changing. This list should include:
- The type of charger that the station will use.
- Location for the station.
- Complete information about the installation contractor.
- The power station that they will be taking power from.
Transparency is the main goal here, as members of the homeowners association want to make sure that other residents are well-informed.
Making sure that all residents are properly informed is especially important in case members of the HOA will be getting funding from other residents. In that case, they should also make the mode of payment for the station clear.
3. Designate Charging Locations:
Since the charging station is coming for the betterment of the community, the HOA first needs to decide where to place these stations. The final decision can only be of your HOA, which is designated to promise the security of the homeowners.
The station should be open and easily accessible to everyone, even visitors from outside the community. More importantly, the location shouldn’t disturb the flow of traffic, ensuring that cars standing next to the station will not be a problem. Designated parking spots are especially good places for an Electric Vehicle charging station since it doesn’t bother other cars.
4. Set Usage Fees And Billing:
Maintaining a charging station can be expensive, especially when the electricity people are using to charge their vehicles is not free. So, it is important for members of a HOA to be transparent about any usage fees that they will apply. These EV stations should be similar to the ones at gas stations that calculate the battery charge.
Setting a usage fee can also be a great way to recover any money spent on setting up or maintaining the charging station. The HOA will have to contact their closest power station to negotiate any usage fees on behalf of their residents.
The billing criteria can also differ based on the charging speed and the station’s location. Different levels of chargers have different speeds, with the faster ones often being more expensive. The faster the charger can fill up the battery, the higher the rate. However, the HOA should not charge residents more than what they pay at other nearby charging stations.
5. Address Safety Concerns:
Most EV charging stations are safe and regularly maintained but can also run into issues. The HOA should be vigilant of any safety concerns that could arise as a result of installing a charging station. Some safety concerns include:
- High Voltage: EV charging stations operate at a very high voltage. This high voltage is the main safety concern for many residents, as it can be fatal in most instances. Earthing the wires and adequately insulating them can minimize potential risks.
- Water Damage: Water can be a very good conductor of electricity, greatly increasing risks during a rainy season. Therefore, the HOA must take certain measures to ensure that charging stations are thoroughly water-resistant. Especially in case of rain, there needs to be a proper plan of action to lower the risk of anything unpleasant happening.
The HOA must follow specific regulations to ensure the charging station is installed correctly. HOA representatives should communicate with their local EV regulation official to see if their charging station is up to code.
6. Consider Future Needs:
The sales of electric vehicles are increasing every day, with them being most people’s first choice. And with a charging station in the community, there will likely be an influx of people in the community getting an EV.
Therefore, it is important to keep these types of factors in mind when building a charging station. HOAs should consider the future needs of charging stations. The installation of a charging station should contemplate any possible future needs. Installation of stations is an expensive process, and installing two or more stations in one place is not beneficial.
HOA should pre-plan the installation of charging stations, keeping in mind the increasing number of electric vehicles. This will result in ease when the new vehicles will arrive.
7. Stay Updated About Ev Technology:
Every day, a new modification is introduced in the vehicle industry. The companies are in a race to provide the customers with more comfort. These updates help them to attract more customers and raise their stocks. The demand for electric vehicles is increasing due to the services and benefits it provides its purchasers.
Not every update needs to be coherent with the regulations of the HOA. HOA should stay informed about all the evolutions in electric vehicles. It should stay up-to-date about the latest developments to ensure its policies are fair.HOA should also use its power if it finds any updates illegal.
8 . Communicate with Residents:
Although there is more of a positive side to the installation of EV charging stations, the con of charging stations is the noise they produce when running. High-powered charging stations often use big fans to regulate temperature and cool down the charging station. Residents in the vicinity will likely object to the loud noise that it produces.
There should not be a communication gap between the HOA and its residents, with the latter having the ability to voice their concerns effectively. More importantly, residents should feel like they have some say in how the charging stations pan out.
A lack of communication can be especially troublesome when homeowners are the ones paying for the charging station. Since the HOA will be using its funds, it will have to provide a detailed report on how they are spending the money.
Your HOA is responsible for communicating with the residents and keeping them informed about any change in the charging policies. The communication between the board and the residents can be maintained through the following ways;
- Physical or online community meetings,
- Social media platforms
- Website posting
These methods of communication help build a sense of community and reduce the gap between residents and members of the HOA. The HOA should be willing to review and update its EV charging policies as needed. This will help ensure the policies remain fair and effective as the community evolves.
9 . Be Flexible and Adaptable:
The policies designed by HOA regarding EV charging stations must not be rigid. EVs are growing and developing very quickly, so it is important to keep these policies open to amendments. The policies should be able to fill in any variation introduced in the electric vehicles.
This flexibility will result in a long-term charter. As new requirements come about throughout various electric vehicles, the HOA can adjust its rules accordingly.
10 . Seek Professional Help:
Finally, since these policies will become a part of an HOA’s official guidelines, it is important that members get professional help when drafting their policies. Lawyers with an understanding of property law can better explain how each policy they implement is viable or not.
Electric vehicles have become one of the most important ways people can reduce their carbon footprint. It not only reduces the emission of greenhouse gases, but it also ensures the preservation of fossil fuels. But along with becoming a popular choice for its sustainability, it has also become a much more convenient option for most people.
However, with the influx of new buyers, EV charging stations are also becoming necessary throughout various housing communities. Public stations can be cheaper than charging your car at home, but installing charging stations is risky and expensive. There lies a code of conduct and standard operating procedure behind its installation.
Electricity is dangerous to deal with. That is why specific policies are to be made to reduce the chances of any accident and ensure the smooth running of the station. These policies, as described above, are helpful for both the owner of the station and the people who benefit from it. These policies are the surety letter that helps maintain the stations’ continuous working with proper checks and control.
The policies can also play a role in maintaining the prices of the services being provided. Houseowner organizations, by these policies, restrict the owner from any wrongdoing. The policy should be implemented and regularly updated to overcome any situations.