HOAs and Electrical Vehicle Charging Stations
Before COVID, the majority of HOA infractions were commonly related to dogs. Dogs off leash, barking dogs, bad pet owners… the list goes on. Since COVID however, a new type of HOA nuisance has quietly entered the arena: the Electric Vehicle Charger! My first encounter with an EV issue was a report of a homeowner who had stretched an extension cord across the parking garage to plug their electric vehicle into a common power outlet, effectively pirating the HOA’s electricity. This ultimately leads to the need to redesign an HOAs electric vehicle chargining policy, and the need for HOAs to rethink how EV fits into their infrastructure.
With more and more EVs on the road, we are expecting these issues to be more commonplace across Denver’s HOA and Condo communities. Even I have gotten on board. I bought a 2020 RAV4 Hybrid because my HOA doesn’t have assigned parking, and an electric cord would be a trip hazard. I consistently get 35mpg, but I know a Board President who got a 2021 RAV4 and consistently gets 42 mpg. This is of course a step in the right direction, but the obstacle to owning a fully Electric Vehicle is the lack of a charging station at home.
I look at this issue in terms of free market economics. Right now, Chevron and Shell want you to purchase their gasoline to operate and fuel your personal vehicle. This is how it’s been for decades during the era of ICE vehicles. As gasoline-fueled cars inevitably phase out, a new market opportunity is presenting itself regarding the availability, distribution, and sale of electricity demand specifically for charging purposes.
Xcel Energy is at the forefront of capitalizing on this market trend and is willing to subsidize the cost of EV Charging infrastructure by installing charging stations at HOAs, condos, and other multifamily properties in Denver! CAP Management is currently working with Xcel’s EV Programs this summer to bring EV charging infrastructure to several HOA communities.
A typical household outlet can support a “Level 1” charging station that will give you approximately 3-5 miles of driving per hour of charging. But this has its limitations and likely won’t work for most commuters or daily drivers. Upgrading to a “Level 2” charging station (240 V), allows users to charge at 10-20 miles per hour, which would meet the needs of most commuters. Now we’re getting somewhere!
HOA residents with shared parking lots or garages are now looking to their HOA for options on how to install charging stations. The good news is that the HOA has many options for addressing this need. The easiest solution is likely an HOA funded, Level 2 EV charger for a shared parking space and the creation of an HOA electric charging policy. The Association would need to establish rules of use, considering a “first-come” basis, or a placing a limit on how long owners can charge. Another option is for the Association to create an “EV-ready” electrical capacity upgrade, which would allow owners to install future charging stations for their exclusive use, at their own expense.
Given the newness of Electric Vehicles, the HOA property management industry in Denver is learning on the fly. We know there is a substantial need for “at-home charging”, and we expect Community Associations will learn to navigate these scenarios as they come. Electric Vehicles are here to stay. While they only make up 3-5% of the cars on the road now, it is projected that they will soon make up at least 15% by 2030. If your HOA needs assistance with evaluating the property for EV stations, free to reach out to our Chief Sustainability Officer, Chris Marion for more information on how to improve the home values at your HOA.