Electric vehicle (EV) sales have been growing year over year because consumers are showing an interest in eco-friendly mobility. In fact, in 2022 EV sales broke records reaching sales over 918,000 light electric vehicle sales.
With the increase in the number of EVs, the need for charging stations has also increased.
The pros of having a charging station in HOA communities is an attractive convenience and can also increase the value of homes in the community. People looking to reduce their carbon footprint will seriously consider HOA communities with charging stations.
But before a charging station can become a part of your HOA community, the HOA will have to set a few ground rules, since it’s responsible for all of the tasks surrounding the upkeep and general maintenance of the community.
Surprisingly, there are minimal legalities around installing charging stations, so, at present, it is up to the HOA to set clear policies for charging stations in the community if they want to have them installed.
In this list, we’ll be looking at important things HOAs should think about when creating and implementing policies to install an EV charging station in their community.
Table of contents
- What to Consider When Developing EV Charging Station Policies
- Decide Who Will Pay for the Installation
- Determine Necessary Requirements for the Charging Station
- Designate Charging Locations
- Set Usage Fees and Billing
- Address Safety Concerns
- Consider Future Needs
- Stay Up-to-Date About EV Technology
- Communicate with Residents
- Be Flexible and Adaptable
- Seek Professional Help
- Developing Effective HOA EV Charging Station Policies
What to Consider When Developing EV Charging Station Policies
This is a new era of electric vehicles, and as with all new things, it will take some sorting out, getting over some bumps in the road and fine-tuning as time goes on. But HOAs have to start somewhere.
So, start with these useful criteria:
1. Decide Who Will Pay for the Installation
Prior to the installation of an EV charging station, an HOA should draft an explicit agreement about any installation expenses. It needs to be a legal document that contains all the relevant terms while making it clear who will be paying for it. This will help you in the legal proceedings if required.
Here are a few approaches an HOA can take when exploring how to fund EV charging stations:
Paid by Individual Homeowners
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 the services that they don’t use or benefit from. However, since a charging station can increase the value of homes in the community, they may see the benefit of opting in.
Paid by HOA and Homeowners
The HOA could bear the cost of installation entirely as well as costs to maintain the station, and then include charging costs as part of amenity fees to residents.
Paid by Grant Program
The HOA can also apply for a grant program to help with the installation depending on what state the community is in. The HOA will have to apply for a grant program that the government could be giving out for various green initiatives.
2. Determine Necessary Requirements for the Charging Station
Once you can establish financing for the project, the next step is clarifying all the details for the station. Since the HOA will be distributing this information to all of the residents in the area, it needs to be honest and detailed.
This information should include:
- The type of charger that the station will use
- Location for the station
- Details about the installation contractor
- The power station that they will be accessed
- Mode of payment for using the station
Transparency is the main goal here, as members of the homeowners’ association want to make sure residents are well informed.
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 station should be easily accessible to everyone in the community. And its location shouldn’t disturb the flow of traffic. Designated parking spots are especially good places for an Electric Vehicle charging station to keep things orderly.
4. Set Usage Fees and Billing
Maintaining a charging station can be expensive. So, it is important for members of a HOA to be transparent about any usage fees that they will apply. Your EV station could 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:
- Speed of charging
- Location of the station
Different 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 charging stations in their vicinity.
5. Address Safety Concerns
Most EV charging stations are safe and regularly maintained, but they 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 in their community. Some safety concerns include:
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 can be a very good conductor of electricity, greatly increasing risks during a rainy season. Therefore, the HOA will have to take certain measures to ensure that charging stations should be 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 will have to follow specific regulations to ensure that 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, so it’s possible there will be an influx of EVs in the HOA community.
Therefore, HOAs should consider the present the future needs of charging stations when developing policies about it.
7. Stay Up-to-Date About EV Technology
New modifications are regularly introduced in the vehicle industry. The companies are in a race to provide the customers with more options.
HOAs should stay informed about all the evolutions in electric vehicles to ensure their policies are fair.
8. Communicate with Residents
Although there are many positives to installing EV charging stations, one of the cons is that they can be noisy when running. High-powered charging stations often use big fans to regulate temperature and cool down the charging station. Residents in the vicinity will need to be made aware of this beforehand.
A lack of communication is always a problem 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.
Communicating with residents and keeping them informed about EV charging policies is the responsibility of your HOA. The communication between the HOA and the residents can be maintained through the following ways:
- Physical or online community meetings
- HOA software
- 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.
This flexibility will result in a long-term charter. As new requirements come about throughout various electric vehicles, the HOA should adjust its rules accordingly.
10. Seek Professional Help
Finally, since these policies will become a part of an HOA’s official guidelines, it is helpful that members get professional help when drafting their policies. Lawyers with an understanding of property law will be able to explain better how each individual policy that they implement is viable or not.
Developing Effective HOA EV Charging Station Policies
Electric vehicles are becoming an growing option to reduce people’s carbon footprint. It not only reduces the emission of greenhouse gases, but it also ensures the preservation of fossil fuels
However, with the increase in buyers, EV charging stations are also becoming a necessity throughout various HOA communities. Therefore, HOAs must develop policies around how their communities will be impacted and involved.
Its relatively new territory, so make sure to apply certain considerations when developing HOA EV charging station policies that include:
- Who pays
- Usage fees
- Increase in usage
- Evolving technology
- Expert Advice
HOA EV charging station policies are a surety to help guide initial actions as well and provide the groundwork for future developments, so that the present and future of EVs and all that come with them can be successfully introduced and maintained in HOA communities.