November 7, 2018 at 12:03 pm #2519
Posted by Robin W on April 27 2018 at 04:20 PM | 3 comments
Has anyone looked into the ramifications of owners/tenants purchasing electric vehicles? As I understand it, fast chargers require a 240V circuit. In our building, the outlets in the parking garage are 120V, and are on the building account. Each unit pays its electricity separately.
November 7, 2018 at 12:03 pm #2520
Hi! We have been called on to look at the EV issue (our company manages utilities and submeters for many sites in the province), and I can offer the following:
– fast chargers do require a higher voltage level, but many (if not all?) EVs also have a slower charging option that is at the normal 120 V level.
– depending on the time of year, you may need to increase or improve the capacity of the lines feeding the EV station (i.e. a normal 15 A breaker will not do for any EV system that is on the same circuit as outdoor parking lot plugs).
– Are the parking lot plugs in the parking garage paid for by individual unit holders as well? If a unit holder turns off their main power supply, does their parking plug go dark as well? If this is the case, there should be no issues as the unit holder will be paying for their own charging. However, if the parking lot plugs are just from the ‘common area’ or building systems as a whole, then you may want to add a small submeter to the plugs feeding the charger and allocate those costs specifically to the EV owner. Using a calculated charge is also possible, although certainly not the best depending on how often the EV owner is taking their car out each day.
I’d be happy to discuss further if you wish – call our office (780-429-4774) or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
President & CEO
Solution 105 Consulting Ltd.
Director, CCI Northern Alberta
Chris V on April 27 2018 at 04:33 PM
November 7, 2018 at 12:03 pm #2521
Thanks! very helpful.
We haven’t had to cross this bridge yet, but at least one owner has talked about getting an EV.
Robin W on April 27 2018 at 04:37 PM
November 7, 2018 at 12:03 pm #2522
There is a thread where this topic is being considered:
Alicia J on April 29 2018 at 09:58 AM
November 7, 2018 at 12:03 pm #2523
You don’t indicate if the owners have their own garage or parking stall with power taken from their unit. If they have their own garage, I would think the installation of appropriate power sources would be their responsibility. The same would prbably applynif the parking stall has an outlet tied to their units power panel. Then all the costs are theirs. The condo wouldn’t be out anything. Having said that if the condo association is paying for everyone eles power, then you may have to install a separate metre to determine how much that person is using, and charge it back accordingly. As for the cost of a separate meter, well you may have to negotiate that cost with the owner. Power sources are an added cost for most people who decide to purchase an electric vehicle.
Bob S on November 24 2017 at 09:49 AM
November 7, 2018 at 12:04 pm #2524
You might want to also start paying attention to how many people leave all their lights on, even when they aren’t home. You might want to also start paying attention to who does laundry 5 times a day, and who doesn’t do laundry at all. Perhaps some residents have all LED bulbs, and others are using incandescent.
My point is, if you start policing energy usage, you better do it to everyone, because a conscientious electric car owner, who bought that car to save on energy usage globally, may take issue if you are targeting them alone.
I would first take advantage of the Energy Audits and consultation programs the province has right now. They will update all your light bulbs to LED, change your thermostat, and even update some of you plumbing in your personal residence – for free. Share this news with everyone in the complex first, before you start zeroing in on one person driving an electric car.
There are going to be more and more electric cars every year. Try to offset this increase in electricity consumption by lowering your consumption in every other way first, not only that, measure the difference afterwards… and share the results of your pioneering work with your residents. As a group you may be able to save more in the long run; this would more than offset one car. Encourage these savings, think more long term, have a vision of how the future will look… globally! As a whole, all of you will save more money every year if you all stopped spending money on gas and used electric cars. The savings are there to be had – you just need the wherewithal to seize it.
You could also standardize the procedure for any sort of infrastructure upgrades required for charge stations, to make sure that it is done properly.
Lastly, I doubt your bylaws allow you to charge back electricity costs for anything, and more likely, they are plainly written that you must provide electricity to everyone. You may need to get those re-written if you are committed to the contrary path – this too will come at some expense, and again, your electric car owner may take issue with you spending board money to write rules that target one car. Far better to consider a path to inclusion.
The future is now. Autonomous cars will be on the market in greater numbers yearly. The Tesla is class two autonomous and the grand caravan replacement will be class 3 and I believe it is electric as well due out next year.
Bernard J on November 24 2017 at 11:51 AM
November 7, 2018 at 12:04 pm #2525
Thank you so much for your feedback and we will do more research regarding energy audits. Their parking stall is assigned, not titled.
Kim T on November 24 2017 at 12:25 PM
November 7, 2018 at 12:04 pm #2526
At present we are not set up for electric cars in our parkade but see that the day will be coming. We are debating if we set up all stalls with required power as this will be the coming trend, and maybe just charge the ones needing this service a set monthly rate for power.
Dennis N on November 24 2017 at 01:17 PM
November 7, 2018 at 12:04 pm #2527
Dennis, I’d suggest starting small and simple, getting feedback from your owners after a year or two (vs. what the “general public” might think), then setting a broader policy. That buys you some time as transportation radically changes over the next 5-20 years. (As an example of change: your parking area might become storage space, a community garden, or office space in 20 years. New office towers are creating flat parkade levels instead of sloped to future-proof the space against the great unknown of the rapidly approaching future.)
Small: Identify a few (5?) spaces that the current assignee would be willing to trade, and make them “electrified”. Don’t upgrade all the stalls. If someone expresses interest in vehicle charging, you have willing residents ready to swap their space with no further Board action.
Simple: If those stalls already have 110V power access, maybe that’s all you need? Or purchasing a $20 plug-in power usage counter (that could be tampered with, but…) to measure power usage. Don’t assume you need a separate meter, or 240V or 480V power, until you know how much power is used, or how many residents want to use the power outlet at what charging rate. Have the resident agree to a reasonable, regular “donation” to participate in your pilot – does $20/month sound reasonable? Don’t worry about whether that covers the power bill (or costs too much) until you know the actual costs to the corporation.
If you decide to retrofit a stall in your pilot phase, try not to charge back all the costs to the first resident who wants to use it. Decide how much you want to collect each month to slowly recoup those costs, keeping in mind you might set up all the stalls some day and all owners will pay for those capital improvements. (Can’t use reserve fund for this work of course.)
Arylnn P on November 25 2017 at 01:36 PM
November 7, 2018 at 12:04 pm #2528
An interesting topic, and one that we have some experience with… in short, if it’s only one vehicle (and it’s a hybrid not completely electric), you could probably get away with a calculated cost for the vehicle owner to pay each month, because the battery size for hybrids is smaller and the potential cost would not be significant (at least at present utility costs). However, if it’s 100% electric and so has a much larger battery (or they want/need a faster charging station with higher voltages and therefore some capital improvements), then a meter should be employed along with the capital improvements. Although it’s true that you don’t want to be seen as ‘targetting’, if a vehicle owner is using electricity as their sole means of transport, then the other unit holders should not be subsidizing that. Even though I already have a hybrid, I would still LOVE for someone else to be paying my gasoline! 🙂
Overall, Utility Submetering is definitely the way to go versus individual utility meters for electricity… the ongoing cost is lower ($150/suite/year is realistic), even after paying for the metering services, and users pay for what they use… which means they end up using less as well (one site we worked on showed that suites used nearly 20% less energy when they were paying for it directly).
I’d be happy to discuss further – you can message me directly at email@example.com.
President, Solution 105
PS We do not represent or distribute any specific type of meter, and our independence means we can recommend the best solution for your specific situation.
Chris V on November 26 2017 at 10:15 PM
November 7, 2018 at 12:04 pm #2529
I would avoid individual meters whenever possible for a complex as a whole.
I did the calculations and in one example, switching from individually metered suites to a single meter for the whole complex saves everyone 40% per person a month by eliminating the fixed charges (dist charge, dist demand charge, transmission charges, transmission demand, @ Avg KwH per unit factor 0.374521642).
You need to realize that Electricity itself is cheap. You pay extra for the administration and distribution. Don’t let electric cars be the reason you pay more to the utility companies by way of admin fees and adding more meters. That is wasteful. Do the math. Electricity use is a rather inelastic commodity and charging more or less for it has very little difference on how people consume it. I know you want to make things fair by only charging the person that uses the power, but consider first that the entire energy market is unfair to all of you collectively and then work out the minutia. Again, work out every possible savings – you and the rest of your community might be surprised by how much you could all save as a whole. Go against the trend of individually metered units, and you’ll save.
But yeah, once you have all that worked out, I like Arylnn’s idea of a volunteer donation – but 20$ is too high, 10$ is reasonable for a pure EV and 5$ a month is fine for a hybrid. You must realize that electric vehicles are much more efficient than gasoline, and electricity is remarkably cheap in comparison to gasoline. If it is a pure EV (electric vehicle) you could go with the national stats can average based on 16000km of driving a year, and 33KwH per 160KM (Nissan Leaf figures, Tesla is much cheaper still) that’s 267KwH per month
8.89$ per month of electricity (@$0.03333), and
2.29$ for fixed fees (dist charge @$0.00423 and transmission @$0.00474)
You can see for yourself that this is not a huge expense to anyone. Divided by every resident, I’m not sure how big your building is, but It likely works out to two bits a unit. This would be covered completely if you switched from individually metered units to a single meter.The only thing I’d watch out for is the demand charges if the whole complex was going to start buying electric cars, but generally people charge cars at night when the demand is lowest, but it could bump you up to a higher price bracket. For a few cars, it’s negligible.
If anyone would like to discuss ~ the future ~ contact me – I love to talk about how bright the future looks : bernard @ stellarcondos.com
Bernard J on November 27 2017 at 12:25 PM
November 7, 2018 at 12:05 pm #2530
(Sorry, just saw this last comment from Bernard)
Actually, Bernard, the electricity fees are quite different – I’m not sure where you got your cost/kWh for delivery, but it’s way more than the $2.29 that you suggested. And yet, I agree that it’s much better to have just one meter than have the utility supply a meter for each suite, but it’s better still to add submeters (much lower cost than utility meters) so everyone pays for their own usage. User-pay is accepted by everyone, and doing this as a submeter rather than a utility meter makes the most sense. Our recent calculations show that using submetering for suites instead of utility meters saves suite owners roughly $180/year.
Chris V on February 07 2018 at 03:19 PM
November 7, 2018 at 12:05 pm #2531
If you have a different amount for distribution and transmission rates, please show your work. I’m always happy to be proven wrong.
There are demand charges as well for both, but I did this calculation a long time ago, and I don’t remember if I included those in these figures: (dist charge @$0.00423 and transmission @$0.00474) which I do recall getting directly from Epcor on the phone, and they sent me that link I posted: https://www.epcor.com/products-services/power/rates-tariffs-fees/Pages/regulated-residential-power-rates.aspx
which still works.
Bernard J on May 02 2018 at 01:03 PM
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