OCN-EV-charging

Owners Corporations need to understand the diverse requirements around EV Charging.

OCN EV STRATA GUIDE

EV CHARGING MYTH BUSTING

EVC BY-LAW PROFORMA

OCN GOVT. SUBMISSIONS

EV CHARGING EVENTS

EV CHARGING CASE STUDIES

EV CHARGING RESOURCES

INDUSTRY NEWS & INFO

As more information becomes available about EV Charging (EVC), the need for simplification and clear understanding becomes more critical. The Owners Corporation (OC) has the sole responsibility for decisions about their building, and are therefore the actual customer for EV decision making.

The installation of EVC in apartment buildings with a relatively high-power consumption does represent risk to the electrical capacity of the building if not properly managed.

OCN-vertical-logo

OCN is at the forefront of the EVC revolution working directly with the NSW Government Office of Energy and Climate Change. We are committed to providing OCN members and the public with information and educational events delivered by recognised experts in their field.

We are pleased to provide the following resources to those wishing to learn more about EV Charging and will continue to update this portal.

SUBSCRIBE

Stay up to date with EVC events, technology and legal developments – subscribe to the EVC Special Interest Email Group.

Subscribe for EVC updates

OCN Strata Guide on EV Charging in Apartment Buildings

As more information becomes available about EV Charging (EVC) so does the need for understanding and simplification. The actual customer for EV decision making is the owners corporation (OC) and a good starting position is understanding what these customer needs are.

> Download Strata Guide

Owner Responsibilities

If you are the owner of an apartment, the introduction of EV charging into your building may or may not have been considered by the owners corporation. In the first instance, you should enquire if your building is EV-ready or not.

A simple request to the Secretary of the strata committee, strata manager or building manager should determine if this is the case. If you are a tenant, you should approach your managing agent.

Owners Corporation Responsibilities

The owners corporation is ultimately responsible for all aspects of the running of your building.

The owners corporation:

  • Can develop and execute an EV charging strategy.
  • Receives applications for EV charging from owners.
  • Arranges installation and commissioning of the EV Charging infrastructure as required in the building
  • Can assist with the connection of EV Supply Equipment (EVSE).

Often, we think about apartment buildings as large multi-storey buildings supporting 100 plus apartments. The fact is that large buildings only represent 1% of apartment buildings.

The following table demonstrates the distribution of apartment buildings according to size as identified by the number of lots. The table also shows actual number of apartments represented by these building sizes. (1)

Table-1

While large buildings do represent a small percentage overall, the number of apartments they represent is significant and owners often affluent, leading to high levels of demand, so are an important consideration.

To help navigate the differences in requirements for EV Charging across the range of buildings, OCN in consultation with industry experts and the NSW Governments, has developed a range of different methods OCs can consider according to their needs and the needs of their owners.

• • •
(1) UNSW City Futures and LRS data and OCN Analysis

To understand OC needs and assessment of the available methods available for EVC, and so select the right method and approach for each building, there are 5 key steps we recommend OC take: 

1. Survey

Conduct a resident survey to gauge EV charging intentions and attitudes for their building.

2. Obtain a building energy assessment

Obtain a building energy assessment to understand the impacts of EV charging, that assessment to include such information as:

  • Condition of the meter board
  • Existing circuit breaker sizes
  • Historical peak energy loads
  • Historical off-peak energy usage patterns
  • Consideration of energy efficiency programs to reduce load and create extra electrical capacity.

3. Evaluate methods

Evaluate methods as most suitable for your building, as outlined above.

4. Evaluate payment options

OCs may wish to investigate ways of recovering costs for the installation of EVC, depending on the circumstances of the building and the method of EVC selected.

5. Plan approval process and Bylaw

The OC has the sole responsibility for decisions about their building. The installation of EVC in apartment buildings is relatively high-power consumption does represent risk to the electrical capacity of the building if not properly managed.

It is OCNs view that all applications for EVC should be approved by the owners corporation to allow the proper assessment of energy assessment over time and be covered by a bylaw.

By-laws
A resident seeking to install EVC in an apartment building should always seek approval from the OC. In general terms, installing EVC is a change to common property, which requires a general resolution of the OC (EVC is included as part of the sustainability infrastructure changes so does not require a special resolution) and a by-law that explains the terms of use.

Our website contains examples of application forms and a EVC specific by-law. The by-law is in a form that allows multiple installations of EVC on a single by-law. All OCN by-laws come with general advice for their use.

Buildings

  • The age or type of building may mean the electrical infrastructure is not always in good condition nor accessible, making the addition of new infrastructure difficult and expensive
  • There is not always sufficient electrical capacity into buildings to support EVC
  • Switch boards may not have sufficient capacity or be in good condition to support EVC

Owners corporations (OC) and strata committees (SC)

  • OC or SC are not always sympathetic to change nor sustainability, making it difficult to gain approvals for retrofitting EV charging infrastructure in buildings.
  • SC are often not inclined to spend any funds
  • EVC is not seen as a priority
  • There is a lack of investment strategy or prioritisation processes to allow EVC to be included in the discussion
  • Little desire to take on special levies if there is a lack of funding.

Capital Works Fund (CWF)

  • In some instances, a CWF either don’t exist or have insufficient funds to support any capital expenditure, including EVC
  • What scarce funds do exist are prioritised to other capital expenditure deemed more important.

Load control

The electrical capacity in buildings is limited by cable size, switch board size and the capacity of the local electricity network. Any upgrade to increase building electrical capacity can be an expensive, time consuming and disruptive process.

There are a range of load control alternatives available to manage peak demand and not exceed these electrical limitations.

OCN is happy to aid our members, both OC and individuals by providing a comprehensive range of materials.

Our Member Portal contains all the necessary detail to assist OC in their EV Charging journey, including:

  • EV Strata Guide with supporting documents on:
    • Detail of the methods available
    • Recommendations according to building size
    • The 5 steps
    • Indicative costs
    • Charge back and usage cost recovery options
  • Case Studies
  • Templates and user guides
  • ByLaw to purchase at an OCN Member price
  • Recordings of webinars
  • Useful EVC related resources

Join OCN today to get access to all of these additional EVC resources and a suite of Member benefits!

~ Just $66 per year for an individual strata owner > Details

~ Just $247 per year for a Scheme with up to 100 strata > Details

~ Just $495 per year for a Scheme with more than 100 strata > Details

Myth Busting

Much has been written about the issues with installing EV charges in apartment buildings and many opinions expressed and with these opinions comes a set of myths. To set the record straight we have busted those myths and, in doing so, made it easier to get on with getting more EVs on the road and play our part to reduce emissions and therefore global warming.

Myth 1 – You need to do expensive building energy supply upgrades to charge electric vehicles.

Fact:  Buildings are designed for peak energy capacity, which is typically a very hot summer afternoon with all the air conditioners on and everyone cooking dinner.  This is not the time to charge an EV.  Our study of over 100 apartment buildings has shown there is more than enough energy available outside of these peak demand times to charge any number of EV in the foreseeable future.  It is simply matter of using load or energy usage control, like a simple timer to tap into the off-peak capacity or use a demand management system to switch off the EV charger if the pre-set building demand is exceeded.

Myth 2:  You need fast charging in apartments for EVs.

Fact:  With EVs you can simply keep the ‘tank’ full with top-ups of electricity, just like your mobile phone.  The data says the majority owners slow charge EVs overnight using a power point or EV specific medium capacity charger in their garage.  Sure, there are some applications in strata buildings where owners corporations may choose to share resources on common property, and in these instances a higher capacity charger may be of benefit.

Myth 3: You cant bill owners for energy usage.

Fact:  The AER (Australian Energy Regulator) has exempt energy selling guidelines, which include owners corporations as ‘deemed’ exemptions, which means there is no requirement for owners corporations to register or have a licence to on-sell energy.  So you can pass costs on to residents.  This is done all the time, like excessive cleaning costs.

Myth 4:  You cant charge from a normal power point.

Fact:  EVs consume kilowatts of power, just like an ICE vehicle consumes litres of fuel.  To fill the tank or charge an EV you need to replace those kilowatts, again just like replacing fuel in the fuel tank.  A normal power point can deliver up to 2.4 kilowatts, so you can use it to charge an EV, it just takes time, which is why most people use power points over night.  However, there are real limits to how many EVs can plug in to a normal power circuit though, which is where energy assessments and load control are used to identify, add to and protect those circuits. 

OCN Electric Vehicle Charging By-law Proforma

Special By-Law prepared by an experienced strata lawyer. EV (Electric Vehicle) Charging for individual lot applications (per single Strata Plan).

OCN Member Special Price:
$200 +GST

Purchase now

Non Members:
$400 +GST

Purchase now

Purchase OCN Individual Membership for single strata owners for just $66 per year

Join now

Purchase OCN Small Scheme Membership for just $247.50 per year for up to 100 lots

Join now

Purchase OCN Large Scheme Membership for just $495 per year for more than 100 lots

Join now

OCN Detailed Submission

23 FEBRUARY 2022

OCN welcomes the NSW Government’s intention to deliver an energy system that puts the customer at the centre of policy and program design, while delivering an affordable and reliable energy future that helps achieve net zero emissions by 2050.

Read Submission: OCN Submission – Promoting Innovation for the NSW Energy Sector (pdf)

Industry News & Info

Making buildings EV ready refers to the process of retrofitting an existing building with the electrical infrastructure needed to connect electric vehicle (EV) supply equipment (EVSE) to allow EV charging.

It involves identifying the building’s maximum electricity demand, the number of charging points that may be installed (now and in the future), the likely costs and funding sources, and any approvals that need to be granted.

Further information on the NSW Government Energy Saver website

If you would like to know more, watch the recording of our EV ready buildings webinar held on 12 May 2022. The session takes you through the information resources and discusses suitable approaches based on case studies as well as other programs and initiatives the NSW Government is leading to help prepare for the increase in EV drivers on our roads.

OCN IN THE MEDIA

16 October 2021

All new residential and office buildings with off-street parking should be forced to include electrical cabling for future vehicle charging, industry experts say, to ensure Australia can make a smooth transition away from petrol and diesel cars.

The uptake of battery electric vehicles is poised to rapidly increase in the coming decade as state governments offer thousands of dollars in incentives and subsidies and the most populous states aim for EVs to make up 50 per cent of all new car sales by 2030 as part of their efforts to reduce carbon emissions in the transport sector.

Rob Harris, The Age

OCN MEDIA RELEASE

21 June 2021

Australia may currently have fewer electric vehicles on the road than places like Europe, but this is likely to change quickly with policies like the NSW Government’s recently announced $490 Million Electric Vehicle Support package.

The measures have been welcomed by peak strata owners body, Owners Corporation Network (OCN).

“We congratulate the NSW Government on now having the nation’s most ambitious EV policies,” said Fred Tuckwell, OCN Chair.

“We are already seeing many strata communities start readying themselves for the EV future with plans to install charging infrastructure and other initiatives.”

Read Full Media Release

Useful Resources

Free Downloads

Achieving “Electric Vehicle ready” in the built environment
Discussion Paper and Recommendations by Ai Group and Electric Vehicle Council

Load management systems for charging electric vehicles in commercial and residential buildings
Information brochure supplied by NHP Electrical Engineering Products

OCN Member Downloads

Available to download in the Members Portal:
• EVC Resident Survey Template
• Building Energy Assessment
• Request to SC for EV Charging
• EVC Case Studies

GO TO MEMBER PORTAL

Join OCN as an Individual Owner for just $66 per year

Join now

EV Charging Events

Drive electric – NSW EV Ready Buildings webinar

Free Webinar: Thursday 12 May. 

Recording available here

With a global shift away from petrol and diesel cars to electric vehicles (EVs) it’s not a matter of if, but when, buildings will need to provide EV charging options.

To help prepare your building for the future, OCN is working with the Office of Energy and Climate Change to put together a 5-step process, which covers charging options, a costing tool as well as survey and letter templates to help support you to make your building ready to meet the increased demand by EV drivers.

At this free information session you will be taken through easy-to-understand resources and tools and given details on other initiatives the NSW Government is leading to prepare for the increase in EV drivers on NSW roads.

Speakers:

Josef Blackley-Stocker, Senior Project Officer, Net Zero Transport, Office of Energy and Climate Change
Ross De Rango from EV Council to discuss the EV landscape including uptake and managing charging
Fred Tuckwell from Owners Corporation Network (OCN) to share guidance on building sizes and charging options
Dale Cohen, a strata secretary to explain how his building determined their approach to installing EV charging

Who should attend?
Strata complex owners and tenants, strata/owners corporations, industry organisations, building managers, licensed electricians, planners and anyone else interested in the process to make EV ready buildings.

Pre-event reading: To get the most out of this event we urge you to read through the electric vehicle ready buildings online content.

OCN MEMBERS ONLY

Webinar: Gear up for Electric Vehicles!

Delivered in December 2020, in this webinar the expert panel discusses the myths and realities of EVs and EV Charging, and delivers a simple and straightforward phased-approach for OCs to consider.

Learn about the different factors that need to be considered to determine what will be right for your building, whether it’s a small building or a strata community with hundreds of residents. The webinar will also include a case study of a new modular approach to EV Charging.

Recording available here

SUBSCRIBE

Stay up to date with EVC events, technology and legal developments – subscribe to the EVC Special Interest Email Group.

Subscribe for EVC updates

EV Ready Industry Partners

individual

Why not join OCN for just $66 per year for an individual residential strata owner?
Or just $247.50 for a Small Scheme containing up to 100 lots.

Full Membership details