TMC is an independent, primarily volunteer organization that relies on ad revenue to cover its operating costs. Please consider whitelisting TMC on your ad blocker or making a Paypal contribution here: paypal.me/SupportTMC

Urgent need for comments on HOA EV charging rules

Discussion in 'Charging Standards and Infrastructure' started by joefee, Jun 2, 2015.

  1. joefee

    joefee Over 2 Million TMC page views

    Joined:
    May 29, 2011
    Messages:
    909
    Location:
    CA
    HELP! Expert comments needed to submit to California HOA board regarding proposed EV charging rules. Unless provisions of these rules violate CA SB 880 they will enact these rules 6/18/15. If you are an expert in CA condo law/SB 880 please comment asap. Rules like these will discourage EV adaption in condos. I am working with representatives in both the CA Assembly and CA Senate to revise SB 880 to be more EV friendly but this will not help me before 6/18!


    GARAGE AND PARKING GUIDELINES APPLICABLE TO RESIDENTIAL UNITS
    Electric Vehicle Charging Stations: Installation, Maintenance and Use. The installation, maintenance and use of an electric vehicle charging station (“charging station”) within (development name) shall be subject to the following rules (“Rules”). All capitalized terms as used in these Rules shall, unless stated otherwise, be defined as set forth in the Declaration of Covenants, Conditions, Restrictions and Reservation of Easements of (development name) (the “CC&Rs”).
    1. No charging station, or any part or component thereof, may be placed, installed, constructed or used within the Association Property (including any Parking Space within the Parking Garage) without the prior written permission of the Association’s Board. Additionally, Owners who wish to install, construct or use a charging station must, prior to the installation, construction, and/or use, enter into a written license agreement with the Association, which shall set out the terms of the Owner’s use of the Association’s Common Area and shall be recorded with the County Recorder’s Office. The license agreement shall incorporate the rules set forth herein. The Association reserves its right to charge the Owner a reasonable fee for the preparation and recordation of the license agreement.
    2. The charging station, and all parts and components thereof, shall be designed in compliance with the California Building Standards Code and shall meet applicable health and safety standards and requirements imposed by state and local permitting authorities.
    3. The Owner shall:
    (A) Comply in all respects with these Rules and any additional Architectural Standards promulgated under Article 9 of the CC&Rs with respect to the design, installation, maintenance, use and removal of a charging station.
    (B) Engage a licensed contractor to install and maintain the charging station.
    (C) Within 14 days following Association’s approval of the charging station and prior to the commencement of construction, and annually thereafter, provide a certificate of insurance that names Association as an additional insured under the Owner’s insurance policy.
    4. The Owner applicant, and each successive Owner of the Owner applicant’s Unit shall, for as long as they are an Owner of the Unit, be responsible for all of the following:
    (A) All costs for the design, installation, maintenance, removal, repair, and replacement of the charging station, and all parts and components of it.
    (B) The cost of electricity associated with the charging station as determined by the Board or by any vendor retained by the Association for such purpose, as well as the cost of design, installation, maintenance, removal, repair, and replacement of any sub-meters necessary to measure the electricity use associated with the charging station.
    (C) Disclosing to prospective buyers of the Unit the existence of the charging station and the related responsibilities of the Owner of the Unit.
    (D) All costs for damage to the charging station, the Association Property, the Units, and all other persons and property, real and personal, resulting from the installation, maintenance, repair, removal, or replacement of the charging station. Without limiting the foregoing:
    (i) Owner shall accept all liability and responsibility for any damages resulting to Owner, the Units, Association, the Association Property, the Common Area, and all persons and other real or personal property arising from or related to the installation, maintenance or removal of the charging station.
    (ii) Owner shall indemnify Association, its members, officers, directors, agents, representatives and employees, and save and hold them harmless, and defend them at Owner’s sole expense, from any liability or claims, demands, damages, costs or judgments that Association, its members, officers, directors, agents, representatives and employees may suffer arising out of or related to the installation, maintenance, use or removal of the charging station.
    (iii). Owner shall reimburse Association upon demand for any damages, losses, costs and judgments, including all increased insurance costs to Association, resulting to Association from the installation, maintenance or removal of the charging station.
    5. The Owner applicant, and each successive Owner of the Owner applicant’s Unit, shall maintain at all times for as long as they are an Owner of the Unit, an umbrella liability coverage policy in the amount of one million dollars ($1,000,000) covering the obligations of the Owner under paragraph (4), and shall name the Association as an additional insured under the policy with a right to notice of cancellation.
    An Owner who utilizes an existing standard alternating current power plug in accordance with the National Electrical Manufacturers Association is not required to maintain a liability coverage policy as required by this Section. However, such Owner must still comply with, and remains subject to, any and all other rules in this policy, including, but not limited to, Sections 3 and 4 above.
    6. The Owner shall remove the charging station, or any part of it, at Owner’s expense upon request if the Board of Directors determines such removal is necessary in order to maintain, repair or replace the Association Property, and the cost of reinstalling the charging station or any part of it shall be at Owner’s expense.
    7. All provisions of the CC&Rs not in conflict with these Rules or with California Civil Code Section 4745, or any comparable superseding statute, regarding the approval, construction, installation, use, maintenance, repair, and replacement of an electric vehicle charging station shall apply. Upon amendment of California Civil Code Section 4745 or any comparable superseding statute, these Rules shall be deemed to be amended accordingly, without the necessity of Board action.
    8. Any Owner who violates this policy or otherwise uses the Association’s common-area electricity outlets for his/her personal use, including to charge his/her electric vehicle, will be subject to a $250 fine per violation per month, plus the costs of electricity associated with his/her usage. Owners shall be held responsible for violations of this policy by their family members, tenants, guests and other legal residents.
    9. Installation of an electric vehicle charging station for the exclusive use of an Owner in a common area that is not an exclusive use common area shall be authorized by the association only if installation in the owner's designated parking space is impossible or unreasonably expensive. In such cases, the association shall enter into a license agreement with the owner for the use of the space in a common area, and the owner shall comply with all of the requirements above.
    10. For purposes of this Policy, a “charging station” means a station that is designed in compliance with the California Building Standards Code and delivers electricity from a source outside an electric vehicle into one or more electric vehicles. An electric vehicle charging station may include several charge points simultaneously connecting several electric vehicles to the station and any related equipment needed to facilitate charging plug-in electric vehicles. Although not subject to Section 5 of this Policy, a standard alternating current power plug shall be considered a “charging station,” and shall be covered by the rules outlined herein.
     
  2. RandyS

    RandyS Fan of Elon

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2012
    Messages:
    360
    Location:
    San Diego
    I see some SB880-inspired language there (such as the insurance requirement), but what specifically do you not like? Seems like standard language to protect the HOA and make sure that the owner follows the CC&Rs, pays for everything, and is responsible for it....
     
  3. miimura

    miimura Active Member

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2013
    Messages:
    1,241
    Location:
    Los Altos, CA
    I agree with Randy. I have been an HOA President in the past and I don't see anything particularly bad in those rules.

    Item 9 begs the question - What is the general parking situation in this development and what is the overall community type - High Rise, Low Rise with underground parking, townhouses, single family detached? Do you have an assigned parking space? Do you hold title to the parking space or is it merely assigned to you by the Association? Are there any enclosed garages, attached or detached?

    As an association, you don't want people to put the charging stations in the general common area, you would prefer that they are at the owner's assigned or titled parking space. Even better, inside a garage attached to the unit. Both of the Associations I have been involved with have been townhouses with attached garages. So, as President, I would probably insist that the charging station be installed inside the garage and not in the common area, whether the garage was attached or not. Obviously, if it was not attached, getting separately metered service of sufficient amperage could have a significant additional cost. It would still be the best approach.
     
  4. davewill

    davewill Member

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2014
    Messages:
    433
    Location:
    San Diego, CA, US
    Yeah, sounds good to me. Beats the hell out of associations that ignore issues like this, and then tack on arbitrary rules made up on the spot by someone on the board that decides they don't like what you want to do. That's when you have to jump through unnecessary hoops, give teach-ins on the law, and make a noisy nuisance of yourself.
     
  5. joefee

    joefee Over 2 Million TMC page views

    Joined:
    May 29, 2011
    Messages:
    909
    Location:
    CA
    I disagree that rules like this will not discourage EV adaptation. Remember all an ICE has to do is roll up and park! Here is where I have issues:

    Letter to my HOA:

    It is inappropriate to pass a binding rule change without critical specific info as to the administrative process to recover the actual cost of electric. Given that, the proposed rule is incomplete since owners do not know what they approving (e.g. an unknown flat fee or measured electric at an unknown rate and using an undefined metering processes).

    SB880 calls for "reasonable restrictions that do not significantly increase cost" It is questionable whether a $250 per month fine plus undefined cost of electric is consistent with the spirit of the law and further, no provision has been made for existing installations made by the developer: "installations not denied in 60 days are considered approved."

    SB880 only provides for a license agreement for use of a space other than the owner's exclusive use space. The blanket requirement for license agreements is illegal.

    The above only scratches the surface and I feel you need to go back to the drawing board and do another rewrite. I hope the next effort moves from onerous legalize to that which is in line with the Federal, Local and State of CA efforts to encourage clean EV use re SB880 " it is the policy of the state to promote, encourage, and remove obstacles to the use of EV charging stations." The current rule is obstructionist and discourages EV use

    Letter to my state Representatives:

    Fixing SB 880 so it does support and encourage adaption of EV's in CA condos:

    Eliminate or greatly reduce the 1 Million dollar liability insurance requirement. Where is the data? We don't need any extra liability insurance for gas cars (ICE), which cause far more damage than EV's in parking garages.

    All existing 110V & 240V NEMA outlets in exclusive use parking spaces are NOT charging stations and are not subject to additional HOA rule making (they were installed subject to the HOA rules and electrical/building codes that were already in place).

    Limit HOAs to recovering no more than the actual cost of electric. Outlaw over inflated fees, punitive fines, 3rd party add-ons, etc. We need a more specific definition of "reasonable costs and restrictions" otherwise litigation will be necessary to resolve disputes.

    Existing EV circuits without meters should require BOTH the EV owner and HOA to agree on a fair and reasonable estimate of actual usage. Conflicts settled by binding arbitration with looser (the party’s estimate that is further away from the actual settlement price) paying the cost for arbitration.

    Define the remedy for disagreements on "reasonable restrictions" in HOA EV rule making e.g. Again, conflicts settled by binding arbitration with the looser paying costs for arbitration. EV’s should be subject to same general rules ICE cars are exposed to, with very few exceptions. Existing electrical codes cover EV “charging station” issues.

    Outlaw HOA’s from removing charging stations installed for 60 days, except for code/installation defects. Removal to repair common areas must be reimbursed to the owner by the HOA.

    Explicitly encourage cooperation between HOA's and EV owners:
    - to manage electric loads and costs by voluntary offsetting their charging schedules - charging off-peak when ever possible
    - unplug from a shared outlet when you are done charging
    - develop shared common area & voluntary reassign spaces with 110V outlets
    - greatly increase education on benefits of EV's and why the federal & state governments are aggressively supporting EV adaption with huge ($10K) rebates
    - install OEM shared use charging stations (NOT the “free to the HOA” 3rd party charging stations that jack up electric rates to EV users)
    - After reading EV HOA rules and State Bills ask yourself: does this language make you less likely to buy an EV. If yes, go back and rewrite, keep it simple and remove the onerous legalize.
     
  6. abasile

    abasile Independent Software Eng.

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2012
    Messages:
    357
    Location:
    San Bernardino Mts., CA (Elev. 6100' / 1800m)
    IMHO, someone has to really want an EV to jump through all of those hoops. Some of the legalese makes sense, but having to go through the county recorder's office and carry a $1m umbrella suggests to me that this is over the top, and the HOA really doesn't want to deal with EVs. I'm sorry that the OP doesn't have a private garage!
     
  7. CHG-ON

    CHG-ON Still in love after all these miles

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2014
    Messages:
    2,754
    Location:
    Santa Cruz Mountains, USA
    This is why I refuse to live in an HOA. Did it once. Never again. I hope you can sort this out.
     
  8. Cosmacelf

    Cosmacelf Active Member

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2013
    Messages:
    3,399
    Location:
    San Diego
    Isn't an out just to install a NEMA outlet, like a 14-50? That sidesteps all the provisions in this document...
     
  9. miimura

    miimura Active Member

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2013
    Messages:
    1,241
    Location:
    Los Altos, CA
    It only appears to avoid the insurance requirement.
     
  10. jerry33

    jerry33 S85 - VIN:P05130 - 3/2/13

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2012
    Messages:
    12,752
    Location:
    Texas
    You got it. HOAs are basically a refuge for nosey parkers.
     
  11. davewill

    davewill Member

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2014
    Messages:
    433
    Location:
    San Diego, CA, US
    Actually the way I read section 5, they are only referring to existing plugs...and I bet they intended it to mean plain old 15a 120v plugs, but got too cute with their wording.
     
  12. joefee

    joefee Over 2 Million TMC page views

    Joined:
    May 29, 2011
    Messages:
    909
    Location:
    CA
    Thanks to everyone who have replied so far....
     
  13. Danal

    Danal electricmotorglider.com

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2014
    Messages:
    431
    Location:
    Fairview, TX, United States
    Although not subject to Section 5 of this Policy, a standard alternating current power plug shall be considered a “charging station,” and shall be covered by the rules outlined herein.

    That statement is not structurally connected to anything else in the rules. As written, that statement makes every single existing outlet in that garage subject to these rules (except rule 5). Hopefully, there are quite a few existing outlets... because you need to let your neighbors who have the parking with those existing outlets know, via excerpt, what they are responsible for when this passes. Notifying buyers... that part should really upset them.

    And/or, if you have some neighbors who wish to actively support you, plug your car's UMC into their outlet, even for a moment, and snap a pic. Now, have THEM write the board that they are unwilling to take on all those burdens for their "existing outlet" suddenly becoming a "charging station".
     
  14. RandyS

    RandyS Fan of Elon

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2012
    Messages:
    360
    Location:
    San Diego
    Hey Joe,
    One thing I'm hearing in my interaction with HOAs and residents is that it can be challenging to actually find an insurance company that will issue the $1M liability policy under those terms...Have you checked with any yet? I'd be curious to see what you hear...
     
  15. joefee

    joefee Over 2 Million TMC page views

    Joined:
    May 29, 2011
    Messages:
    909
    Location:
    CA
    I have an existing NEMA outlet so I am exempt from the liability policy. I don't know of anyone who has done this yet.

    - - - Updated - - -

    My comments updated 6/4:

    1. Provisions of SB 880, civil codes 4745 & 6713 that inform the EV owner’s rights are left out of the rule entirely, which gives the impression it is one sided and punitive in orientation vs supportive of state & federal efforts to accelerate EV adoption.

    2. There is no state provision that allows an HOA to declare that all existing NEMA outlets in garages are charging stations and subject to additional rule making

    3. Electricity cost must be mutually agreed upon as “reasonable” not unilaterally set by the HOA or a 3rd party. Sub-meters are not required to estimate electrical use but can be utilized in new installations if they do not “significantly increase cost.”

    4. There is no state provision that allows an HOA to pass on increased insurance costs

    5. In fairness to the owner who already paid for installation, if a charging station is removed to repair association property, replacement cost should be borne by the HOA

    6. “An owner who uses common-area electricity outlets for personal use is subject to a $250 fine plus electricity use.” Then this should apply to all car, motorcycle and bike charging, even PC’s plugged into the community room. Also, everyone with an outlet near their space is subject to these rules.

    7. The state & federal governments are spending millions to deploy charging stations so any removal of one should be a very rare exception.


    A. It is inappropriate to pass a binding rule change without also defining the administrative process to determine the cost of electric.

    B. The proposed rule is incomplete since owners do not know what they approving (e.g. an unknown flat fee or measured electric at an unknown rate and using an undefined metering processes).

    C. SB880 calls for "reasonable restrictions that do not significantly increase cost" It is questionable whether a $250 per month fine plus undefined cost of electric is consistent with the spirit of the law

    D. No provision has been made for existing NEMA installations made by the developer: "installations not denied in 60 days are considered approved."

    E. SB880 only provides for a license agreement for use of a space other than the owner's exclusive use space. The blanket requirement for license agreements registered with the county clerk is illegal.

    F. Grandfather the 3 existing NEMA outlets installed by the developer as part of the 3 owner’s sales agreements and focus on new installations. Come to a mutually acceptable estimate for billing electrical use for these installations.

    I hope the next effort moves from onerous legalize to that which is in line with the Federal, Local and State of CA efforts to encourage clean EV use re SB880 " it is the policy of the state to promote, encourage, and remove obstacles to the use of EV charging stations." The current rule is obstructionist and discourages EV use.
     
  16. Electric700

    Electric700 Member

    Joined:
    May 21, 2013
    Messages:
    984
    Location:
    Florida, United States
    What about focusing on what you want and keeping it as simple as possible? For example:

    1. All developments are required to allow EV charging when requested by EV owners, and the EV charging station installation cost will be paid for either by the association or by the EV owner.
    2. EV charging requests that have not been responded to after 60 days are automatically approved.
    3. Electricity usage can be either metered or not. If the association chooses to not meter the usage, a rate not higher than $0.10 per kWh hour applies.
     
  17. davewill

    davewill Member

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2014
    Messages:
    433
    Location:
    San Diego, CA, US
    I think you'll find that they don't need a "state provision that allows an HOA" to pass rules. It's you that needs a law that says they can't. If the law doesn't say anything about existing plugs, then they can probably do what they want. I'd go a little less confrontational.
     
  18. joefee

    joefee Over 2 Million TMC page views

    Joined:
    May 29, 2011
    Messages:
    909
    Location:
    CA
    +! that is right!

    - - - Updated - - -

    You are on the right track....simple is better!
     
  19. ItsNotAboutTheMoney

    ItsNotAboutTheMoney Active Member

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2012
    Messages:
    4,496
    Location:
    Maine
    I think of the document as legalese for "Sure, go ahead, but don't expect the rest of us to pay for it", negative, but not totally hostile.

    I think the insurance policy is the really excessive part, because that should really be better at scale in the HOA's policy. Some of other things are just basic CYA.

    Let's be realistic and say that PEV charging is the most demanding load a socket will ever have seen, and therefore is an increased risk. But I'd ask them to check with the building's insurance company to see whether they're covered for charging, or ask how much it would be (perhaps on a per-vehicle basis) and then have a clause which provides for a choice of paying your share of the increased insurance cost as a fee supplement, or paying for your own coverage. Once you have the personal responsibility policy established it could provide for other useful clauses to avoid other more negative cost-sharing. And if their insurance policy is messed up you might be able to get a cheaper alternative.
     
  20. joefee

    joefee Over 2 Million TMC page views

    Joined:
    May 29, 2011
    Messages:
    909
    Location:
    CA
    I think plug-in vehicles are being discriminated against because of fear and ignorance. I don't feel any other insurance is necessary unless electric vehicles are shown to create more liability than ice vehicles.
     

Share This Page