To facilitate the process of becoming EV-ready, NSW Fair Trading has provided a five-step guide for owner’s corporations:
1. Survey: Conduct a comprehensive resident survey to understand the EV charging needs and preferences of all stakeholders, including owners and tenants. The survey results will help determine the timing and scale of the required EV infrastructure.
2. Energy Assessment: Engage an energy auditor to assess the energy requirements of the strata estate and evaluate the impact of EV charging on the electrical load. The assessment should consider factors such as existing circuit breaker sizes, historical peak energy loads, energy usage patterns, and potential energy efficiency measures to create additional electrical capacity. This assessment will help determine the available electrical capacity for accommodating EV chargers.
3. Evaluate Options: There is no one-size-fits-all approach to implementing EV charging infrastructure as it depends on various factors, including the estate's characteristics, electrical distribution boards, and the number of designated car spaces for charging. The energy auditor will guide the owner’s corporation through this process, considering the specific requirements and constraints of the property.
4. Evaluating Payment Options: Two types of EV charging costs can be recovered in residential buildings: electricity consumption (kWh-based usage billing) and the cost recovery of strata-provided EV charging infrastructure. Different financial options exist for each type, and these must be agreed upon by the owner’s corporation and owners. This agreement should be documented in the EV charging by-law, which may include provisions for cost recovery and billing.
5. Plan Approval Process and Funding Solution: At this stage, the owner’s corporation should have a clear understanding of owner’s intentions, the preferred approach, timing, and estimated costs, as well as cost recovery and billing options. The owner’s corporation needs to follow the approval process outlined in Section 108 of the Strata Schemes Management Act (SSMA) 2015, which has been updated by the Strata Schemes Management Amendment (Sustainability Infrastructure) Bill 2020. This amendment categorizes the installation of EV charging infrastructure as a sustainability infrastructure upgrade and modifies the voting requirements. The amendment allows for the resolution to be passed with "less than 50% against the resolution." Additionally, the owner’s corporation must have a 10-year capital works fund with budgets allocated for capital works, as required by the amendment.
Following these steps, in accordance with the relevant legislation, will help owner’s corporations effectively plan and implement EV charging infrastructure within strata plans in New South Wales.