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New BC strata rules make it easier for owners to ask for EV chargers

The regulations that come into effect immediately will also require strata corps to do electrical planning reports in next few years

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The B.C. government has introduced new rules that make it easier for homeowners to ask strata developments to provide electric-vehicle (EV) charging stations.

The regulations outline how a homeowner in a strata can ask for an EV station and sets out a timeline for how long strata corporations have to respond to the request.

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“Lack of access to electric-vehicle charging should not be a deterrent to people wanting to purchase or rent in a strata complex, which for some is a more affordable housing option,” said Housing Minister Ravi Kahlon in a news release on Wednesday.

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The rules also allow stratas to give permission to an owner to have exclusive use of a parking stall on common property for as long as five years if the EV charging station was installed because of the owners request for one.

“British Columbians are choosing electric vehicles at record rates,” said Josie Osborne, minister of energy, mines and low carbon innovation.

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Osborne said B.C. passed legislation last month to speed up the transition to zero-emission and electric vehicles in B.C., and this will help strata owners be part of that switch to clean-energy vehicles.

The regulations, which take effect immediately, also require stratas to get an electrical planning report to help them prepare for upgrades to electrical systems needed so buildings can accommodate low-carbon energy solutions such as heating and cooling pumps and EV charging. Small stratas with fewer than five units are exempt from that requirement.

“The upcoming regulations under the Strata Property Act provide a balanced solution to owners who want to purchase electric vehicles and require charging facilities,” said Tony Gioventu, CEO of the Condominium Home Owners Association.

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Gioventu said the reports will allow strata corporations to “plan for costs and operations associated with electric demand.”

Details of what is required in the electrical planning reports will be made available online soon. Deadlines for getting one done are being phased in over three years, with stratas in Metro Vancouver, the Fraser Valley and Greater Victoria expected to have an electrical planning report by late 2026. Other areas will have until late 2028.

Another change in the regulations — part of Bill 22, the Strata Property Amendment Act — lowers the voting threshold from three-quarters to a majority to approve certain decisions around EV charging equipment.

For more about B.C.’s EV charger rebate program, go to goelectricbc.gov.bc.ca.

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