Proposed DC Law Could Make It Easier For Condo/Coop Owners To Charge Electric Vehicles At Home
The District of Columbia's Comprehensive Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Access, Readiness, and Sustainability Amendment Act of 2023 is a landmark piece of proposed legislation that could have a significant impact on the way DC residents use and think about electric vehicles. The proposed law calls for the installation of at least 7,500 electric vehicle charging stations by 2027.
One group that will be particularly benefited by this legislation is condo and coop owners. If the law is passed, community associations must allow owners and tenants - at the owner or tenant's expense - to install an EV charger in their parking space. The association would be allowed to set reasonable requirements such as a safety measures, and the owner or tenant would be responsible for the additional cost of the electricity.
Under the bill, all new construction or substantial renovation residential buildings in the District that have three or more off-road parking spaces must install EV charges in at least 20% of any dedicated parking spaces, and include infrastructure to accommodate EV charging for at least 20% more. New single family homes that have dedicated off-road parking must be EV-charging ready.
There are going to be A LOT of association boards grappling with issues when/if this law passes. What will be the architectural guidelines for the installations? Will there be wires running everywhere? Will buildings need to "heavy up" their electrical panels? How do solar panels play into the EV chargers? What if there is not enough space for everyone to install a charger of their own?
Boards should be able to handle the new EV charger requirements if they act reasonably and consistently, and think through the process before the first request comes in. On the other hand, unequal treatment can lead to claims of discrimination. Once the law is passed, boards should work with their attorney and management company to understand the new requirements, plan for implementation, and set up a fair policy.