Case study: Installing the first electric vehicle charger in a condo


Electric vehicles are becoming increasingly popular and we are doing our fair share of installing chargers for both homes and condominiums. We thought it would be fun to go back and look at our post about the first electric vehicle charger we ever installed in a Toronto condo.

It’s interesting that four of our most important considerations when installing the chargers came up during this first installation:

  1. Safety in connecting to a condominium’s power supply
  2. Accommodating the added load
  3. Managing the electrical bill
  4. Security for the charger

“A couple of months ago, I received a call from a condominium manager in Toronto. A unit owner had purchased an [EV] and a charger. The property manager emailed me some information to review and we met on site a day later.

The resident had already purchased the charger and we confirmed that the charger had received the proper safety approvals, so there would be no issue with the ESA (Electrical Safety Authority) when the unit connected to the building’s power supply. We then reviewed the wiring requirements based on the manufacturer’s recommendations.

The property manager asked me to view the owner’s parking space and offer a price to install and wire the charger.

I checked to confirm that the panel had space for the new breaker and that it could easily accommodate the added load. Everything checked out and I headed back to the manager’s office to bring her up to speed.

The next question she asked was how they would bill for the electricity. I suggested that we install a small digital sub-meter, just for this charger, that the manager could read and yield information that would allow her to invoice the owner. The suggestion was well received: ‘Since we have other sub-meters that we now read anyway.’ The property manager read the other sub-meters annually in order to calculate shared expenses and then charged them back to each of the two condominium corporations.

Once we gained a general understanding of how much electricity the vehicle might use over the course of a year, the owner could provide a single payment in advance and the property manager would process a reconciliation at the end of the year after reading the meter. If necessary, they could use the same system for other electric vehicles in the future. After a bit of research, I found a compact and relatively inexpensive meter that we could use for this application.

While it appears unlikely that someone else might try to use the charger that we installed, the owner asked if we could somehow secure the unit. We installed a non-fused lockable isolating switch just beside the charger and the owner attached his own lock. This offered him the peace of mind that he wanted and it gave us another happy customer.”

Read the entire original blog post here

Want to find out where other EV Charging stations are being installed? Read our article on charging stations being installed in BC.