Infrastructure Upgrades for Inaccessible Meters for EV Charging in High Rise Homes

00:07 – In a setting where the meters for some units are inaccessible from the parking spaces, you will find the main switch and the main housing in the electrical room. These supply power to a transformer, to which the meters for the other units are connected. The same main housing also supplies power to the common areas meter, to which the transformer and the electrical panel for the common areas are connected.

00:34 – Before choosing the solution that will supply power to the charging stations, an energy capacity study must be carried out by an engineering firm in order to determine the unused capacity of the various electrical components which supply power to the building.

00:50 – Once the available electrical capacity is known, it then becomes possible to determine which power source can be used and whether new components will need to be added to the main electrical infrastructure in order to supply power to the charging stations.

01:06 – Power Supply Options
Power Supply From the Metering Centre

01:14 – When the unused electrical capacity of the main switch, main housing and transformer of a metering centre is sufficient, a second meter can be added for the units whose main meter is inaccessible. With these new meters, which will exclusively serve to recharge electric vehicles, it is then possible to run a cable to the desired parking space and supply power to the charging station

01:41 – Adding a column allows for the installation of six additional electricity meters. The total number of meters that can be added depends on two factors: the unused capacity of the electrical infrastructure and the physical space available.

01:57 – Please note that this solution is only permitted by certain electric utility distributors, and only when the main electricity meter of a unit is not accessible from the parking spaces.

02:11 – Power Supply From the Common Areas Panel

When the unused electrical capacity of the common areas panel is sufficient, it can be used to supply power to the charging stations. However, since the electricity consumed is recorded by the common areas electricity meter, this solution is not recommended because it is not possible to differentiate the consumption related to electric vehicles from the consumption related to the building’s common areas. Additionally, the number of charging stations that can be installed in this way is always limited, therefore this method is not a viable long-term solution.

02:50 – Additions to Infrastructure and Power Supply from the Main Housing

When the unused electrical capacity of the main switch and main housing is sufficient, it is possible to supply power from this housing to a new switch, a new meter, a new transformer and a new electrical panel which usually allows for the installation of 10 to 20 charging stations. However, to add these components, it is necessary to have approximately 5.5 square meters, or 60 square feet, of available space in the electrical room.

Since a new meter has been installed, the electricity consumed by the charging stations will be billed to an independent account.

03:37 – Additions to Infrastructure and Power Supply from a New Main Switch

If the unused capacity of the main switch does not permit supplying power to the desired number of charging stations, it will be necessary to contact the electrical utility distributor and verify that the network has enough capacity to power a new electrical input. If the answer is positive, it will then be possible to install a new main switch, a new meter, a new transformer and a new electrical panel which will allow the required number of charging stations to be supplied with power.

Since a new meter has been installed, the electricity consumed by the charging stations will be billed to an independent account.

04:22 –Once the power source has been determined, it is then possible to choose the type of charging stations to be installed as well as the billing method.

Resources, Tools, and Templates

EV Charger and Billing

When adding certain components to the infrastructure for electric vehicles, it is necessary to choose an EV charger model and a billing method.

Survey

Adding new components can sometimes represent a significant investment for a complex. In order to validate the residents’ interest in such a project, we recommend doing a survey.

Here is an example of a survey to assess interest in recharging for electric vehicles.

Information Request

Here is an example of a request for information to send to the board if you are interested in having an EV charger in your parking space.

Partial Global Installation

The solutions that can be adopted in this context often involve work that can benefit several unit owners. In doing so, the partial global approach is often chosen for the installation of the components. Details of this approach can be found on this page.

Frequently Asked Questions

01 — The common areas panel has the capacity to supply some EV chargers. Can we use this to power the chargers?

When the unused electrical capacity of the common areas panel is sufficient it is possible to supply the charging stations from it. On the other hand, as the electricity consumed is recorded by the electricity meter in the common areas, this solution is not recommended, because it will be impossible to differentiate the consumption of electric vehicles from the other common charges of the building. Additionally, the number of EV chargers that can be installed in this way is still limited, which does not make it a viable long-term solution.

02 — We will not have enough room in the electrical room to install the necessary components. What can we do?

In a context where space is an issue, it is possible to enlarge the electric room. If there is no space available for such an expansion, purchasing a nearby parking space may be an attractive option.

03 — Who can help us identify which source can be used to add the necessary components?

It is necessary to hire an engineering firm to obtain all the necessary data.

04 — When is the best time to start an infrastructure addition project?

When infrastructure additions are required, keep in mind that there may be a delay between the time an energy capacity study is requested and the time all infrastructure is in place for unit owners can install an EV charger. We therefore recommend monitoring the evolution of residents’ interest in recharging electric vehicles with a survey. When the number of interested parties is large enough, it will be easier to obtain the necessary approvals to start the project.