New legislation is on the horizon that will make it easier for strata corporations and owners to install electric vehicle (EV) charging stations at home. According to the new rules, strata corporations and property management companies will be required to complete Electrical Planning Reports to outline each building’s current electrical capacity and plan to meet future EV charging station needs.
“Electrical Assessment and Planning Reports are important because they provide a roadmap to help navigate and prepare for the transition away from gas-powered equipment, which has already begun and is accelerating,” says Adam Franklin, P. Eng., Associate and Electrical Engineer at Prism Engineering.
The reason is simple: installing EV charging stations increases the electrical load on a building’s existing electrical distribution system. This additional use and load may not have been considered as part of the original design. By conducting an initial electrical systems assessment, building owners can avoid putting the entire electrical system at risk.
“Overloading the electrical system could trip the main breaker, shutting off power for the entire building. It could also damage electrical equipment resulting in costly and unplanned repairs or replacements,” Adam explains.
Taking future electrical needs into consideration
Consider if each resident in a building receives a Level 2 EV charger, the current standard for new residential and commercial facilities. That additional load could easily double the electrical demand of the building.
“This means that unless the building is currently using less than 50 percent of the available capacity, load management or alternative configurations will need to be utilized to avoid overloading the systems,” Adam adds.
Electrical Assessment and Planning Reports are also useful for identifying equipment that needs replacement. The typical life span for most electrical distribution equipment is 25–40 years. This is an essential consideration in BC, where many buildings’ systems are already within this range.
“Buildings must also consider their future electrical needs to allow them to adapt to the ever-changing world. Rather than simply replacing electrical equipment with newer versions of what they have now, they should consider the addition or changing loads that will be required now and into the future,” explains Adam.
How Prism can help
Our team has the technical expertise to prepare comprehensive Electrical Planning Reports for your buildings. By conducting a detailed assessment, we can help you identify the options available and the necessary steps to take before installing EV charging stations at your buildings. In addition, we can help you navigate the rebates and incentives available to support these projects.
Our Electrical Planning Report includes the following steps:
- Assess the on-site electrical distribution equipment, including capacity ratings and condition.
- Analyze historical utility data, including peak loading and seasonal trends.
- Calculate additional loads. (E.g., EV charging, cooling, etc.)
- Review load management options.
- Confirm the preferred option(s).
- Provide a summary report, which outlines the available options, required infrastructure upgrades and cost estimates.
In addition to assessments and reports, Prism also provides education and training to stakeholder groups. Topics include: transitioning to low-carbon energy sources, the benefits of new technologies, and the impact of reducing GHG emissions at your facility. Ask us about customizing a session for your audience.
Learn more about EV charger rebate programs:
Clean BC Go Electric EV Charger Rebate Program Guide (PDF)