We are seeing governments enact policies with the goal of environmental sustainability in many aspects of our lives. Condominiums in Ontario are no exception. In Ontario, some of the recently enacted changes include:
- creating a procedure in which condominiums, or owner(s) can install electric vehicle charging stations in the common elements;
- requiring condominiums of a certain size to report their energy consumption to the provincial government; and
- allowing clotheslines and clothes trees to be installed at condominiums under certain conditions.
EV Charging Stations can now be installed in Condominiums
Under the newly amended Condominium Act, 1998 (the “Act”), a Condominium Corporation could, at its expense and without an owners’ meeting, install an electric vehicle charging station if:
- The estimated cost of the installation is less than 10% of the Condominium’s annual budget; and
- The Condominium’s Board of Directors believe the owners would not regard the installation of the charging station to be a material reduction or elimination of their use or enjoyment of the condominium property.
The new provisions and regulations under the Act also allow an owner to apply to install a charging station (at the owner’s expense) at their condominium.
- The Board would be required to approve the owner’s application unless the installation:
- Is contrary to the requirements of a statute or regulation
- Negatively affects the structural integrity of the condominium property or assets of the corporation; or
- Poses a serious health and safety risk to an individual or a risk of damage to the condominium property or assets of the corporation.
In addition to the Act, Condominiums also have new obligations under the Green Energy Act, 2009.
Condominiums must soon Report their Energy Consumption
One of those obligations is to report water, electricity, and gas consumption. The dates when these new obligations begin are as follows:
- Starting on July 1, 2019, Condominium Corporations that are in buildings of at least 100,000 square feet must submit their first report.
- Starting on July 1, 2020, Condominium Corporations that are in buildings of at least 50,000 square feet must submit their first report.
All areas of the building, including the common areas, are included in the square footage calculation. Corporations in multiple structures find their gross floor area by totaling the square footage of all the structures.
To submit a report, Corporations must first obtain their assessment roll number, property code, and an Ontario Energy Water Reporting and Benchmarking ID (which is obtained from the Ministry of Energy). The Corporation must then register an account through Energy Star’s Portfolio Manager website. Any energy consumption reports would be submitted there.
Clotheslines and Clothestrees can now be installed in certain circumstances
The Green Energy Act also allows clotheslines and clothestrees to be installed even if the Condominium Corporation has a rule prohibiting them.
However, owners can only install clotheslines or clothestrees if the installation:
- does not impede safety or access to and from the building
- takes place in an area where the unit owner has exclusive use
- is installed directly on the ground, or on a deck/platform that is acceptable to and no higher than the ground floor; or on a step stool or similar device that is directly on the ground or a deck/platform (as described above).
These new obligations are certainly arriving at a challenging time as the Condominium industry in Ontario grapples with the many changes that have come through the pipe. Hopefully, as everyone gets more familiar with the new processes and procedures, the new obligations will become a routine part of regular condominium obligations.
If you have any further questions regarding Condominiums please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or Nancy Houle at email@example.com