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I was just wondering if any of you had any experience dealing with HOAs in getting your 240v chargers installed, and if there were any objections or push-back. I just recently purchased a townhome in December, and I have not yet had the pleasure of extensive dealings one-on-one with the current HOA board. I've heard the whole gamut of stories from how horrible and draconian they are to how responsive and helpful they are. I'm sure the reality is somewhere in-between.

Ultimately, I want to look into getting solar panels installed, since it seems like a natural candidate (East-facing, flat roof). But thought getting a 240 charger installed would be a good interim step to seeing how difficult they are to deal with. Regardless, I'm probably several months away from purchasing one, and several months further out still from taking delivery, so probably not a prospect I'll have to face until mid-Summer 2011.
 

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The answer, like always, is ... it depends.

Each HOA is different, but the thing to remember is that the HOA is made up of homeowners, your neighbors. I sit on the board of the HOA where I live, so if someone approached us with this I would likely vote to approve it. If you have a garage, and the 240v charger is being installed inside the garage out of view from the rest of the community, then you can probably have it installed without HOA approval. Again, each HOA is different so you should check your bylaws. The easiest thing to do would be to contact the management company and ask them if you need board approval to add electrical fixtures inside your garage and see what they tell you.

Adding anything to the outside of your unit, like solar panels, can be much more challenging. As a board member, one thing I am always focused on is any modification to the outside of the buildings/units that detract from the overall look of the community, and subsequently property value.

You might want to consider attending a board meeting. There is always a "public" session at every meeting which is open to anyone to attend. Here they usually disuss non-financial matters, and this would give you an opportunity to to meet the board and/or see how they make their decisions. Maybe this will help you guage how easy or difficult it may be to get this things done.
 

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Got to play by their rules. I own and live in a townhome. Although 120V service is available in the garage. It is a common outlet and therefore can't be used to recharge batteries.
1>Contact the association with a phone call. It's best to actually speak with a living person. Rather than launch an email into a crowded in-box.
2>Mention your unit number and your goal to recharge your car using a dedicated service billed to your unit. Also be sure to mention that the charging unit is small (13"). And that it is UL certified as safe for indoor or outdoor use. And that the job will be performed under a city permit. The permit cost $75 for an owner occupied unit.
3>Ask what the association needs to facilitate the installation. They may want a pre-inspection. They definitely want the name and license number of the electrician. They will also want the date of installation and the number of hours to complete the job.

I did all of this and things went very smoothly. We ended our communication with EV and hybrid talk. The Association secretary may buy a Leaf. Her son wants a hybrid.

My son and our installed SPX unit. Tests at 245 volts at the unit. And is very ready to rock.

 

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You are in California so you are in luck. State laws prohibit city laws and HOAs from stopping you from installing solar panels. They can make you change it as long as it neither a) increases the cost by 10% or b) decreases the output more than 10%. Talk to a solar sales person about it. They should know the details. Though you want to make it as nice a pleasing to the eye as possible because you also want to convert people!
 

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You are in California so you are in luck. State laws prohibit city laws and HOAs from stopping you from installing solar panels. They can make you change it as long as it neither a) increases the cost by 10% or b) decreases the output more than 10%. Talk to a solar sales person about it. They should know the details. Though you want to make it as nice a pleasing to the eye as possible because you also want to convert people!
Can't wait until Texas lawmakers strip HOA of the power to block solar panels. We had a system all ready to go and HOA wouldn't do it. Form over function at its finest. We can't get any of the HOA rules changed because we never have enough people show up to the meetings to have any offical business. If enough people don't even show up for that, can't see them really caring if I put panels on the roof in a part hardly anyone sees.

Paul (Cari's husband)
 
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