Tenant satisfaction is one of the most important considerations for owners and managers of multifamily properties, especially those contemplating installing EV charging stations. The additional amenity will undoubtedly enhance a property’s value and can attract new residents to your property, but the contentment of current residents will also cement their loyalty, reducing your property turnover and boosting property ratings.
This article guides you on the intricacies of EV charging infrastructure management in your property, from planning and installation to ongoing maintenance, providing valuable insights on creating a balance between securing your return on investment (ROI) and keeping your tenants happy.
For multifamily property owners and managers planning on installing EV charging stations, careful groundwork and efficient installation are critical to a successful outcome. While the process may seem overwhelming initially, with the right approach, it can be a seamless experience that benefits you and your tenants.
Conducting a thorough assessment of your property’s EV charging requirements is the first step in the planning stage. Be mindful of the increasing adoption of EVs and take into account your current needs, the future demand, and the potential scope for expansion.
To start, consider the number of tenants who own EVs and their charging preferences. Factor in non-tenant users, such as employees and regular guests, to accurately determine the number and type of charging stations to install. Also, consider the ability to market EV charging to potential tenants to keep occupancy levels high.
Examine the available space for parking and installation and identify suitable locations, ensuring they are easily accessible and convenient for tenants.
You will also need to work with an electrician to determine whether you need a power infrastructure upgrade to support the addition of EV chargers to your property. Digital solutions such as energy management tools can also be utilized to prevent electrical system overload. These systems deliver adjusted levels of electricity to chargers based on your building’s energy load at any given time and can intelligently allocate energy based on crucial energy needs to avoid outages caused by excessive demand.
Alternatively, you can install solar panels, alone or in conjunction with battery storage, in carports and other covered parking structures to generate power exclusively for your EV charging stations.
The next step to managing EV charging stations in multifamily properties is to vet the various types of charging stations available. Each one would feature a unique set of specifications and capabilities:
Level 1 is compatible with the standard 120-volt outlet and provides 3-5 miles of range added per charging hour. Level 2 requires 240 volts and delivers 10-54 range miles of range added per hour. Level 3, or DCFC, recharges your EV battery up to 80% in 30 minutes at 75-300 mph but has been shown to decrease battery performance and diminish range with frequent use.
While all properties can be enhanced to support Level 1 and Level 2 EV charger installations, DCFC charging stations require a higher voltage that is not available in all residential and commercial areas and can be cost-prohibitive with higher installation and maintenance costs.
Many owners and managers of multifamily properties decide on Level 2 because most government and utility incentives and rebates cater to this level. Residents also benefit from faster charging and the higher range these charging stations offer per hour.
On the other hand, Level 1 is lighter on a property’s electrical system and costs less to install. Every three Level 2 chargers are equal to 16 Level 1 units, allowing more tenants to plug in simultaneously with Level 1 charging.
Each multifamily property differs from the other, and you should select the best charging station for your needs and the needs of your tenants. Consider factors such as charging speed, compatibility with different vehicles, and ease of use. You can also survey your residents to determine if a blend of charging stations might be a better fit for your community.
Always consult with an EV charging station provider or an electrician to ensure your preferred EV charging solution meets the specific requirements of your property.
Prevent potential issues or conflicts by informing residents of your EV charging infrastructure plan, especially if it will impact their rent or utility bills. When they clearly understand the benefits and advantages, you will more likely gain their cooperation.
Prior to installation, conduct a survey of locations most favored by residents, payment methods, charging schedules, and plans for EV ownership. You can download this survey template from the Department of Energy for your polls.
Once installed, the EV charging stations must be a permanent topic in your regular communication with residents through email, newsletter, or posted notices. Frequent updates, changes, and instructions on proper usage and maintenance will enable them to take advantage of the service.
Establish and communicate rules for using the charging stations, such as reservation systems, time limits, and usage fees. Include any necessary registration or payment processes as well.
Provide clear instructions on charging etiquette, such as moving a vehicle from a charging spot when done to allow others access to the charging station.
Ensuring tenants know the best practices for using the chargers can help avoid conflicts.
In addition to written messages and announcements, offer educational sessions or workshops on EVs and EV charging. These will provide residents with a deeper understanding of the benefits of EVs and serve as a question-and-answer platform.
Dispense educational materials and resources, such as the State of Charge with Tom Moloughney, to help them make informed decisions about EV adoption.
Regular upkeep and monitoring of charging stations is crucial for their longevity and continued functionality and may be required if utility funding is leveraged. Identifying any potential issues or malfunctions and addressing them promptly also guarantees tenant satisfaction.
Regularly track and analyze usage data to identify trends, such as the number of charging sessions, energy consumption, and charging duration.
You can subscribe to a networking application to control price and limit usage per resident. On their end, tenants can monitor their charging status and fund their accounts as necessary.
Usage tracking allows you to gain insights into the stations’ demand and efficiency and proactively address potential issues. These can be useful for planning future expansions or upgrades to meet the growing needs of tenants.
Ensure your charging stations operate continuously and perform optimally by establishing a regular maintenance schedule to inspect and clean them. Partner with a reliable service provider, such as Qmerit, to check for any physical damage, loose connections, or worn-out components.
Routine maintenance can prevent unexpected breakdowns and prolong the lifespan of your chargers. Keep the charging areas clean, debris-free, and easily accessible to maintain tenant satisfaction.
Establishing a system for your tenants to report issues would be incredibly beneficial, enabling you to address them promptly. Be responsive to their feedback and take proactive measures to maintain a positive and seamless EV charging experience for your residents.
Timely responses and regular communication will demonstrate your commitment to tenant satisfaction. Provide updates on any maintenance or repair work, as well as any changes or improvements to the charging stations.
Managing EV charging stations in multifamily properties requires careful planning, effective communication with residents, and ongoing maintenance. By implementing these best practices, owners and managers can guarantee tenant satisfaction and position their properties as leaders in the transition to electric mobility.
The process may seem daunting and complex, but success is possible with the support of qualified, experienced contractors. With over 269,000 Electric Vehicle Chargers installed to-date, and the largest network of certified electrical contractors certified in energy transition technologies and services across North America, no one is more experience or trusted than Qmerit when it comes to electrification solutions or services.
With turnkey installation and integration solutions designed to meet your property needs, Qmerit is simplifying the switch to EVs and other energy transition technologies for multifamily communities across the country. Contact Qmerit today to electrify your property and install EV charging stations at the highest levels of safety and quality at competitive pricing that you can rely on for years to come.