The Governor’s Office recently signed into law a Right to Charge bill for the City of Cambridge. Effective January 27, 2023, community associations in Cambridge cannot prohibit or unreasonably restrict the installation of an EV charging station in one’s exclusive use parking space or in common area within a reasonable distance to a dedicated spot. A copy of the law can be found here.
Associations – whether in Cambridge or beyond – should create an application and licensing process for assessing and acting upon requests to install charging stations.
The Cambridge Right to Charge law, like Boston’s, provides that the charging stations must be installed by a licensed contractor or electrician at the owner’s expense and in compliance with local and state laws. Further, the law makes clear that the charging station owners will be responsible for maintenance and repair costs, costs for damage, and electricity costs. In processing request to install a charging station, the Cambridge Right to Charge law allows associations to have an application process. If the association creates an application process it must act on an application within 60 days, otherwise an application will be deemed approved. The association may not charge fees for the placement of the charging station, beyond reasonable application fees, provided that such fees exist for all applications for approval of architectural modifications.
Associations – whether in Cambridge or beyond – should create an application and licensing process for assessing and acting upon requests to install charging stations. Associations will want to ensure that there are appropriate, reasonable restrictions protecting the common areas. Some reasonable rules/restrictions to consider, including some that are expressly set forth in the law, are:
• Owner is responsible for the costs associated with installation, maintenance, repairs, and removal of the charging station.
• Only licensed contractors or electricians can perform the installation and maintenance/repairs.
• Owner will be responsible for electricity used.
• Owner will be responsible for obtaining appropriate insurance.
• Owner will indemnify the association from any damage associated with the use, installation, maintenance, and/or removal of the charging station.
• Restrict the use of the charging station to the owner and unit occupants (and not allow third parties to use the charging station).
• Reserve the right to temporarily re-locate the charging station and/or temporarily interrupt electricity if it is reasonably necessary to effectuate emergency or planned repairs and/or maintenance work in the common areas.
• Owner must disclose to future buyers the existence of the charging station and whether it will remain, and the future owners’ responsibilities for same, or whether the owner will be removing it on sale and taking it to their new place of residence.
If you have questions about developing charging station applications and rules for your association, reach out to MBM for guidance.