Office of Environmental and Energy Coordination

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Fairfax, VA 22035
John Morrill
Acting Director

Charge Up Fairfax

charge up logo vertical lockupCharge Up Fairfax is a program to help residents of homeowners associations (HOAs) and condominium owners associations (COAs) access charging for electric vehicles (EVs).  Charge Up Fairfax supports HOAs in identifying and overcoming challenges, both technical and financial, to on-site EV charging for residents and their guests. For the purpose of this program, HOA communities can include multi-family condo buildings, clusters, or townhome communities that offer common area parking that is accessible for residents and their guests.

Charge Up Fairfax Pilot Program Overview and Responsible Party

The timeline below outlines the process for HOAs that apply and are selected to participate in the Charge Up Fairfax pilot program.  Fairfax County would be responsible for actions shown in green. The HOA would be responsible for actions in blue and the timeline for those actions would be determined by the HOA.

charge up fairfax process overview

Click the graphic above to enlarge. 

Charge Up Fairfax supports HOAs with the installation of community EV charging stations, meaning residents and their guests must have the ability to access and use the chargers.

Approximately 5 communities will be selected for the Charge Up Fairfax pilot program.  OEEC will accept additional applications to participate in Charge Up Fairfax in Spring 2024. 

HOA communities in Fairfax County that apply and are accepted into the Charge Up Fairfax pilot program will receive a site visit and assessment from an engineering firm, paid for by the county.  The site visit and resulting memo will help HOAs assess project feasibility and cost to support the installation of level 2 charging stations.  Additional information about Level 2 charging stations is available on OEEC’s Electric Vehicles webpage.

If an HOA decides to proceed with the purchase and installation of electric vehicle supply equipment (EVSE), the HOA will then hire one or more contractors to perform necessary site preparation.  HOAs will work with their contractor to choose the charging equipment and design, coordinate and implement any necessary electrical upgrades. The contractor may also arrange for permitting, equipment installation, and final inspection. 

Following implementation, HOAs participating in the Charge Up Fairfax pilot program can seek grant funds to partially reimburse the cost of EVSE installation.

Definitions and Acronyms:

EV Electric Vehicle
EVC Electric Vehicle Charging
EVCS Electric Vehicle Charging Station
EVSE Electric Vehicle Supply Equipment. EVSE is the hardware and software to supply electricity to EVs.  EVSE includes the EVCS, EV charge cords, attachment plugs, and protection. 
HOA Includes homeowners associations, condominium owners associations (COAs), and clusters

Once an HOA has applied to and been accepted into the Charge Up Fairfax program, the county’s contractor will conduct an engineering assessment of the HOA’s selected site at the county’s expense.  At least one member of the HOA’s board of directors or management company must attend the engineering site visit.  HOAs should allow up to 3 hours for the site visit, though it is not likely to take that long.  

The engineering firm will prepare a site assessment memo that describes:

  • Physical and environmental barriers
  • Power sources
  • Site conditions 
  • Estimated costs and project timeline 

The site assessment memo is intended to provide enough information to members of the HOA to determine whether they want to hire a contractor and move forward with the installation of EVSE. 

The memo will be provided to the HOA approximately one month after the site visit.  The Charge Up Fairfax Program Manager will schedule a meeting with members of the HOA about the memo and answer any questions for the HOA.

If an HOA decides to proceed with the purchase and installation of EVSE, the HOA will then hire one or more contractors to perform necessary site preparation.  HOAs will work with the contractor(s) they hire to coordinate and implement any necessary electrical upgrades, choose the charging equipment, set up an operating and maintenance plan with the charging device manufacturer, and arrange for permitting, equipment installation, and inspection.

The Charge Up Fairfax webpage includes information and links to inform members of the HOA on next steps and decision points to discuss with their hired contractor.

Following installation and inspection, HOAs participating in the Charge Up Fairfax program can seek grant funds to partially reimburse the cost of EVSE installation by completing and submitting the Request for Reimbursement form along with the necessary attachments.  
 

All HOAs that are selected to participate in the Charge Up Fairfax pilot program are eligible to apply for a grant to cover one-third of eligible expenses for the installation of EVSE, up to $5,000.  HOA communities in Fairfax County that are classified as having high or very high vulnerability in the Fairfax County Vulnerability Index, or that are classified as disadvantaged in the Federal Government’s Justice40 Initiative, are eligible for up to $10,000 of grant funds. 

Grants will be awarded on a reimbursable basis to communities in the Charge Up Fairfax pilot program, after the EVSE is installed and operational.  If grant funds are desired, applicants must contact OEEC to submit a request for grant funds and provide documentary evidence of eligible expenditures before grant funding will be disbursed.  OEEC staff will verify the EVSE is complete and operational.  The request for grant funds must be made within one calendar year of acceptance into Charge Up Fairfax.
 
Eligible expenses under Charge Up Fairfax Grant Program:

  • Engineering design
  • EV charging equipment
  • Electrical work necessary to power or install the charging station(s) 
  • Installation costs including trenching and building penetration repair (if any)

Expenses not eligible under Charge Up Fairfax Grant Program:

  • Equipment purchased and upgrades made to prepare the community to be EV-ready, such as solar canopies, the creation of new parking spaces, or adding a sidewalk (excludes necessary electrical work)
  • Fees incurred by attorneys, consultants, or management companies 
  • Changes in insurance premium or any charges from insurance companies
  • Operation and maintenance expenses
     

Grants will be made on a reimbursable basis to communities in the Charge Up Fairfax pilot program who complete EVSE installation. HOA communities in Fairfax County that are classified as having high or very high vulnerability in the Fairfax County Vulnerability Index, or that are classified as disadvantaged in the Federal Government’s Justice40 Initiative, are eligible for up to $10,000 paid on reimbursable basis.

OEEC will use GIS data to confirm whether the HOA is in an area shown in the Fairfax County Vulnerability Index, or the Federal Government’s Justice40 Initiative as described above and as shown on the map below. 

equity considerations

 

We want to make sure Charge Up Fairfax is designed to best meet the needs of the diverse HOA, COA, and cluster communities throughout the county.   If selected as a Charge Up Fairfax pilot community, you may be asked to meet with Fairfax County staff, to help refine program materials, provide written responses, and share your experience with the Board of Supervisors and the community. OEEC will use this information to refine the program and develop a program blueprint that can be launched widely.  Program evaluation will be ongoing for up to one year following grant reimbursement.

How To Get Started:

how to get started graphic with following steps

 

One of the first steps to the installation of EVSE in your HOA community is understanding the current and future community demand by considering questions such as:

  • How many residents already own or lease an EV?  
  • How many are interested in doing so in the future?  
  • Is there community opposition to the idea of EVSE in the HOA?  

This information will help determine if and how many EV charging spaces may be desired. 

If your HOA has not already surveyed residents, we offer a sample survey.  HOAs may edit or add to this survey so it best meets the need of your community, but our sample survey aims to capture essential points.

The HOA president, board, or management company should distribute and collect survey results from residents.  Surveying residents will also help with your Charge Up Fairfax application.  Keep in mind that the Charge Up Fairfax program is designed to support the installation of Level 2 charging.

 

Siting of EVSE depends on a number of factors that are specific to each HOA community, including: proximity to the power supply, parking availability and parking space size, lighting, and accessibility.  

A 2012 report on Siting and Design Guidelines for Electric Vehicle Supply Equipment is available for reference. 

The Reston Association developed design guidelines for use by Reston Association Clusters, and they have made the document available as a resource for all HOA communities.  

For the Charge Up Fairfax program:

  • The electricity source must be from an HOA-paid electric account. The most suitable areas for EVSE are those not far from a source of electricity (such as an electric utility transformer or an HOA building  and make use of unreserved parking spaces.)
  • Charging stations must be located in unreserved parking spaces that are available to residents and their guests. The HOA community will set the prices for residents and their guests.
     

HOAs should review their bylaws to ensure they do not restrict or limit the installation of electric vehicle charging stations.  Additionally, HOAs may wish to discuss EV charging plans with their insurance company to understand how EVSE may impact the policy and whether any changes to the policy or coverage may need to be made.

The HOA board of directors should consider how to fund community EVSE, including whether to utilize operating funds, a reserve allocation, a special assessment, or other means.  HOAs should talk with residents about their plans for funding community EV charging stations. 

In addition to the cost of construction, equipment, and electricity, HOAs should plan to budget for the operation and maintenance of the EVCS.

The recuring charges may vary considerably depending on the business model of the EVC company and the operating agreement the HOA enters with the manufacturer. 

Ready to apply for the Charge Up Fairfax Pilot Program?

The application period for the Charge Up Fairfax pilot program will close at 11:59 p.m. on Sunday, November 12, 2023.  All applications will be evaluated once the application period has closed. To submit your complete application package, follow the link below. 


Learn More

Visit our Charge Up Fairfax Resources page to learn more about: 

  • Community and environmental benefits
  • Permitting and zoning guidance for HOA communities
  • Choosing EV charging equipment
  • Incentive programs and resources

Receive Charge Up Fairfax updates

Do you want to receive notifications regarding Charge Up Fairfax – including when additional applications are being accepted – and other programs that may benefit HOA communities? Sign up for email notifications!


The resources and websites referenced on this webpage are intended to serve as examples and points of reference only and are not intended to imply any specific endorsement by Fairfax County or the Office of Environmental and Energy Coordination.

Watch our recent Charge Up Fairfax webinar:

Fairfax Virtual Assistant