Quote for dropping 240V line in my high rise parking garage

edited November -1 in General
I got my Tesla Model S yesterday and LOVE it! I could use some help though. I live in a high-rise condo and asked the building engineer for a quote on dropping the line and the monthly charge. Here's what he proposed:

"The Owners can engage an electrician to install their chargers after the power drop is completed. The flat fee for 30 amps breakers per month will be $220 per month based on current pricing of energy. If the resident chose to install meters it must be industry grade and certified . If meters are installed the cost including burden cost will be .10C/KWH (vary based on energy contract) plus a demand fee for Oncor of $70 per month for 30amps circuit.

The most we can offer is the 208/120 volt. Your electrician can install a converter to adapt to the 240. The other option for a 240 would require you installing a special transformer and meter at your location."

Does that monthly fee for metered and unmetered sound exorbitant? At 10 cents per KWH, any idea what my monthly charge would be? Notice they're adding a $70.00 per month "demand fee" in addition to the metered hours. Off the top of my head, this seems ridiculously high and is likely to exceed my monthly fuel costs for a similar vehicle. ( I plan to drive the car roughly 8-10K miles per year.)

I'm a complete ignoramous when it comes to this stuff and since you guys have been so generous with your help and advice with others, I thought I'd give it a shot. Anyone have any thoughts, suggestions, alternatives?



  • edited November -1
    Sounds like you'd use about 300kWh/mo, which is $30 worth of power. The "demand fee" (WTF does that mean) would bump the cost to $100/mo, which would be about 33¢/kwh. That compares to about $150/mo for gas for a 20 mpg ICE, or about $100 for a 30 mpg ICE. So it's more or less a wash, fuel-cost-wise. All you'd get is the other pleasures your MS offers.
  • edited November -1
    Based on what you posted, it sounds like they wouldn't charge you for the drop, so your $70/month cost would be covering the install costs for the drop(no idea what that would be), as well as the maintenance for the circuit

    I'm not very experienced with this, but I wonder if he would give you an upfront install/part cost for the drop and then just the 10c/kwh + maintenance as needed (is it really that much work to maintain a circuit?). Then you could find a fellow driver or two to split the main drop install costs.

    You could always run a very long extension cable from your window...
  • edited November -1
    If it's that long, it might have to be as thick as your forearm! ;)
  • edited November -1
    Time to move! Some condos treat their 'owners' like s**t. I treat my tenants better and they have a lot more freedom.
  • edited November -1
    Sounds like the building is ripping you off. I had an electrician install a 240v, 50 amp line with a separate meter, ~$1300. The line ran out from one of the breaker boxes in the garage, just made sure the box had enough free amperage to accomadate my 50 amp line. Condo association took about 3 weeks to approve the project. The electrician had to run ~ 150 feet of tubing and wiring, took him more than 8 hours from start to finish. Now I am paying 5.4 cents/kWh, no other fees. The line maintenance is my responsibility.
  • edited November -1
    Are you in California? This may help. The fees they are proposing would seem counter to the "policies may not significantly increase the cost of the EVSE" clause. As for the 208 vs. 240 issue, all EVSEs will run off either 208 (common in 3 phase commercial environments) or 240 (you may need to configure them) - but you'll need more than 30A at 208 to get the same charge rate.

    Electric Vehicle Supply Equipment (EVSE) Policies for Multi-Unit Dwellings
    A common interest development, including a community apartment, condominium, and cooperative development, may not prohibit or restrict the installation or use of EVSE in a homeowner's designated parking space. These entities may put reasonable restrictions on EVSE, but the policies may not significantly increase the cost of the EVSE or significantly decrease its efficiency or performance. If installation in the homeowner's designated parking space is not possible, with authorization, the homeowner may add EVSE in a common area for their use. The homeowner must obtain appropriate approvals from the common interest development association and agree in writing to comply with applicable architectural standards, engage a licensed installation contractor, provide a certificate of insurance, and pay for the electricity usage associated with the EVSE. Any application for approval should be processed by the common interest development association without willful avoidance or delay. The homeowner and each successive homeowner of the parking space equipped with EVSE is responsible for the cost of the installation, maintenance, repair, removal, or replacement of the station, as well as any resulting damage to the EVSE or surrounding area. The homeowner must also maintain a $1 million umbrella liability coverage policy and name the common interest development as an additional insured entity under the policy. If EVSE is installed in a common area for use by all members of the association, the common interest development must develop terms for use of the EVSE. (Reference Senate Bill 880, 2012, and California Civil Code 1353.9)
  • It sounds to me like the apartment owner is assuming you'll be using that 30 amp line nearly continuously, at capacity in order to come up with their flat rate. That would cause the $220/month to lead to about a $0.06/KWhr price. Maybe they're assuming you'd be drawing 24 amps for about half the time at $0.12/kWhr. Either way, that's a bad flat-rate assumption from you're perspective.
    Assuming $220/month and $0.10/kWhr, you'd have to be driving about 88,000 miles per year!
    I recommend you negotiate for something more reasonable including a meter.
    Please note that 208 volts is just fine. There is no need to spend money to get to 240 volts.
    A "demand fee" is something that some power companies add to a user's bill if they exceed some heavy demand for electricity. At 30 amps, you should never exceed any demand thresholds, especially if you charge mostly at night.
  • edited November -1
    You should do some research into your State's Utilities Commission rules (or whatever your local State's utility regulating authority is called).

    There is typically a set of strict rules about the re-sale of power and it sounds like your situation might fall into that category. Your regulating authority or local utility might be able to give you guidance or ensure that you get a fair deal.
  • edited November -1
    This is way out of line…fight it !
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