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Need an energy audit? A joint project between Hydro Quebec and Murbly might solve that

Energy audits can be time consuming and expensive but are often a requirement detailed in electric and building codes and bulletins (such as Article 8-106 in Chapter V, Electricity, of the Quebec Building Code) and a prerequisite to the installation of electric vehicle charging stations (also known as electric vehicle supply equipment or EVSE) in multi-unit residential buildings (MURBs).

The need for energy audits or capacity studies will be explained in this article, as well as a list of the actions that Hydro Quebec is taking towards making energy consumption data more accessible, and something for readers from Quebec: the announcement that Murbly has a new partnership with Hydro Quebec that helps solve this problem!

A new Murbly service

What is Murbly?

Murbly is a free educational platform offering resources and tools for any condo owner, condo board or HOA, landlord or property manager who is looking for direction when installing electric vehicle charging stations (or EVSE). EV Charging Advisors at Murbly even work directly in consultation with boards and associations who have particularly difficult obstacles, such as electrical infrastructure that needs updating or the wording for condo policies on EV charging.

Guiding condo boards, associations, managers, and landlords gave consultants at Murbly the competence and edge to work with Hydro Quebec in order to tackle one major barrier to installation of charging stations in multi-unit residential buildings – the energy audit or energy capacity study.

Murbly is now able to offer an Energy Capacity Service to qualifying condo boards or associations in Quebec.

What is included in this service?

Consultation for field data collection;
Data extraction from Hydro Quebec’s readings;
A real account of the energy capacity of the building, thanks to the data provided by Hydro Quebec;
A spreadsheet of calculations;
A clear synthesis of the bottom line in report format;
Accompanying videos;
A recommendation for how many charging stations can be added to existing infrastructure.

Do I need an energy capacity study to install a charging station in a MURB?

Yes, in Quebec you do! And in many other provinces it is also a prerequisite to installing electric vehicle charging stations because knowledge of energy consumption will help protect against installing too many charging stations at one residence according to the available capacity. And despite the many benefits of home charging, protecting electrical infrastructure should still be a major priority – something that RVE is dedicated to! Installing too many charging stations or electric vehicle supply equipment (EVSE) on infrastructure that has limited capacity is what creates the potential for undesirable events like blackouts, fires, and electrical surges.

To prevent these avoidable accidents and to best protect your home, learn how to manage the electricity of your electric vehicle with RVE’s certified electric vehicle energy management systems (EVEMS).

RVE’s EVEMS : the DCC line

RVE’s EVEMS: the SMP line

So, what’s the challenge?

Energy consumption data is hard to come by and energy audits or capacity studies take time, money, and resources that can be difficult to prepare for. 

Some of the gatekeeping relates to wait times and the question “Who is responsible for conducting the audit and how much does it cost?” But in Quebec, there’s an additional law in place that protects the consumer from having their personal data shared in a public way. Bill 25, which in a general way protects personal data from being released to the public, also prevents contracted electricians from easily accessing electrical consumption readings that have already taken place. 

Most often, the only way around this is to conduct an energy capacity study or audit by taking readings over a period of a year in order to create the data. That means a full year of needing to wait before even knowing if it’s possible to install electric vehicle charging stations. An alternative is to hire engineers to do theoretical calculations which will give the consumer a rough estimate for how many charging stations can be installed. But these calculations are often severely conservative, expensive and are delivered in reports of several hundred pages in technical language.

Hydro Quebec intends to change this

Hydro Quebec has the data but it’s a matter of making sure the consumer can access it! In order to rectify this, Hydro Quebec has made it a mission to open up the following channels:

Representing two major neutral stakeholders in EV adoption and charging infrastructure changes, the Corporation of Master Electricians of Quebec (CMEQ) and the Association for Electric Vehicles in Quebec (AVEQ) will be granted limited access to consumption data;
A process will be put in place to enable a master electrician to obtain a residual load or energy estimate for a multi-unit residential building (MURB);
A tool will be developed to enable representatives to respond to requests from local stakeholders (such as what Murbly is given authority to do);
Resources using a flexible approach while remaining within the legislative framework will be made available.

Any results yet? Yes!

The end goal is to put new measures in place that will accelerate EV adoption towards Quebec’s 2035 goals which are detailed in our article Quebec’s EV Charging Strategy: 600 000 parking spaces to electrify by 2030

Already, Murbly has been able to deliver over a dozen reports to MURB’s in Quebec, where they can respond to their charging needs based on real data. Summarized below, you can see that the average multi-unit residential building has sufficient energy to power at least several charging stations on the existing infrastructure – numbers that may have been exaggerated if theoretical methods were applied – but also numbers that are completely essential to know in order to make informed decisions.

Energy consumption data for an energy capacity study

This partnership with Hydro Quebec, and partnerships that Hydro Quebec is facilitating through these exchanges over energy consumption data, will be key in adding electric vehicles to Quebec roads, which will help achieve greenhouse gas reduction targets, and a much more electrified future. 

Consultants at Murbly are proud to have reached this point and are always there to guide condo owners, boards, apartment renters, and property managers towards clear and accurate information. For all inquiries relating to Murbly please visit the Murbly website or contact the team directly.

Products mentioned in this article


A ton of free resources at your disposal

Not sure where to start to make your building EV Ready? The Murbly platform is designed to help condo owners, managers and boards navigate the process of installing charging stations in their building’s parking spaces.

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