A.P. from Fairfield County, Connecticut writes:
Dear Mister Condo,
After the recent tropical storm, the condo complex was left without power for over 5 days. Many of the owners have inquired about installing natural gas generators as each unit has its own natural gas line. Where can I find guidance on what is allowed when it comes to energy source alternatives in Fairfield County, CT. Thank you.
Mister Condo replies:
A.P., the condo association itself would set the rules about the use of generators. Generac and similar companies and their contractors would let you know about the viability and local code regarding such an installation. My primary concern would be where would you place these generators? Most condos don’t have a lot of space for such large equipment. My second concern would be safety and liability for the association residents and guests. In addition to electric shock concerns, there is the possibility of injury that the association insurance may not cover. You will definitely want to speak with your insurance underwriter before taking on such a project. You should also speak with your association attorney to see how your governing documents would have to be modified if this plan were to progress. I am guessing you would need to allocate common area to individual unit owners and also liability and maintenance in perpetuity (not as easy as it sounds) to current and future owners. Honestly, I would be quite surprised if you were able to pull this off. Yes, it was difficult to get through 5 days without power. However, the units were built and sold as is and there really shouldn’t be any expectation that power generators be allowed in the association. That just isn’t a common or typical amenity at condominiums that are rarely left without power because of a tropical storm. All the best!