Did you know that starting in 2018 all sellers in the City of Portland will be required to complete a professional energy audit before listing their home? The Portland City Council unanimously adopted the home energy score ordinance (Portland City Code Chapter 17.108) on December 14, 2016, and it will take effect on January 1, 2018. With the initiation of this program, Portland is once again leading the nation towards responsible and sustainable living practices.
What is a Home Energy Score?
A Home Energy Score is a market-based solution for conveying previously unknown but critical information to both buyers and sellers of homes. Similar to miles per gallon on a car, the HES is a measure of a home’s energy use and costs. When homeowners invest in improving the energy efficiency of their homes, those costs may be recouped as scores translate into a value that can be recognized by the market.
Beyond lower energy bills and greater housing affordability, energy-efficient homes are more comfortable and livable. The indoor air quality of these homes is often better, leading to healthier habitats. Home energy scores offer consumers a measure of calculation and protection when making one of the biggest financial investments of their lives.
Benefits for owners:
- Shows the best ways to invest money in energy-saving home improvements
Benefits for Buyers:
- Better insight into the true costs of owning a home
- Ability to compare energy costs and performance between homes
- Knowledge of potential home improvements in advance of purchase
- Access to additional mortgage products
Benefits for Sellers:
- Recoup investments in energy efficiency upgrades at time of sale
The Portland Home Energy Score program will begin on January 1, 2018. The ordinance requires sellers of single-family homes to:
- Obtain a home energy report, including a home energy score, from a licensed home energy assessor
- Provide a copy of the home energy score to the listing real estate agent
- Include the energy score in any real estate listing
- Provide a copy of the performance report to prospective buyers who visit the home while the listing is active
- Provide a copy of the performance report to the City of Portland
Since this will be a new requirement in 2018, there may be some growing pains associated with launching the program. If you are planning to sell in the new year we would suggest booking your audit a couple months before you plan to list your home to ensure that you do not run into any delays when you are ready to hit the market.