Home Energy Scores Are Coming


A new and interesting step in selling your Portland home is coming next month. The Home Energy Audit is intended to let buyers compare homes more accurately. 

As of January 1, 2018, the City of Portland will require that all homes within the city limits attain a home energy score from a qualified home energy assessor prior to going on the market. Similar to how miles per gallon can quickly convey how efficient a car is, a home energy score is intended to let potential buyers know how efficient a home is.

The Home Energy Score is a measurement of the energy efficiency of a home based on an onsite evaluation of the physical characteristics of the house. A Home Energy Score is not a measurement of the household's actual energy usage, which is influenced by occupant behavior. 

If your home scores a 5, it is expected to perform comparably to an average home in Portland in terms of energy use. If your home scores a 10, it ranks among the 10 percent of homes expected to use the least amount of energy. A home scoring a 1 is estimated to consume more energy each year than 85 percent of homes.

Scoring a 1 does not mean your home is poorly built. A beautiful home with up-to-date equipment can still get a low score if the square footage is high or if there is insufficient insulation. A low score just means there is significant room for improvement to reduce a home’s energy use. Scoring a 10 does not mean your home cannot improve. Even a home that uses less energy than most of its peers may benefit from additional energy efficiency or renewable energy investments. 

During a home energy assessment, the home's heating and cooling equipment, ductwork, water heater, insulation, windows and roofing are examined and collected data is entered into a program. A score of 1-10 is generated for the home in question, as well as recommended improvements that can raise the home's score and increase efficiency. The assessment is not destructive or invasive. 

There are several inspectors who have been certified, and I've seen costs ranging from $150-200. That's not bad compared to a pre-listing home inspection ($400-600). If you have any questions about selling your home, or obtaining an audit, please don't hesitate to reach out to me!