The City of Bend is considering requiring people who list homes for sale in Bend provide interested buyers with a “home energy score.”
Like a miles-per-gallon rating for cars, a home energy score provides information about how efficiently a home uses energy, which can inform a buyer’s purchasing decision.
The Home Energy Score program would require that homes listed for sale in Bend obtain a home energy assessment.
The homeowner or the listing real estate agent would then be required to present that information to prospective buyers.
“They are looking at the envelope, the insulation, the heating and cooling systems of the house to give you that miles per gallon equivalent for the house,” said Neil Baunsgard, City of Bend Environment and Climate Committee Chair.
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Developing a home energy score program is part of the Bend Community Climate Action Plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
Requiring homes listed for sale to produce an energy score is one of the few ways the city can measure and encourage reduced greenhouse gas emissions from private properties, but not everybody is on board.
“Making it mandatory comes with a risk of increasing home prices which are already a terrible problem in our area,” said Susanna Abrahamson, Central Oregon Association of Realtors Vice Chair. “Then there is a fine of up to $750 attributed to it that, I believe, will be to a seller who does not participate.”
A Home Energy Score would be obtained by hiring a licensed Home Energy Assessor who is authorized to conduct such as assessment.
The cost is determined by the market. In other Oregon cities with similar programs, they cost between $150-$300.
For more information about the home energy score program visit the city of Bend’s website.
There are two upcoming public meetings, July 25 and August 1.
The earliest the city council might consider adopting the home energy score program is likely to be in the fall.