Portland to begin requiring energy scores for homes before they hit the market


The housing market in Portland has skyrocketed in the last few years, and now home sellers will have one more step to take before putting a property on the market, all to help the environment.

The city of Portland will soon be requiring sellers of single-family homes to have an energy score ranging from 1 to 10.

The City Council unanimously adopted the policy as part of the city's climate action plan, which includes a goal to reduce carbon emissions by 80 percent by 2050 compared to levels from 1990.

Sellers will need to hire a licensed certified company to get the inspection done. The inspector will look at the building itself, the insulation, the water heater and heating and cooling systems, but they won’t consider things like appliances.

When an owner goes to list or post about the home, the energy score must be included.

Jonathan Wrobel owns local company Portland Home Energy Score, and he told FOX 12 Portland is the first city in the nation to require this test be done before the home is even listed.

“If you think of it, it's like miles per gallon in a car you go to purchase a car. You can see that a certain car has certain miles per gallon, maybe 50, maybe 20,” he explained. “It's very similar in buying a house. The energy use of buying a home is something that many people want to know in the total cost of owning a home.”

Wrobel said some of the easiest, least expensive things property owners can do to raise their energy scores includes adding insulation to attics or crawl spaces, adding that having a good attic hatch should be part of that plan.

The U.S. Department of Energy came up with the scoring. Wrobel said there is no good or bad score, it just depends on the buyer, and with the score, homeowners will also receive improvement ideas to help raise it to reduce their energy.

He noted that the inspection takes about an hour and a half and runs about $250 to $300, depending on how big a home is or the company performing the inspection.

Wrobel said the idea is to save money in the long run and reduce carbon footprints while not scaring people by adding an extra step to selling their home.

The new ordinance goes into effect on January 1.

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