There’s a new bill being proposed in Portland, Oregon, and it’s getting a lot of attention. This bill is intended to help combat climate change, an issue that is currently of major concern. It will address the issue of home energy usage, which currently contributes to approximately 20% of the city’s carbon emissions. The bill will do this by requiring home owners who want to sell their home to have an energy audit and receive a home energy score.
Single family homes would be required to do two things if the bill passes. First, the home must acquire a home energy performance report. This report typically costs between $150 and $200 for the average home. Second, the homeowner will be required to disclose the report to the city of Portland before the home can go on the market. They will also have to disclose the score to any potential home buyers.
The idea is that the energy report will encourage home sellers to make changes to their homes to make them more energy efficient. A contractor will conduct the report, and will also make suggestions to improve the homes energy score. This could also potentially increase the value of the home, since “green” homes can sell for up to 4% more. However, there is no way to know how many households will actually make the improvements.
Will the Energy Score Help?
In theory, this bill sounds great. Anything that addresses climate change is a good step forward. However, will this bill help to solve the problem? Or will it just be another regulation that makes lives more difficult and does little to help?
Only about 2% of single family homes have an energy score. However, home buyers can still have access to the utility costs of the home. Nick Krauter commented on this on KATU news:
“This concept that they are trying to sell, that this is a buyer protection, is a complete fallacy. If you’re a home buyer and you want to know what the energy costs of a home are, you can get the utility costs.”
Nick also made it clear that he wants to combat climate change, but that there are more effective ways to do so. This includes creating incentives for current homeowners (who are not looking to sell) to make changes to their homes to make them more energy efficient.