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12/7/16 Mandated Home Energy Scores in Portland

12/7/16 Mandated Home Energy Scores in Portland

Update for Portland Landlords

Mandated Home Energy Scores in Portland

What it is:

Last week the Portland City Council held a public hearing regarding an innovative proposal to require sellers to obtain a Home Energy Score whenever they sell their homes in Portland. The idea behind the proposal is to provide home buyers with information regarding the energy efficiency of homes before purchasing. Home sellers would have to pay roughly $150 to $250 to hire a certified contractor to do a home visit, estimated to take about an hour. Homes are rated on a scale of 1 to 10, and the inspector’s report would suggest energy saving improvements. Results would be available in a publicly accessible database.  

Why it’s important:

Critics say that the mandate is costly and intrusive, burdening to the seller with having to pay for the same information available through a home inspection.  Realtors are concerned that Portland’s stock of older homes can’t compete favorably on the energy front when compared with newer homes that are built to a higher standard.  A final city council vote on the policy will take place on Dec 7th.  If passed, this will put pressure on homeowners to make improvements but will reduce carbon emissions from buildings.  In terms of rental properties, consider the initial costs of improvements and estimate your break-even point.  Some improvements may make your properties more marketable to potential tenants, or may even enable you to charge higher rents.  If you are considering updates to your properties, our experienced contractors, property managers, and leasing manager can make recommendations for you! 

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