Comment 29097

By arienc (registered) | Posted February 25, 2009 at 15:44:49

I don't believe that owners of older homes will be unfairly punished by the requirement for an energy audit when selling.

Presumably, people prefer older homes in the core because of the added character, higher quality workmanship and materials, and the fact that older neighbourhoods are more walkable and liveable. An energy audit won't change those things.

What it will do is ensure that those homeowners that have done things to boost their home's energy efficiency are rewarded for that effort and expense when they sell. An energy audit is not a pass/fail proposition. Each home is given a number between 0 and 100 reflecting the overall energy usage required for the average family to operate the home. A score of 100 means there is no energy use whatsoever (the house is entirely self-sufficient). An Energy Star home typically scores 80 or higher. Most newer homes score in the mid-70's, and most older homes in the low to mid 60's.

Think of it this way. Many people believe that home staging is a necessary part of the selling process. They spend money and a great deal of time to tidy up clutter and store personal items, bake cookies, put out fresh flowers and gloss over all of the cosmetic issues in the home in hopes that they will get the best selling price possible.

Energy efficiency is far more important to our future prosperity than the cosmetic improvements in homes traditionally considered to add value, and need to have much greater consideration. Why wouldn't applying a good bead of caulk around the windows be just as important as having strategically placed flower vases in the home? If a seller can afford to spend on staging or a new coat of paint, they can certainly afford to provide their home's efficiency rating to all prospective buyers. After rebates, we're talking about $150 here, which should easily be recouped in the sale price if the homeowner has been at all consientious about the energy they use in the home.

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