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The Right to Know: How Home Energy Efficiency Scores Will Transform the Built Environment

On October 21st, 2022 the Connecticut Green Building Council, PACE, and the CT Energy Network hosted a webinar entitled “Energy Transparency: Using Home Energy Labels to Make Smarter Decisions”.  We at PACE (People’s Action for Clean Energy) were excited to co-sponsor this event because energy labeling offers a tested approach to pushing home energy efficiency forward rapidly.

What is “Energy Labeling”? Energy labeling is the process of connecting a building with an energy efficiency score and sharing that score with new buyers and renters. Chase McPherson outlined the two scores that have been adopted in cities:

  • Federal Department of Energy “Home Energy Score” — a 1 to 10 score which can be completed when a building undergoes a Home Energy Solutions Audit

  • Automated Energy Models which connect directly to the information on the tax assessor’s database

Some  key takeaways from the session:

  • In municipalities that have adopted energy labeling as a requirement, people with efficient buildings have realized a premium in their selling price,

  • Alternatively, homes that haven’t adopted an energy efficiency measure continue to sell at market rates,

  • Real estate transactions have not been disrupted,

  • Buyers can use the energy report to implement  energy improvements soon after purchase, AND in some cases can use the mortgage process to finance these upgrades,

  • Without something like labeling, progress on building energy efficiency will not be fast enough to meet state goals,

  • At the national level, realtors are beginning to realize that home efficiency is important to real estate transactions,

  • Connecticut is positioned to become the first state to adopt this simple, inexpensive, and effective means of encouraging energy efficiency and protecting home buyers and renters.

Realtors in Connecticut have pushed against energy labeling, fearing that it will disrupt the market. The speakers at this event have emphatically rebutted that concern! It is exciting to see that the National Association of Realtors is beginning to realize this - and thus will encourage local realtors to embrace the positive power of energy labeling.

We encourage you to review the recording and slides here:

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