'Energy hog' older homes push down ratings in Portland, Oregon's new energy-saving mandate. These homeowners were among the first to obtain a Home Energy Score on their house and were surprised that their home wasn't as energy efficient as they thought.

Portland has led the nation with environmental initiatives to cut carbon emissions and promote recycling and bicycling, but old homes aren't exactly on board with this whole "green" thing.

The city of Portland and the nonprofit Enhabit recently released data about the first Home Energy Scores since Portland made the energy reports mandatory in January before a home may be offered for sale. Early numbers reveal that housing stock's energy efficiency is only so-so.

Read the entire story in the Portland Tribune

Views: 141

Reply to This

Replies to This Discussion

From the article: "Lynae Forbes, president and principal broker at Hasson Company Realtors, said her industry is still facing some challenges with the new mandate. From what she's heard from her brokers, large houses are prone to low scores. Although it's not really affecting the value of the homes, the score is sometimes used by buyers as a negotiating tool after home inspections — something Realtors feared before the mandate went into effect."  

That's part of the point of doing this!  

John, I agree we need to have a way to capitalize EE values, but shouldn't that be by comparing consumption to the norm instead of using arbitrary "asset" values that don't correlate back to clearly definable counterfactual cash flows? 

Portland program:

  1. Expensive trips and inspections.

  2. No blower door tests.

  3. No correlation to actual energy use.

  4. Not a market lubricant - Valuation harms frustrating Realtors and slowing transactions (while transparency of energy use in Chicago speeds transactions and increases values)

People buy based upon budgets. There is unrecognized capital value in the reduced monthly operating liability of better homes. Shouldn't we be trying to unlock THAT value instead of saying "this house is bad, pay less for it"...?

Hopefully calculators like ours will help people understand how homes compare to averages - which is how markets truly determine value (not by someone arbitrarily putting a smiley or frowny face on some esoteric report).

Step on our scale - Is your home fit or fat?

I conduct Home Energy Scores in Berkeley and we are averaging a score of 5 or so, as it should be.  Interestingly, here they allow the seller the option of deferring the score to the buyer, and almost all do.  Gets them off the hook for having the HES used as a negotiating tool.  However, this does allow the buyers to at least be part of the process and learn more about their new home as opposed to seeing the report buried somewhere in the rush of pre-sale paperwork. We take the time to sit down and educate them as much as they are willing to be. They're annoyed to have to pay for another inspection, but we at least try to minimize the pain by giving them a reasonable roadmap to improvements based on budget, usage, etc. I don't need a blower door test to tell them their 40 year old furnace, single-paned windows and lack of attic insulation are making the home less efficient than it can be.

It should also be noted that the HES is not meant to be correlated to actual energy use - it's simply a method to quantify the basic energy efficiency of the structure. Think MPG in vehicles - the standard measure of fuel efficiency. You can drive 1,000 miles a year or 10,000 miles - that's up to you and your cost to operate that vehicle will change accordingly.  However, it doesn't change the fact that your car is built to get ## mpg either way.  The HES is an attempt - not perfect but at least a start - to slap a MPG label on the home.  One owner of an uninsulated home may set the thermostat to 80 and another may set it to 60.  But either way it's still an inefficient house, regardless of what the utility bills say.  Also, a Hummer will never be as efficient as a Prius.  Owners of larger homes should be aware that their homes are not going to be (with some exceptions like solar) as efficient as smaller ones.

One concern I do have is that it is my understanding that the HES is normalized to local conditions, which would mean that regardless of the city using it, the average score should always be a 5. And that a 5 in Portland can't be compared to a 5 in Berkeley (or Phoenix) because of differences in climate, etc.  If Portland is seeing an average score of 4 with this big of a data set,  there may be something wrong with the underlying assumptions and calculations that go into the score.

So people pay you for this:

"I don't need a blower door test to tell them their 40 year old furnace, single-paned windows and lack of attic insulation are making the home less efficient than it can be."

How does that do them any good? What does an arbitrary label of this is "an efficient house" or "this is an inefficient house" accomplish?

Put yourself in the buyer's shoes, what do you do with that information? 

RSS

Latest Activity

Profile IconJohn Walter and Eric Rabesa joined Home Energy Pros Forum
4 hours ago
William Collins posted a video

The Foam Sealants Kit " Bead or Spray"

Now you can apply foam sealant as a " bead " or a " spray " with the Foam Sealants Kit. When using a 16lb Canister of Black Sealant you can easily go from us...
9 hours ago
Profile IconSean Wiens and Armando Cobo joined Don Fugler's group
Thumbnail

Kitchen Ventilation

In many homes, cooking is the largest indoor source of air pollutants. Exposures can be higher in…See More
10 hours ago
Julie Saporito posted a blog post
11 hours ago
Brennan Less replied to Linda Wigington's discussion Good Eating with Reduced Cooking Emissions in the group Kitchen Ventilation
"Cook outside, as much as you can, and close your doors/windows while you do it ;) "
11 hours ago
Ethan Foley joined Bob Krell's group
Thumbnail

Healthy Indoors (IAQ)

The Healthy Indoors group is focused on indoor air quality (IAQ), mold, moisture control, radon,…See More
11 hours ago
Shane S posted a photo
20 hours ago
Al Tibbs posted photos
yesterday
Al Tibbs commented on Eric Aune's photo
Thumbnail

IMG00173-20100805-1030

"Always remind customer to make sure to mark out location of piping before covering!! The infrared…"
yesterday
Al Tibbs commented on Eric Aune's photo
yesterday
Joe is now a member of Home Energy Pros Forum
yesterday
Liam Smith replied to Silas Inman's discussion Best Energy Myths
"Yes incandescent bulb are very heat productive. Instead of that use LED bulb which are energy…"
yesterday
Kelly Vaughn's blog post was featured

How Cities Can Ensure Better Rentals for Everyone

By Alisa PetersenWhile much of RMI’s research and analysis on home energy performance has focused…See More
yesterday
Brett Little's event was featured

Resilient Design in an Age of Climate Change - Free CE Webinar at Webinar Online

May 30, 2018 from 12pm to 1:15pm
A changing climate, sea level rise, drought, and a wide range of stresses in the world are…See More
yesterday
Cody Farmer liked Jim Gunshinan's blog post Highlights from the 2018 HPC National Home Performance Conference in Philadelphia
yesterday
Rick Barker is now a member of Home Energy Pros Forum
Tuesday
David Keefe's video was featured

A Climate Report From The Field - Keefe

"A Climate Report from the Field" by David Keefe. Part of a TED-inspired evening session at the HPC Home Performance Conference, Philadelphia PA, April 25, 2018
Tuesday
Bob Krell's video was featured

Carbon Monoxide Webinar with Bill Spohn - Healthy Indoors Show- Special Live Edition 4-16-18

Guest Bill Spohn, of Tru Tech Tools, joins host Bob Krell, to discuss Carbon Monoxide (CO) in the indoor environment. This show is a recording of a live webinar event on April 16, 2018.
Tuesday
David Keefe posted a video

A Climate Report From The Field - Keefe

"A Climate Report from the Field" by David Keefe. Part of a TED-inspired evening session at the HPC Home Performance Conference, Philadelphia PA, April 25, 2018
Tuesday
John White posted a blog post

What to Expect from a New HVAC Unit Installation Cost

The cost of installing an HVAC unit, such as an air conditioner installation in Laguna Hills, will…See More
Tuesday

Photos

  • Add Photos
  • View All

© 2018   Created by Home Performance Coalition (HPC)   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service