Quick, Online Home Energy Score Ordering for Your Clients

Your clients need fast, compliant home energy scores to meet new City of Portland listing requirements. With more than 14,000 assessments completed to date, our expert staff and investment in efficient score scheduling and delivery make the process seamless for realtors and homeowners.

What is a Home Energy Score?

  • Generated by a certified home assessor (like Enhabit)
  • Includes clear, useful information on a home’s energy profile and estimated energy costs
  • Based on physical characteristics of a home—not a homeowner’s energy use
  • Ranks home on a 1–10 scale (5 represents the average Portland home, 10 represents the most energy-efficient home)
  • Recommends cost-effective improvements (for homes scoring 5 or less)

City of Portland Requirements

  • A score is required for most single-family homes and townhomes listed publicly for sale.
  • Choose an authorized, licensed home energy assessor
  • Obtain score prior to listing
  • Prior to listing: Upload report to RMLS and other services where you advertise the home
  • Show report to prospective buyers who visit the home

Benefits for Buyers

  • No surprises—they know what they’re purchasing
  • Helps predict future utility and energy expenses
  • Takes the guesswork out of future repairs
  • Supplements the home inspection with an assessment of energy performance

Benefits for Sellers

  • Listing home energy costs helps yield a higher sale price and a quicker sale
  • Quantifies efficiency and performance with a measurable score
  • Gives sellers (and future buyers) cost-effective ways to improve the home

Higher Price, Faster Sale

Studies show that transparency can mean a higher sale price and a quicker sale. Earth Advantage found that when sellers listed their home energy costs—even if costs were high—their homes sold at 3–5 percent more and spent 18 fewer days on the market compared with homes that did not disclose.

How to Interpret a Score

 

The City of Portland Home Energy Score uses a 1–10 scale. The average Portland home will score a 5 and the most efficient home will score a 10. Older and larger homes with few energy saving improvements can be expected to score below average. However, older homes that have had energy efficient upgrades can score higher, even up to a 10.

A home’s score can change when energy saving improvements are made to the home. The score shows buyers and sellers where there are opportunities to make energy-reducing improvements, such as:

  • Efficient heating, cooling, ventilation
  • Duct sealing
  • Insulation
  • Tighter construction (envelope)
  • Efficient water heating
  • Solar electric
Home Energy Score Realtor FAQs

BEGINNING ON JANUARY 1, 2018, sellers of single-family homes in Portland, Oregon are required to obtain and disclose a Home Energy Report estimating the energy-related use, associated costs, and cost-effective solutions to improve the home’s efficiency.

The home energy score is a 1-10 rating that is based on physical characteristics of the home, and allows comparison of different homes on an apples-to–apples basis.

Think of the score like a miles-per-gallon or ‘nutritional label’ – it gives you details about a home’s estimated energy use, based on the physical characteristics of the home, and its systems (heating, cooling, etc.) – helping you plan for one of the largest unexpected costs of operating a home.

The Portland Home Energy Score is required PRIOR TO LISTING A HOME PUBLICLY FOR SALE.

You can find a complete list of authorized authorized City of Portland Home Energy Score program assessors here.  You or your client can schedule the home energy assessment: an assessor will complete a home walk-through, collecting about 50 different data points, input them into a US DOE standardized software tool and calculate the home’s energy score.

The tool assumes average behavior of home occupants and average weather for the climate zone where the home is located.

The energy estimate results in a score based on a 1 to 10 scale.

‘1’ = a home that uses a lot of energy

‘10’ = a home that uses very little energy

  1. The score
  2. Estimated energy costs, based on home attributes, not current occupant habits
  3. Score slider on a 1-10 scale, where 10 is the most efficient house
  4. Likely energy use by gas, electric and other sources
  5. Carbon footprint
  6. Home details
  7. Assessor details

  1. Estimated energy savings with recommended improvements
  2. Estimated carbon reduction with improvements
  3. List of cost-effective energy saving improvements

A Home Energy Score is good for eight years unless you make improvements that change the mechanical systems, energy efficiency or square footage of the home.

If you want to re-use the home energy report in a new real estate listing after two years from the initial assessment date – you’ll need to download a new report to reflect the most current energy rates and carbon emissions ( used in calculating the home’s estimated energy costs and carbon footprint).

Reissuing a home energy report does not require a new in-home assessment. Simply download an updated home energy report, at no additional cost, from the  Green Building Registry.

We at Enhabit understand the pivotal role of today’s real estate professional in providing trusted and influential guidance that affects the largest investment that most of us will ever make: our homes.

We also recognize the pressure to accommodate various rules, regulations and market trends – and want to support your efforts to help your clients understand the ins-and-outs of the home energy scoring process and which home energy upgrades can deliver the most value.

We recommend 4 tips to help you help your clients

  1. Schedule a class with Enhabit.  We will visit your office for a one hour presentation to answer key questions and provide updates on the Portland Home Energy Score Program, and what we’re seeing with energy efficiency upgrades.
  2. Send your clients to an Enhabit Home Advisor for a free phone consult.  Enhabit has worked with thousands of homeowners, assessing homes for energy improvements, and can offer relevant information and tips to help home sellers prepare their homes for the assessment and scoring.  
  3. Download free information materials to help your clients understand what to expect from a home energy assessment and score [links to PDFs + Lourdes video]
  4. Bookmark these important URLs
    1. www.pdxhes.com – the City of Portland official Home Energy Score website
    2. www.greenbuildingregistry.com – database housing all Portland Home Energy Scores
    3. www.homescorenow.com – Enhabit’s convenient online home energy score scheduling system
    4. www.energytrust.org – information on incentives, contractors and more

The City of Portland requires the owner/seller of a single family home to get a home energy report and score, if the home is:

  • Located within the Portland jurisdictional boundary.
  • Detached single-dwelling unit on its own lot.
  • Attached, such as a row house, duplex, condominium or a townhouse, regardless of whether or not the unit is on its own lot.

Housing types NOT required to comply with the City of Portland Home Energy Score Program:

  • Manufactured homes.
  • Mobile homes.
  • Multiple housing units that are vertically stacked, such as two-story fourplex or an apartment building.
  • Detached accessory dwelling units.
  • Single-dwelling units used primarily for commercial purposes.

Yes, there are exemptions to the Portland Home Energy score, most dealing with areas of legal or financial distress of the property.  Some examples include

  • A foreclosure sale
  • A trustee’s sale
  • A deed-in-lieu of foreclosure
  • Any pre-foreclosure sale that is less than owed on mortgage

For a full list of exemptions and how to apply for one, visit the City of Portland’s website and administrative rules here.

In 2018, The City of Portland will cover the cost of an assessment for income-qualified home sellers.  More information and an application to apply for a free home energy assessment is available at www.pdxhes.com.

If a home carries the Energy Performance Score (EPS), it is not required to also obtain a City of Portland Home Energy Score and report.  EPS rated homes are built with energy-saving features such as advanced framing, duct sealing, high-performance windows and insulation, energy-efficient appliances, heating and cooling equipment and more.  Learn more about EPS at Energy Trust of Oregon.

All other new homes follow the same requirements listed in the City of Portland Home Energy Program rules.

The home energy report should be readily available and accessible to any prospective buyer that is shopping for homes in the Portland real-estate market. The home energy score (the number from 1 to 10) must be included in listings generated by the Regional Multiple Listings Service (RMLS) or in postings on real-estate advertising services like Redfin, Zillow, Trulia and any other third-party services used to advertise the property.

The home energy report must be made available to prospective home buyers who visit a home that is on the market.  As an example – sellers can place printed copies of the home energy report during open houses – in plain sight of buyers walking through the home.

Home Energy Scores will also be available to the general public through the Green Building Registry, an online database managed by Portland-based non profit Earth Advantage.

RMLS is developing the ability for the City of Portland Home Energy Scores to be entered into listings in a one-step process.

This automated data transfer process will reduce the steps required for real estate professionals and make it simpler to comply with the City of Portland’s Home Energy Score rules.

In lieu of manually entering the City of Portland Home Energy Score into the HES field in the RMLSGreen / Energy Supplement Form and then uploading a pdf copy of the City of Portland Home Energy Report, users will instead be prompted to allow the home energy information to be auto-populated into the listing. A URL link to the home energy report will be provided as part of this automated process.

If the home undergoes improvements and is re-issued a new score, then the new report will automatically become available on the URL link.

To view the complete City of Portland policy on compliance, visit www.pdxhes.com.

These non compliance rules pertain to the building owner, not the realtor.

The City of Portland policy says, ‘Upon the first violation, the [Bureau of Planning and Sustainability] Director may issue a written warning notice to the entity or person, describing the violation and steps required to comply.

If the violation is not remedied within 90 days after issue of written warning notice, the Director may assess a civil penalty of up to $500. For every subsequent 180-day period during which the violation continues, the Director may assess additional civil penalties of up to $500.’

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