Portland Home Energy Scores When You Need Them

In Portland, Home Energy Scores are required for all homes listed for sale, starting in 2018. Enhabit is an independent non-profit that has assessed thousands of homes throughout Oregon and Washington since 2010. Our authorized, licensed home energy assessors deliver a federal, state, and city-compliant score and report – conveniently and expertly. Schedule a score assessment by December 31, 2017 for 25% off. Questions? Contact us at (971) 544-8710.

The Enhabit Difference

Fast

Get an appointment when you need it. No-hassle online booking and flexible payment options save you time and worry.

Compliant

Our professional assessor team is fully trained and licensed to deliver City of Portland-compliant scores.

Trusted Experts

We’re mission-driven, skilled and passionate. With thousands of home assessments under our belt, we really know homes.

What Does The Score Measure?

It’s a measure of the home’s energy use and costs, similar to a miles-per-gallon rating on a car. It helps home buyers compare energy costs and performance between homes and provides buyers and sellers with information on money-saving home improvements. The score uses a 1 through 10 scale where a 10 represents the most energy efficient homes. The scale is adjusted for local climate. Get an estimate of your home’s score.

The score will be required for homes listed for sale in Portland, Oregon starting on January 1, 2018. If you’re planning to list a home in 2018, you’ll need to get a score to comply with the requirement. Any homeowner can get a score to learn more about their home’s efficiency, regardless of their intent to sell the home.

Meet Our Team

At Enhabit, people are our greatest asset. Our score assessor team members are motivated by a desire to help people and advance awareness of energy use and conservation. Our authorized, licensed home energy assessors work directly with home sellers, real estate professionals and home buyers.

Peter Kernan

SCORE ADVISOR

Peter joined Enhabit from Leadville, Colorado where he worked with several non-profit organizations to provide energy efficiency services in support of changing how customers generate and use energy. He is certified by the U.S. Department of Energy and the Building Performance Institute and is expertly trained in home performance.

Jaclyn Zusi-Russell

SCORE ASSESSOR

Jaclyn joins Enhabit with a background advocacy for non-profit causes and solar energy. She enjoys working working with people to promote a beneficial relationship with the environment. She’s enthusiastic about home energy scoring as a way to foster greater awareness of energy use and conservation.

Victor Martin Sarmiento

SCORE ASSESSOR

Victor brings diverse range of work experience to Enhabit, having performed duties as a Merchant Marine certified ship captain in Cuba, a carpenter in Spain and construction supervisor in Canada. He enjoys spreading awareness of energy conservation as he works with homeowners to deliver scores.

Daniel Kelley

LEAD HOME PERFORMANCE ADVISOR

Danny is a natural born teacher and brings his skills, curiosity and genuine determination to help homeowners on their projects. Danny enjoys his job because it’s what he practices in his everyday life – getting into the nitty gritty details to solve problems.

Jason Elton

QUALITY SYSTEMS MANAGER

Jason has played a critical role in evolving and implementing building science in Oregon, to the benefit of both contractors and homeowners. His laser focus on quality and superior customer service brings new meaning to “the customer is always right.”

Kyle Chase

HOME PERFORMANCE ADVISOR

Kyle has been a member of the home performance community for more than a decade, with experience in building science, energy modeling, weatherization, and HVAC. He enjoys working towards everyone having a healthy, safe, efficient home.

Get 25% off when you schedule before December 31, 2017.

— OR CALL NOW —
(971) 544-8710
MON-FRI 9:00AM – 5:00PM

More about City of Portland Home Energy Scores

 

For Realtors

Enhabit’s authorized, licensed home energy assessors deliver a city-compliant score and report quickly and efficiently.

For Sellers

Get your required score before listing your home. Enhabit knows homes, with more than 14,000 home energy assessments since 2010.

For Buyers

When house shopping, energy scores can help you make the right choice. After closing, the score can help you choose cost-effective home upgrades.

Realtors: Order Scores Quickly Online

Your clients need fast, compliant 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. Get 25% off when you schedule by December 31, 2017.

 

What is it?

  • 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 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
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 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 score is required PRIOR TO LISTING A HOME PUBLICLY FOR SALE. 

Download info sheet (PDF)

You can find a complete list of authorized authorized City of Portland 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

An official 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 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 score website
    2. www.greenbuildingregistry.com – database housing all Portland scores
    3. www.homescorenow.com – Enhabit’s convenient online 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 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 score requirement, 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 pdxhes.com.

If a home carries the Energy Performance Score (EPS), it is not required to also obtain a 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 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.

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 rules.

In lieu of manually entering the City of Portland 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.

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.’

Get 25% off when you schedule before December 31, 2017.

— OR CALL NOW —
(971) 544-8710
MON-FRI 9:00AM – 5:00PM

Sellers: Get Your Required Score Before Listing Your Home.

In 2018, all home sellers in Portland are required to get a score and share it with prospective buyers on multiple listing services. From delivering a score to helping you get efficiency upgrades to boost your number before listing, Enhabit is a non-profit that’s here to help every step of the way. Get 25% off when you schedule by December 31, 2017.

 

Behind the Score

The score is calculated after an assessment by a certified assessor, like Enhabit.

  • Includes clear, useful information on a home’s energy profile
  • 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)
  • Includes an estimate of annual energy costs
  • For homes scoring 5 or less, recommends cost-effective ways to improve performance

Enhabit has completed more than 14,000 home energy assessments since 2010

Book an Assessment

Choose a day and time that you can be home for the in-home visit from a certified Enhabit assessor. Book Home Score Assessment

Get Your Assessment

Your assessor will spend 45-90 minutes at your home, inspecting features like your insulation, windows and heating system.

Get Your Score

Your Enhabit assessor will provide you with your score number after the assessment is complete. You’ll receive your official score and report by email within 24 hours.

Add Your Score to the Listing

Your home’s score will be added to the Green Building Registry and RMLS. Work with your agent to add the score to other listings where your home is offered for sale. All homes listed on or after January 1, 2018 must include a score with listings.

FAQs for Sellers

We anticipate there will be a range of pricing in the market, settling in around $150 – $250 for assessment and scoring services. It’s important to ask your home energy assessor what is included with pricing.

For $229, an authorized Enhabit home energy assessor will inspect your home and produce a score all in about 90 minutes. Pricing includes the home walk through, infrared imaging to help expedite detection of insulation levels and a City of Portland score and report delivered electronically at the end of the visit (required before listing a home in the City of Portland).

Upon request, Enhabit can also provide a supplemental report for those interested in a more comprehensive set of home upgrade recommendations (not required by City of Portland).

In order to deliver scores in the City of Portland, Home Energy Assessors must be authorized and licensed according to City of Portland Home Energy Score Ordinance requirements.

Enhabit employs 6 home energy assessors. Each is authorized and licensed, with highly specialized training and certification from the Building Performance Institute (BPI). Since 2008, Enhabit has delivered more than 20,000 home energy assessments, giving us a depth of expertise, speed and efficiency when working inside homes. Simply put, we know homes!

An authorized home energy assessor will collect approximately 50 data points within the home’s conditioned space, to deliver a comprehensive picture of energy use – based on the fixed assets of your home. Data includes:

  • Square Footage of conditioned space
  • Age/type of all mechanical systems (heating and cooling systems)
  • Number of bedrooms
    Number and square footage of windows
  • Insulation levels (floors, walls, attic, crawl spaces)

For $229, an authorized Enhabit home energy assessor will inspect your home and produce a score all in about 90 minutes. Pricing includes the home walk through, infrared imaging to help expedite detection of insulation levels and a City of Portland score and report delivered electronically at the end of the visit (required before listing a home in the City of Portland).

Upon request, Enhabit can also provide a supplemental report for those interested in a more comprehensive set of home upgrade recommendations (not required by City of Portland).

Download info sheet, Get the Most From Your Home Energy Score (PDF)

The home scores are determined relative to other homes in the area.  The scale is

set to local conditions, where a 5 is the average home in each location.  So the scores will compare homes in Portland to other homes in Portland.

Of course, when it comes to home efficiency, classic old Portland homes run the gamut, from leaky, high energy users to cozy, efficient abodes that rival the conservation of new homes. Scores reveal hard-to-see differences with stunning clarity. Check out the scores of a few of Portland’s “bungalow” style homes, all similarly sized and built in the early 1900s, with varying levels of efficiency upgrades.

First, you should understand that a below average  score does not mean you have a below average home. The score is simply an indication of where your home is using (or wasting) energy – and where you can make improvements to improve your score and save energy (and money!).

The second page of the home energy report will include a list of recommended improvements to increase your score – and includes a list of cost-effective recommendations to improve a score. The prioritized list of improvements offer the quickest return on investment.

Enhabit can also make recommendations to not only improve the score, but also contribute to savings and comfort.

Energy costs account for the largest unknown expense to operate a home. Clarifying that cost before the sale of a home offers greater understanding and a better way to budget.

Apart from monthly utility savings, energy efficiency upgrades can help mitigate negative health impacts of homes, including mold, allergens, and pests and improve in-home comfort and air quality. Additionally, the less energy used reduces wasted energy resources and carbon emissions.

Studies show that transparency of energy use and cost can mean a higher sale price and a quicker sale. Portland non-profit 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 this information.

The second page of the home energy report will provide a list of cost-effective recommendations to improve a score.  The prioritized list of improvements offer the quickest return on investment.

Enhabit can also make recommendations to not only improve the score, but also contribute to savings and comfort.

Energy efficient homes that score higher than average will likely have these features:

  • Efficient heating, cooling, ventilation systems
  • Properly sealed ducts
  • Improved insulation
  • Tighter construction (envelope)   
  • Efficient water heating
  • Solar electric

If homeowners, sellers or buyers have questions about scoring or improvements, they can always schedule a no-cost phone consult with an Enhabit home advisor to receive custom expert advice on what the score means and recommendations for improving the score, based on individual situations.

Get 25% off when you schedule before December 31, 2017.

— OR CALL NOW —
(971) 544-8710
MON-FRI 9:00AM – 5:00PM

Buyers: Make an Informed Choice. Then Put Your Score to Work.

When house shopping, home scores can help you make the right choice. By looking at the score (on a 1-10 rating) you’ll have certainty about home’s energy use. You’ll also see what upgrades are needed to make the home more efficient, eliminating guesswork so you make your new home efficient and comfortable.

 

While Shopping: Get the Facts.

Most people make decisions when buying a home without much information about how much energy the home is expected to use, how much this will cost them, or which upgrades to make to reduce energy costs. That’s about to change. Effective January 1, 2018, all homes listed for sale in Portland will be required to have scores.

Developed by the U.S. Department of Energy, the score provides home buyers with directly comparable and credible information about a home’s energy use. Like a miles-per-gallon rating for a car, the score is based on a standard assessment so you can compare energy use of different homes you’re considering.

Example Home Comparison

Knowing 10 year energy costs, which home would you choose?

 

House #1
NE 71st Ave.

House #2
NE 80th Ave.

House #3
SE 74th Ave.

Year Built

1922

1913

1912

Size (sq ft)

1,383

1,270

1,320

Annual  energy cost

$1,000

$1,686

$1,947

Home energy score

6

3

1

10-year energy cost

$10,000

$16,860

$19,147

FAQs for Home Buyers

It’s 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. Once an authorized energy assessor completes the scoring process they issue a Home Energy Report that estimates the energy-related use, associated costs, and cost-effective solutions to improve the home’s efficiency.

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 in the City of Portland PRIOR TO LISTING A HOME PUBLICLY FOR SALE.

Beginning 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.

A home energy score at the time of listing will help homebuyers, sellers and owners have access to energy efficiency information that is credible and easy to understand.

It allows new home buyers to have insight into the FULL COSTS of owning a home (not just monthly PITI – principal, interest, taxes, and insurance.)

The program also supports City of Portland’s Climate Action Plan to help reduce carbon emissions.

  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

The home scores are determined relative to other homes in the area.  The scale is set to local conditions, where a 5 is the average home in each location.  So the scores will compare homes in Portland to other homes in Portland.

Of course, when it comes to home efficiency, classic old Portland homes run the gamut, from leaky, high energy users to cozy, efficient abodes that rival the conservation of new homes. Scores reveal hard-to-see differences with stunning clarity. Check out the scores of a few of Portland’s “bungalow” style homes, all similarly sized and built in the early 1900s, with varying levels of efficiency upgrades.

Enhabit’s team of authorized and certified building science experts have conducted thousands of assessments over the years and have seen a range of upgrades to improve the energy efficiency, comfort, health and safety of homes.

These cost-effective investments can not only improve the home energy score, but also boosts comfort, lower utility bills, enhance a home’s resale value and many come with utility incentives.

Insulation: Air sealing and insulation reduce heat loss and offer the most comfort for the cost.

Energy-efficient windows: Hot and cold air escaping through windows can boost your energy bill. Keep a home warm or cool with highly insulated windows, storm windows or interior window inserts.

Duct sealing: Sealing the ducts that run through attics, crawlspaces and garages can cut energy waste and heating costs by 20 to 30 percent.

Water heaters: Heating water accounts for 15 percent of a home’s energy use. A more efficient water heater will save money and energy.

Heating and cooling: A high-performance system can make a big difference, especially if the existing system is more than 15 years old or powered by oil.

Smart thermostats: Highly programmable, some even adjust the temperature automatically based on your habits, lowering energy use.

Download info sheet, Boost Your Score (PDF)

After Closing: Do Cost-Effective Home Performance Upgrades

The home energy score and report provided by your home’s previous owner offer valuable information to help you make important energy-saving upgrades. Your utility bills will be lower, and your home will be more attractive to buyers down the road. Enhabit’s certified building science experts are your trusted partners for home energy improvements big and small. Whether your home’s energy score is a 1 or a 10, we’re here to help transform your home into a better place to live.

From windows to thermostats, opportunities abound to improve how your new home performs. These cost-effective investments can boost comfort, lower utility bills, enhance your home’s resale value and many come with utility incentives.

 

Insulation

Air sealing and insulation reduce heat loss and offer the most comfort for the cost.

 

Duct sealing

Sealing the ducts that run through attics, crawlspaces and garages can cut energy waste and heating costs by 20 to 30 percent.

 

Energy-efficient windows

Hot and cold air escaping through windows can boost your energy bill. Keep your home warm or cool with highly insulated windows, storm windows or interior window inserts.

 

Water heaters

Heating water accounts for 15 percent of a home’s energy use. A more efficient water heater will save you money and energy.

 

Heating and cooling

A high-performance system can make a big difference, especially if yours is more than 15 years old or powered by oil.

 

Smart thermostats

Highly programmable, some even adjust the temperature automatically based on your habits, lowering energy use.

 

THE ENHABIT DIFFERENCE

Ready to get started? We’ll work with you to recommend cost-effective upgrades, design home performance projects, connect you with qualified contractors and more.

Reach out today to take the first step toward a more comfortable, efficient home.

It's nice to have a system now that gives me a benchmark for measuring it against other homes. I'm very pleased with my score. I hope to continue improving the energy efficiency of my home so I can get my score up even more.

Lourdes Gonzalez

Buyers: Learn More About Home Energy Improvement Options

— OR CALL NOW —
(855) 870-0049
MON-FRI 9:00AM – 5:00PM