Recently, the City of Portland passed an ordinance which requires all homes located within city limits to undergo a Home Energy Score (HES) assessment before being listed for sale. The ordinance went into effect at the beginning of January, and this has raised a number of questions for Portland area realtors. As certified City of Portland HES assessors, we get asked a lot of these questions. Here is an in-depth look at the six most common questions we hear from realtors.
1. What Is a City of Portland Home Energy Score?
The City of Portland Home Energy Score is a score that represents a home’s overall energy efficiency. The score is based on factors such as its square footage, heating, and cooling systems, hot water system, insulation, and windows. A score of 1 indicates low energy efficiency, while a score of 10 means a home is extremely energy efficient. Along with the Home Energy Score, HES reports include a list of recommended upgrades for improving home energy efficiency.
2. What is the purpose of the new ordinance?
The purpose of the new ordinance is to make more information about home energy efficiency available to home buyers. Homeowners and home sellers are not required to complete the recommended upgrades listed in the HES report; the information must simply be made available to prospective buyers. Still, the ordinance does encourage homeowners to make home upgrades which increase home resale value by improving energy efficiency and reducing carbon emissions.
3. Do new construction homes in Portland need a Home Energy Score?
Yes, all homes located in the City of Portland must get a Home Energy Score before being listed for sale. However, new construction Energy Performance Score (EPS) homes may use an Energy Performance Score in place of a Home Energy Score as long as the home has not been occupied.
4. Does an ADU (accessory dwelling unit) require a separate Home Energy Score?
ADUs that are part of the primary residence will automatically be captured in the home performance energy assessment, which is based on all the rooms within the outer envelope of the home. Detached ADUs will not be covered by this policy.
5. Do I need more than one Home Energy Score for a duplex?
Yes — if the duplex has separate addresses and individual meters.
6. Can a City of Portland Home Energy Score get delayed?
Yes — here are a few reasons:
- New construction: The new address is not registered with the City of Portland Green Building Registry.
- Townhomes: Townhomes must be manually registered by the City of Portland Green Building Registry.
- Duplexes: Duplexes must be manually registered by the City of Portland Green Building Registry.
We understand that navigating the new changes around the City of Portland Home Energy Score can be difficult. As certified experts who offer City of Portland HES assessments with rapid turnaround, we’re here to help. If you are a realtor here in Portland, don’t hesitate to reach out with any questions you may have.