This article was contributed by Austin Energy, an ABoR affiliate member, and was previously published in the Sept/Oct 2015 issue of Austin REALTOR®.
Are you representing a buyer or seller of an older home?
For homes more than 10 years old within the Austin city limits served by Austin Energy, real estate transactions now include a comprehensive home energy audit as directed by the Energy Conservation Audit and Disclosure (ECAD) ordinance.
Due to the collective community emphasis on helping the environment, this City of Austin ordinance simply indicates the responsibility of sellers to disclose home energy audit details to buyers, without requiring related improvements. While certain exclusions apply, the ECAD audit typically happens at the time of home sale.
To comply with the ordinance, sellers work with certified energy professionals to conduct the ECAD home energy audit, which requires specialized equipment and testing. Sellers pay for the audit, which includes assessing the efficiency of air infiltration, ductwork, attic insulation, windows, weatherization, heating and cooling. Per the ordinance, this information then goes to homebuyers and to Austin Energy.
Since the MLS now includes “Green MLS” listings, savvy agents recognize that the energy efficiency features identified through the ECAD audit contribute to this green listing. The ECAD ordinance benefits all sides of a real estate transaction:
- HOME SELLERS Energy efficiency measures make a house more distinct and attractive in the competitive real estate marketplace while increasing home value.
- HOME BUYERS Audit results reveal potentially hidden energy costs associated with home comfort, operation and maintenance to clarify the full cost of home ownership.
- REAL ESTATE AGENTS Real estate professionals familiar with the ECAD ordinance can expertly guide buyers and sellers through the details of the energy audit requirements, benefits, and timing.
Throughout the community, Austin Energy customers armed with ECAD audit results often choose to benefit from improving home energy efficiency, which helps save energy and money while increasing comfort and indoor air quality. Homeowners who make energy efficiency improvements through Austin Energy’s Home Performance with ENERGY STAR® program can benefit from helpful rebates while remaining ECAD-compliant for a period of 10 years, saving up to 20 percent on monthly energy bills.
Visit austinenergy.com/go/ECAD to become an expert on the Energy Conservation Audit and Disclosure ordinance and available Austin Energy rebate programs.