Thursday, December 14, 2017

Home energy scores, part two

It is still early days for Portland's home energy scoring program, taking effect January 1, 2018.  To be in compliance, homeowners planning to sell early in the year are getting the homes scored now.  There are sure to be some bumps along the way.

Here are a few random facts, ideas and thoughts.

Square footage: The home energy score is looking at conditioned space.  That is, within the thermal boundaries where there are dedicated heat sources.  Square footage in property listings includes ALL space, finished or unfinished, heated or unheated.  There will be discrepancies between the square footage listed in the RMLS and that on the home energy score.  This okay and expected.  these differences do not have to be reconciled, but are sure to drive some folks crazy.

Bedrooms:  Similarly, what it takes to consider a room a bedroom varies.  A newly permitted bedroom through the city is probably the highest standard.  Bedrooms, listed in the multiple listing service vary a lot; attics with super steep stairs and very little headroom, basement bedrooms without sufficient fire egress, a loft etc.  For the purposes of the energy scores, the certified evaluators are given some license.  If a room is being used as a bedroom, but doesn't fit the rigorous criteria of the city, for purposes of the score, it may be considered a bedroom. But...even if  the energy scorer calls it a bedroom, it may not be a bedroom for purposes of selling.  This too may drive some people crazy.

ADUs: In obtaining a home energy score for a home with a detached ADU, only the actual house need be evaluated.  The ADU does not need its own score.

Outside of Portland: The certified evaluators can do assessments and provide home energy scores outside of Portland, though this is not required.  If done, the scoring will be done using the Department of Energy's scoring rubric, not the City of Portland program,  They are quite similar.

That is it for now.  There is sure to be more information on this program as it comes into use.

If you have questions on home energy scoring, please feel free to contact me.  I've made a point to educate myself and may be able to help.  503-312-8038.

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