For many people, energy efficiency is becoming a significant consideration when buying cars, appliances and other household goods. Whether opting for a new car with the best mileage per gallon or shopping for a new Energy Star certified home appliance, energy-conscious consumers want to make sure that the things they buy are as efficient as possible.
But energy efficiency is still often overlooked in homes. Just because a house has energy-efficient appliances doesn’t mean that the home itself is up to modern energy efficiency standards. The conditions of your furnace, windows and doors may sometimes be responsible for the bulk of your electric bill.
If you are in the market for a new home, would you want to know how energy efficient your house will be before you buy it? Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker thinks that most people would. He recently filed legislation that would require a home energy audit and scorecard as part of the traditional home-selling process. The initiative is meant to reduce greenhouse gases and lower energy costs for Massachusetts residents.
According to the announcement, the audit would include an estimate of the home’s annual energy consumption and the associated costs based on its physical features, including insulation, lighting and heating equipment. The final report will also provide homeowners with recommendations on how they can improve their scores. If approved, beginning on Jan. 1, 2021, the legislation will require homeowners to disclose their energy scorecard when they decide to put their home up for sale.
Once the new system takes effect, Massachusetts will become the first state to require sellers to provide energy scorecards to potential home buyers. Considering that American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy (ACEEE) has ranked Massachusetts number one in the nation for energy efficiency for the last seven years, this is not too surprising.
Where Does Your State Rank in Energy Efficiency?
Check out ACEEE’s interactive map to find out how your state ranks.
Similar initiatives are currently being tested in other cities across the country, including Austin, Texas; Berkeley, California and Portland, Oregon.
However, what seems like good news to homebuyers might pose some concerns to homeowners looking to sell their homes. A home with a low energy efficiency score might have to be priced lower on the real estate market, and energy-saving improvements can be costly.
On the other hand, sellers investing in energy efficiency upgrades can potentially raise the value of their homes while also saving homebuyers money on energy bills in the long run. Massachusetts also plans to introduce additional incentives and rebate programs to help offset the costs of the upgrades.
What This Means for Energy Efficiency Jobs
Overall, despite the potential concerns, this is good news for the energy efficiency job market. As similar legislation continues to spread across other states, the demand for certified energy assessors will likely grow.
If you are interested in learning more about career opportunities in the booming energy efficiency economy, Ecotech Training is here to help. We offer online and in-person training in energy auditing, BPI, and LEED certifications. Request more information or call us at (888) 450-4684.