As of July 1st, 2023, Bend has implemented a mandatory Home Energy Score (HES) program for homes publicly listed for sale. This program aims to provide potential buyers with information about a home’s energy consumption. However, the prospect of receiving a low HES score may cause anxiety for Bend residents planning to sell and their real estate agents. So, here are five things to remember if your Bend home gets a low Home Energy Score:
- Acknowledge that many homes get a low score and still sell for a good price: Just like how large SUVs may have low fuel efficiency but still sell for a premium, a low Home Energy Score doesn’t necessarily mean your home won’t sell well. Buying a home is a complex decision that involves various factors, and energy consumption may not be the top priority for most buyers of your home.
- Understand that context matters: Your low Home Energy Score may be reasonable considering the age or size of your home. For example, larger homes tend to use more energy and may score lower. Similarly, older homes built before higher insulation requirements may have lower scores. If you hear that a vehicle gets 30 MPG, you might think that is a bad rating, but then if you hear that vehicle is a bus, you might realize that 30 MPG is good for a bus. Understanding the context of your Home Energy Score can help alleviate anxiety about a low score.
- Avoid shopping for a better score: It’s important to note that all Home Energy Assessors, using the same information about your home, should score it similarly. Seeking a second opinion may only cost you more and trigger a quality assurance review of the first score. If you have concerns about your score, present them to the assessor, and if needed, reach out to Earth Advantage email@example.com , who oversees the Home Energy Score program quality, training, and licensing. At A Quality Measurement we have performed over 4,000 scores and we are happy to help if you have any questions or concerns about a low score or the program in general. Just contact us.
- Look at recommended improvements: Your Home Energy Score report will likely include recommended improvements that can pay back within ten years. It’s important to review these recommendations and consider making small improvements that can significantly impact your score. A low score today may be easily improved with a few simple fixes, making your home more appealing to potential buyers. As a buyer, I would rather a home with a low score that can be easily improved than a home with a medium score that that is difficult to improve.
- Take advantage of support and incentives: If you’re interested in making energy-efficient improvements to your home, there are often resources available. Check the Energy Trust of Oregon website for approved contractors and potential tax incentives. Additionally, your utility companies may offer local incentives for energy-efficient upgrades.
A low Home Energy Score doesn’t necessarily mean your home won’t sell for a good price. Understanding the context, avoiding unnecessary costs, reviewing recommended improvements, and taking advantage of available support and incentives can help you navigate the process if your home receives a low score. Remember that energy consumption is just one factor among many in the home buying decision, and a low score can often be improved with relatively simple fixes.