The state of Connecticut recently implemented a Home Energy Score program that officials believe will help residents to consider possible energy savings when purchasing a new home. The Home Energy Score is like a car’s miles-per-gallon rating. The highest possible score is 10, which equates to an excellent energy rating. Homes that receive a lower rating also receive on-the-spot improvements like air and duct sealing for leaks. The purpose of the program is to meet a goal of weatherizing 80 percent of the state’s homes by 2030. In addition, state agencies are working on including the Home Energy Score in real estate listings.
This is an innovative idea, if implemented properly. We predict that it will catch on in other states, but there has to be buy-in to make it work. The biggest coup is getting the Home Energy Scores included in the real estate multi-list. Whether or not these figures will sway a prospective buyer one way or another is debatable. If a score is low, the potential buyer can determine if a new HVAC system is needed and what the cost would be over time vs. the Home Energy Score calculation of costs over time. In many cases, it will turn out to save more money by simply updating the system. That way, the buyer not only gets the warranty for the new system, he or she also gets to be the first, and often sole, owner of the HVAC system. The state of Maryland has the infrastructure to implement this program by working with trade organizations like HVACC. We might be well-served to observe Connecticut’s pattern of success and use that state as the role model for marketing and implementing the Home Energy Score. For more information, visit www.homeenergyscore.gov