To obtain the required Home Energy Score assessment in Portland, you really only need to do one thing: Make the appointment.
However, our customers do ask us how they can make the most out of the assessment, and that’s where a little prep work will really pay off. Here’s our checklist of some things you might consider doing before your assessor knocks on the door.
- Pick the “low hanging fruit”. Home Energy Score assessments collect data on your home in two major categories, which can be viewed from the homeowners’ perspective as “things you can change” and “things you can’t”. The “things you can’t” include the home’s age, square footage, ceiling height, construction materials, and orientation to the sun. There are many, many more things you can change about your home that will improve efficiency and improve your score. Some, like replacing all the windows with triple-pane glass, aren’t cost-effective for the average home seller. Others are low-hanging fruit: Air sealing, insulating ducts, and beefing up attic insulation are good examples. Check out our blog post on the top improvements Portland homeowners can make before they order a Home Energy Score.
- Improve access. Your Home Energy Score assessor will need to investigate many corners of your home that you probably don’t visit too often. If you’ve already been making improvements in those areas, they might already be easy to access, but be sure to clear away any leftover scraps of insulation, plastic sheeting, foil tape, etc. Be sure the attic hatch is operable, if you have one, and that no insulation will fall out of your attic when it is opened. In addition, your Home Energy Score assessor will need to get into the crawlspace if you have one. Do you know where the opening is? It might be inside or outside the house, in a closet or even underneath your washer/dryer!
- Make a list of questions or “pain points”. If you’re like most Portland homeowners, you’ve been in the house for a few years and have put up with some energy efficiency “quirks” because of our temperate climate! Now’s the time to solve the mystery of your annual March energy bill spike, or why the guest bedroom is always freezing. While your HES Assessor is an energy efficiency expert, you’re the expert on your home, and your observations could help uncover obstacles to efficiency that the standardized assessment process won’t.
- Research Home Energy Score providers before you book. Before providing Home Energy Scores in Portland, Assessors must be licensed, then authorized by Earth Advantage, the agency contracted with the City of Portland to administer the Home Energy Score program. If they’re not on this list, they are not legally able to comply with Portland’s HES policy. After checking the provider’s license, compare a few to get an idea of what the typical cost should. Do they charge for assessments in a way that is straightforward, transparent and competitive? Check out our pricing structure here.
- Schedule online, and stay safe. To book an appointment with our certified Home Energy Score Assessor, all you need to do is fill out our online form — no account or login necessary. The best time to do this is as soon as you decide to list your home, because the listing (most homes) can’t go “live” until the HES Report has been produced. And while we would normally recommend that homeowners are onsite for the Assessment, if you completed step #2 (ensuring the Assessor has access), it’s okay to step outside until we’re finished to maintain social distance. We’ll simply leave printed copies of the Report and email you a link to the Assessment and any other reports you need.