Recently, we covered Hillsboro’s steps towards instituting a mandatory Home Energy Score, and the city did a remarkable job of publishing the feedback they received from the public. Opinions on the matter were split fairly evenly down the middle. Many of the detractors took a stand against the policy for wildly incorrect reasons, such as believing it to be unconstitutional (regulation for consumer protection is not). But plenty of other folks had legitimate concerns about how the Home Energy Score program would affect them and their property value. The problem is: these concerns are largely unfounded. So today let’s take a look at the five biggest myths about Home Energy Scores, and discuss why they don’t accurately represent the program.
Myth #1 – Home Energy Scores Are a Tax
A common complaint we’ve heard is that the cost of the Home Energy Score amounts to a tax. And believe us, we understand that in Portland, a city with some pretty hefty taxes, the thought of yet another tax can feel frustrating. Here comes the government, ready to find one more way to make a buck off of you, right? But the fact is that’s simply untrue. To date, no Home Energy Score programs in Oregon amount to a tax. Is it one more step you must take in your home selling process? Yes. Does the government tax the businesses that provide the scoring? Yes. But is the cost of getting your Home Energy Score a direct tax to the state or your local municipality? No. Actually, the money you pay for your score (which can be very reasonable – more on that to come) goes to support local businesses like ours.
Myth #2 – The Information in a Home Energy Score Is Already Available Through the Inspection
This is a big one. And an understandable one! What’s the purpose of a Home Energy Score if you already go through an onerous inspection period? But anyone who’s bought a house recently can tell you that the inspection period goes by fast and furious. When a home you put an offer in on is being inspected, the inspector looks for big picture, structural issues that could spell problems for the future. You want to know the shape of the roof, or if the foundation has problems. How’s the plumbing functioning? There may be smaller issues that come up too, such as a stairway railing not being up to code. But no inspection will provide you the insight into how energy efficient a home is – it’s not what they’re looking for! Only a Home Energy Score gives you a comprehensive, specific look at a home’s energy efficiency.
Myth #3 – Home Energy Scores Negatively Affect Housing Affordability
Affordability in Portland, and across the nation, is always a matter of concern, certainly. But Home Energy Score programs don’t contribute to that problem, and here’s why. The cost of the scoring is minuscule compared to the rest of the seller’s costs. It’s barely a drop in the bucket. So unless the seller chooses to make upgrades in order to get a higher score, the program doesn’t affect the list price of the home at all. In fact, from a buyer’s perspective, it actually gives some power to the buyer in the sense that they’ll have more knowledge about what utility bills are going to look like. This provides low income buyers with more knowledge that can prove beneficial in the long run.
Myth #4 – Buyers Will Request Repairs Based on the Home Energy Score
It’s true that for sellers, being mandated to get a Home Energy Score can feel stressful. Will a low score cause problems? But the notion that buyers will request repairs based solely on the score doesn’t hold water. Portland’s program does require sellers to disclose a Home Energy Score. But the HES report is a whole other beast. The report owners receive after having their home assessed provides detailed information on how the owners might improve the score. Sellers can use it to make improvements on their own, whether that means selling at a higher price or simply doing the work to lower energy bills and increase sustainability. Even if you aren’t ready to list your home, getting a score can prove beneficial to the planet as well as your wallet!
Myth #5 – Home Energy Scores Are Prohibitively Expensive
Yes, getting a Home Energy Score will cost you some money. No getting around that one. But how expensive? We can’t speak for everyone, but with our straightforward pricing, most homes pay only $125 for the assessment. And in Portland, income qualified individuals can always apply for financial assistance – meaning, if you are struggling, the city will help you pay for the scoring. Hillsboro has included a similar program in their proposal. On top of that, check out our list of cash back programs that incentivize energy efficient upgrades. And again, seller’s costs are extensive; the cost of the Home Energy Score assessment doesn’t exclude anyone from selling their home at what it’s worth.
Trust the Facts, and Order Your Home Energy Score Today!
All the the concerns we listed above are valid things to be worried about. But we genuinely know them to be false! Instead of worrying over these concerns, order your Home Energy Score from a trusted source. We offer both a competent assessment as well as fair and simple pricing. Call us today to set up an appointment!