Portland, Oregon Offers Tool to Give Home Buyers Utility Costs

By Peter Fabris, Contributing Editor | June 14, 2019
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Photo: Unsplash/Daniil Kuzelev

Portland, Oregon has made an innovative tool available to prospective home buyers that provides information on how much a home’s utility bills will cost. Following that city’s lead, other communities are following suit.
Portland is one of a few cities to require home sellers to disclose energy information to buyers. It is also the first U.S. city to require home sellers to disclose a Home Energy Score in real estate listings. Last year, the city rated 10,000 homes, and found an average score of 4.6, slightly below the U.S. average of 5.0.
Many Portland homes were built in the early 1900s, long before building codes set efficiency standards. Older homes often receive low scores, because they have little insulation, old windows, and inefficient HVAC systems. But many can improve their performance 20% to 30% with cost-effective efficiency upgrades.

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PB-Codes + Standards