Who is responsible?
Sellers who put a single-family home on the market for sale in Portland.
What are the requirements?
1. Obtain a home energy report that complies with the State definition, which includes the following information:
- A score, as generated by a home energy performance score system , and an explanation of the score.
- An estimate of the total annual energy used in the home, by fuel type.
- An estimate of the total monthly or annual cost of energy purchased for use in the home, in dollars, by fuel type.
- The current average annual utility retail energy price, by fuel type.
2. Provide the home energy performance report to the City of Portland and to any prospective buyer who visits the home while it is on the market.
How to comply?
At any time prior to listing the home publicly for sale on the real-estate market, the seller will obtain a home energy assessment conducted by a licensed and certified home energy assessor. The State of Oregon has established criteria for certifying home energy assessors, including specialized training requirements.
The home energy assessor will conduct an onsite assessment and use energy modeling software to produce an energy score for the home. The modeling software used by assessors will be the U.S. Department of Energy’s Home Energy Score tool. This tool is compliant with Oregon House Bill 2801, which gives authority to the Oregon Department of Energy to approve home energy scoring tools. The home energy assessor will make the score and report available to the seller after the assessment.
Sellers must make the home energy performance report available to any prospective buyer who comes to the home. This can be accomplished in multiple ways: for example, by having a supply of printed reports available in the home or by posting information in a label format inside the home. Specific implementation details will be determined in rulemaking.
Sellers also must provide the home energy performance report to the City of Portland via email or online web form set up by the City specifically for this purpose. The City intends to make energy performance reports publicly available through Portlandmaps.com. Sellers may also provide the score to their real-estate professional, if they are working with one. The real-estate professional may choose to use this to market the home and populate listings with the score and associated information from the home energy performance report.
Are there any proposed exemptions?
Yes. While experience in other cities suggests that we should be cautious of providing too many exemptions from the requirement, there are certain transactions for which the policy does not make sense. Equity concerns also warrant consideration.
Given that there is an upfront cost to obtain a home energy score, it is important that the policy allow relief for the most financially vulnerable sellers. Real estate and equity stakeholders have helped to identify types of title transfers that should be exempted from the policy. In addition, the Director of the Bureau of Planning and Sustainability (BPS) should have authority to waive the requirement in demonstrated cases of financial or other hardship, to be defined in rulemaking.
Exemptions will include:
- Foreclosure sales.
- Trustee’s sales.
- Deed-in-lieu of foreclosure sales.
- Pre-foreclosure sale in which seller has reached an agreement with the mortgage holder to sell the property for an amount less than the amount owed on the mortgage.
- Demonstrated examples of hardship, to be defined in rulemaking.