Residential home energy audits could be mandatory.
Along with many other energy initiatives, the Province of Ontario is moving ahead with plans that require Energy Audits for properties that are listed for sale. As part of the planning, the Ministry of Energy will require real-estate agents and homeowners to ensure that a certified Energy Audit has been completed and then included in the real estate listing itself.
Mandatory home energy audits have been on the drawing board for years. And while efforts were made to ensure that energy-related information was an integral part of the buying and selling process, there were numerous amendments and modifications made over the years. Having a mandatory Energy Audit will serve to clearly define a home’s energy use.
With a mandatory home Energy Audit, a property would be “labeled”. This important information will provide a homebuyer with valuable data that accurately describes the home’s annual energy costs. Importantly, the so-called “energy label” will also serve as an additional assessment of the property’s value. Clearly, the better the Energy Audit, the better the rating.
One of the benefits of “labeling” is to objectively confirm that energy efficiency raises a property’s real estate value. And while various industry sectors are driven by self-interest when it comes to “labeling”, the benefits of a mandatory system for a homebuyer are well founded. It just becomes a much-needed area of disclosure when determining which property to buy.
With a residential home purchase, research shows that energy efficient homes will sell at a better price than inefficient homes. In short, Energy Audits would rate the energy efficiency of a home, focusing on energy usage as well as energy wastage. The property would be “rated” much like a fridge or stove, and similar to a performance rating given to a new vehicle.
Homeowners can start to improve energy efficiency
For homeowners who are ready to improve their home’s energy efficiency, a new “online” Energy Audit is available to get things started. Homeowners can learn about the energy performance of their home, and can get a realistic sense of deficiencies that contribute to poor energy efficiency. Then, various upgrades and retrofits can be implemented to improve efficiencies.
The online tool, My EnergyXpert, is available through Great Northern Insulation, and allows the homeowner to better understand their home’s energy performance. My EnergyXpert provides a home energy appraisal that is both accurate and specific. The appraisal clearly identifies energy upgrades/retrofits that would save 25% or more on energy consumption.
When the energy appraisal has been completed, Great Northern Insulation can recommend the upgrades/retrofits that would be most cost effective. This may include weatherizing, sealing, or insulating, but whatever the case, the recommendations are designed to ensure the best return-on-investment. Bottom line: the home will be ready to be “labeled”.
For those who plan to sell their property, “labeling” will provide the required energy profile for a homebuyer to assess. For those who aren’t selling, the long-term savings on winter heating and summer cooling will quickly offset the costs of upgrades/retrofits.