New Energy Law: What it Means for You & How We Can Help

Over the last decade, the City of Portland has sought ways to increase the area’s energy performance. One category that has not yet had substantial development in the energy efficiency sector is residential housing. An effective policy in other U.S. cities and internationally has been to mandate an energy score for each home.

As of January 1, 2018, all Portland, single-family homes listed for sale, including For Sale By Owner listings, are required to have an energy rating. The energy rating looks similar to those that accompany most home appliances, and contains additional details about the home’s energy efficiency and opportunities for improvement, although improvements are not required. The assessment considers over seventy items in the home to form the score, from the foundation and insulation, to the windows and walls, as well as the home’s heating and cooling equipment.

According to the U.S. Department of Energy, an older home will not necessarily have a low energy score. Older homes are often as energy efficient as new homes, since the correlation of a low score is generally tied to larger square footage. The energy rating requirement applies exclusively to Portland single-family homes that occupy the whole space from foundation to roof, including townhouses and condos.

In the finalized report, the homeowner will see a score from one to ten with an explanation of that score, along with estimates for the total annual amount and cost of energy used in the home, and the current average annual utility retail energy price. The ten-point system developed by the U.S. Department of Energy uses a score of five to indicate an average level of energy usage in a U.S. home. A score of 1 indicates a home using more energy than 85% of U.S. homes, and a score of 10 would be rewarded to a home using less energy than 90% of U.S. homes.

PEGGY HOAG REAL ESTATE is proud to introduce Portland Energy Rating. Through our community partner, we are able to facilitate an affordable, timely inspection of your home. According to the City of Portland, the assessment must be done before the time of listing, accompany the listed home on any website where it is listed, and be provided to any persons interested in the home.

If a home is listed without an official energy score, the seller will face a civil penalty of up to $500, and an additional penalty of up to $500 for every 180-day term if the violation continues. Once assessed, a home’s energy score is valid for eight years, only requiring an update if the home is listed two years after the initial rating.

A useful tool for listing homeowners, an energy score provides a valuable comparison of a home’s energy use with the rest of the market. This resource also enables those wanting to minimize their home’s energy usage; often a few simple, low-cost solutions result in real gains to a home’s energy efficiency.

If you would like to learn about significant and specific ways to improve your home’s energy efficiency while making your home more competitive, schedule your assessment at