Can you imagine buying a car today without knowing the miles-per-gallon efficiency rating? Especially these days, the MPG of a new car may have a significant impact on your willingness to purchase the car over another car in your price range. Right now, the city of Bend is considering a proposal to require the provision of a Home Energy Score (HES) – which will act like an MPG rating – for all homes sold in Bend.
Why does The Environmental Center support a Home Energy Score program in Bend?
It is a crucial step for climate action because Bend has set ambitious goals to reduce its contribution to climate change. Real progress towards meeting those goals requires making our homes more energy efficient — getting homes to be more efficient and in other ways reduce their carbon footprint. A big part of emissions from buildings are the fossil fuels that often provide a substantial portion of our energy. Another contributor is that many of our homes leak energy. Poor insulation; leaky windows, air ducts and building envelopes; and old, inefficient heating and cooling systems and appliances are just three examples.
What are the other benefits of a HES?
- Increased transparency in the homebuying process
- Informs consumers of the true costs of homeownership including the cost of energy
- Provide home buyers with individualized efficiency improvement suggestions
A HES makes the full cost of home ownership visible during the buying process. With a HES, buyers won’t be surprised later by high energy bills. This supports affordable home ownership because unexpectedly high utility bills can quickly become unmanageable for homeowners on tight budgets. The HES shows buyers possible energy efficiency investments they could make at the time of purchase, opening the door to wrapping these costs into their home loan, with only a small increase in a monthly loan payment that is often less than a higher energy bill without the improvements.
We know that the details of this program have gone through an extensive review process, here are some resources to dive into the details of this proposal.
- Example Home Energy scorecard
- Home Energy Score FAQ
- What is a Home Energy Score and why is in in our Climate Action Plan
- City of Bend Home Energy Score webpage
We invite you to join us in voicing support in favor of the program today by sending comments to City Council or giving public comment.
New to drafting public comments? No problem! Our latest blog will give you step-by-step instructions on making written, public, or virtual comments to City Council.