City of Portland Home Energy Score

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a Home Energy Score?

A Home Energy Score is a 1-10 rating that is based on physical characteristics of the home. The Score provides home owners and buyers directly comparable and credible information about a home's energy use. Like a miles-per-gallon rating for a car, the Home Energy Score is based on a standard assessment of energy-related assets to easily compare energy use across the housing market.

What is the purpose of a Home Energy Score?

There are 5 main goals for the City of Portland Home Energy Score Program:

  1. To make energy performance in residential buildings transparent

  2. To enable more knowledgeable decisions about the full costs of operating a home

  3. To motivate energy efficiency investments in homes that lower utility bills

  4. To reduce carbon emissions and meet the goals in Portland's Climate Action Plan

  5. To increase comfort, safety, and health for home owners

Who is required to get a Home Energy Score?

Any homes that are publicly listed in Multnomah County/City of Portland will be required to have a Score.
You can search by address on www.portlandmaps.com.

Publicly listed includes: printed advertisement, internet posting, displayed sign or through a private database intended for use by realtors or buyers with the purpose to identify and compare real properties for purchase.

 

What exactly are sellers required to do?

  1. Obtain a home energy report from an authorized Portland Home Energy Score program assessor. 

  2. Provide printed copies of the report to all agents and buyers.

  3. Include the score and the report (or webpage link) on the RMLS listing and any other third party listing service. 

What is included in a report?

A Home Energy Performance Report will include:

  • An estimate of the total annual energy used in the home

  • An estimate of the total annual energy generated by on-site solar electric, wind electric, hydroelectric, and solar water heating systems in retail units of energy

  • An estimate of the total annual cost of energy purchased for use in the home in dollars, based on the current residential energy price of the utility servicing the building and the average annual energy prices of non-regulated fuels, as provided by ODOE.

  • The current average annual utility retail residential energy price in dollars, by fuel type and the average annual energy prices of non-regulated rules

  • An estimate of the home's greenhouse gas emissions based on the Home Energy Score estimate of the home's energy use, full types, and emission factors, provided by ODOE

  • The name, contact info, and CCB license number of the Assessor who performed the assessment

  • The date the assessment was performed

  • The expiration date for the Home Energy Performance Report

  • The address, year built, and heated square footage of the home

Where are the reports stored?

The reports will be publicly disclosed and available at www.greenbuildingregistry.com/portland. The database is searchable by address for valid Home Energy Performance Reports and will be continually updated to ensure accurate utility rates and carbon emission factors.

How long is a report valid?

Assessments will be valid for 8 years after the date of assessment. However, printed and electronic Home Energy Performance Reports expire after 2 years from the date of assessment to ensure accurate utility rates and carbon emission factors, which are updated on an annual basis. After 2 years, sellers must go to the Registry to download a current report with updated information.

Reports are void and invalid after an alteration or remodel of the home that affects the heated square footage, the quality and type of windows, insulation, HVAC equipment, or remodeled spaces such as basement or attic that are reasonably expected to impact the Home Energy Score and energy use estimates. These changes will require a new Assessment to be obtained prior to listing.

What are the penalties if I don't get a Home Energy Score?

Any seller who fails to report their Home Energy Score will be at risk of violation. The seller may receive a written warning and if the violation is not remedied within 90 calendar calendar days after issue of written warning, he/she may receive a civil penalty up to $500. For every subsequent 180-day period during which the violation continues, they may receive additional penalties up to $500.

Are there exemptions?

Yes. Sellers can submit a written request to the Bureau of Planning and Sustainability Director for an exemption if the property is:

  • Part of a foreclosure sale

  • Part of a trustee's sale

  • Part of a deed-in-lieu of foreclosure sale

  • Part of a pre-foreclsoure sale in which seller has reached an agreement with the mortgage holder to sell the property for less than the amount owed

  • Qualified for sale at public auction or acquisition by a public agency due to arrears for property taxes

  • Under control of a court appointed receiver due to financial distress

  • Deemed uninhabitable due to casualty

  • Condemned by action of a government entity

  • Part of a special circumstance where compliance would cause undue hardship for the Seller
     

A waiver request must be received by the Program Director via email or in writing no later than 10 business days prior to the date of listing the newly constructed home for sale.

What about new homes that already have an Energy Performance Score (EPS)?

Homebuilders or sellers building high performance homes for sale and using different scoring products (i.e. EPS) may apply for a waiver to continue the use of their existing process for a period of two years after January 1, 2018. 

Where do I go to apply for an exemption or waiver?

Exemption requests must be received by the Program Director no later than 10 business days prior to the date of listing the covered building for sale by email with the subject "City of Portland Home Energy Score Program Exemption Request" to HESinfo@portlandoregon.gov.

Written requests can be mailed to:

Attn: City of Portland Home Energy Score Program Exemption Request

Portland Bureau of Planning and Sustainability

1900 SW 4th Ave. Room 7100

Portland, OR 97201

Waiver requests must be received by the Program Director no later than 10 business days prior to the date of listing the covered building for sale by email with the subject "City of Portland Home Energy Score Program New Home Waiver Request" to HESinfo@portlandoregon.gov.

Written requests can be mailed to:

Attn: City of Portland Home Energy Score Program New Home Waiver Request

Portland Bureau of Planning and Sustainability

1900 SW 4th Ave. Room 7100

Portland, OR 97201

How long does an assessment take?

It will about 1.5 - 2 hours, depending on the size of the home.

How much does it cost?

Costs are expected to be between $200-$300 per assessment.

Who can perform a Home Energy assessment?

Assessors must be licensed by the Oregon Construction Contractors Board and authorized as a qualified Home Energy Assessor in the City of Portland's Home Energy Score program.

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