Over the past two years the Department of Energy Resources has worked with the Mass Save® program on a pilot residential energy labeling program called HomeMPG. Funded by a U.S. Department of Energy grant, this Home Energy Services program has assigned over 3,000 energy performance scores (EPS) to homeowners in the Springfield area.
An EPS is an asset rating of how energy efficient a home is – in contrast to an operational rating based on how residents’ use energy. By offering a score at the time of their no-cost home energy assessment, homeowners can see how they can lower their score and save energy, money, and carbon, through energy efficiency improvements such as increased insulation, better air sealing, and HVAC and hot water heater replacements. They get another EPS after energy improvements are installed.
The idea of asset ratings is not new. For example, every vehicle sold in the U.S. has a miles-per-gallon rating (MPG). When we purchase a vehicle, we have a measure of how efficiently it can operate. Why shouldn’t this standard hold true for purchasing a home – likely the largest purchase we will make in our lives? Not only will homes with a lower energy score be cheaper to operate, they will likely be more comfortable for the occupants. Furthermore, initial market research cites that more efficient homes sell for a higher price, are on the market for less time, and garner a higher percentage of sales prices.
In an effort to share the lessons learned in the HomeMPG pilot and promote more energy efficiency literacy in the real estate community, Home MPG has scheduled five professional training sessions over the next few months. The training sessions are tailored for real estate agents and residential appraisers. All of the sessions will offer continuing education credits for the respective professionals.
I invite you to participate. For more information on the training sessions please contact me at email@example.com, (617) 626-7349
¹Foley, Craig. “Study of Energy Efficiency, Utility Costs and High Performance Homes on the Massachusetts Residential Real Estate Marketplace.” RE/Max Leading Edge. 2012
Solarize Mass – Big Scale Impact for Small Scale Solar posted on Aug 20
The results of the Solarize Mass 2013-2014 two rounds managed to surpass numbers from the previous two years. Close to 1,500 contracts were signed and a total of nearly 10 megawatts of solar installed. During 2013’s first round, ten communities participated, and for the second round that ended this past June, another fifteen communities were chosen.
Carbon Neutral? A Closer Look at University Claims posted on Aug 14
The five UMass university campuses have made enormous progress towards carbon neutrality. In particular, UMass Amherst has demonstrated impressive environmental leadership and received an Energy and Environmental Affairs’ Leading by Example award for achieving a 26 percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions three years ahead of its 2012 goal.
Door-to-Door Campaign Reaps Energy Efficiency Gains posted on Aug 1
Greenfield sent program specialists from Energy Smart Homes door-to-door to answer questions, explain the energy auditing process, and plan retrofit projects. So far, home energy assessments in Greenfield have taken place at four times the statewide rate.