Online tool helps homeowners assess, share their homes’ energy efficiency virtues
A diverse group of partners have come together to tighten the connection between energy efficiency and home value, with a new tool available to current homeowners, home sellers and prospective buyers alike.
The Vermont Home Energy Profile is a free, voluntary assessment tool that draws from publicly-available data sources and homeowner inputs to provide valuable energy performance information to potential buyers in an energy profile. The initiative seeks to strike a balance between accessibility, affordability, and accuracy with the online tool and label. Homeowners are encouraged to generate and use the profile for their own use and to display it for potential buyers when listing for sale. Buyers who highly value energy efficiency can request a Vermont Home Energy Profile to understand a potential home’s energy needs.
The Vermont Home Energy Profile allows homebuyers and sellers to assess a home’s energy performance and to factor it into the valuation of a home. For homeowners who aren’t marketing their home but are interested in improving its energy efficiency, the Vermont Home Energy Profile can help identify opportunities and prioritize investments.
"Home buyers are always going to be looking at their mortgage payment--principal, interest, taxes, and insurance--yet they don’t always have the right information or tools to consider all of the other expenses associated with the home they want to buy, like heat, electricity, and water,” said Martha Nowlan, CEO of Shift Real Estate at KW Vermont. “As consumers, they deserve to have as much information as possible about the largest purchase they'll ever make. I look forward to home buyers having easier access to information about a home's energy consumption to help them make an informed decision about their home purchase. "
The Vermont Home Energy Profile can provide valuable information to potential buyers, including:
- Type of fuel used in the home
- Expected annual electricity and heating costs
- Comparison of electricity and heating costs (to average homes of similar size and vintage)
- The presence of solar panels or electric vehicle charging infrastructure
- Available opportunities and incentives for making the home even more energy efficient
Vermont Home Energy Profiles aren’t just for homebuyers. For current owners, the Vermont Home Energy Profile can also be a handy way to decide where to prioritize improvements to make their home more efficient, less costly to operate, and more appealing to energy-conscious buyers when the time comes to list their home.
“With home prices rising across the U.S., homebuyers are concerned about the total cost of ownership, which includes energy costs,” said Craig Foley, real estate expert and Chief Sustainability Officer at LAER Realty Partners in Melrose, MA. “The Vermont Home Energy Profile gives homeowners the ability to better control these costs; and we know that with every dollar saved we are also reducing greenhouse gas emission and supporting a sustainable future. Vermont is helping to lead the way by creating this tool for homeowners and homebuyers.”
What VHEP partners say
“The Vermont Home Energy Profile tool was made possible through meaningful collaboration among varied stakeholders,” said NEEP Senior Director of Advanced Efficiency Solutions Carolyn Sarno Goldthwaite. “This intuitive and useful tool will allow Vermonters to take greater interest in and invest in their home energy systems, spurring improvements in the quality of our housing stock, our living environment, and our economy.”
“We’ve seen firsthand the value that energy efficiency brings to homeowners, from lower bills, to more comfort, to healthier living spaces,” said Li Ling Young, an energy consultant with Efficiency Vermont. “With this new tool we are taking a step closer to making sure the value of energy efficiency investments – lower energy costs, increased comfort, improved health – is reflected when the home is sold, just like other home improvements are.”
“BED is very pleased to work with our Vermont energy efficiency partners on this project and excited to offer our customers access to this creative home energy education tool,” said Chris Burns, Director of Energy Services at BED. “VHEP is a consumer-friendly tool that will provide our customers with solid information about their home’s energy improvement opportunities. With this information, we are hopeful that even more customers will take advantage of the technical assistance and incentives available through BED’s suite of energy services programs. Higher levels of customer participation in our energy services programs is critical to the success of Burlington’s Net Zero Energy city goal.”
“As Vermonters continue to reduce the costs and carbon impacts of our energy use, the Vermont Home Energy Profile offers an effective platform to benchmark a home’s energy performance, prioritize improvements, and quantify the impacts in monthly bills and the value of one’s home,” Tim Perrin, Manager of Energy Efficiency and Innovation at VGS. “VGS is proud to be part of this effort to help consumers make informed choices about what house to buy and the energy efficiency upgrades to pursue.”
About Efficiency Vermont
As the nation’s first Energy Efficiency Utility, Efficiency Vermont has helped Vermont avoid over 12 million metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions and has received the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s ENERGY STAR Program for sustained excellence award for the last six consecutive years. Efficiency Vermont works with partners to help our state transition to a more affordable, low carbon energy future through education, incentives, and support for our clean energy workforce. For more information, contact Efficiency Vermont at (888) 921-5990 or visit www.efficiencyvermont.com.
The Vermont Home Energy Profile is the result of a collaborative effort between Northeast Energy Efficiency Partnerships and numerous Vermont partners including: Building Performance Professionals Association, Burlington Electric Department, Efficiency Vermont, Vermont Association of Realtors®, Vermont Builders and Remodelers Association, Vermont Department of Public Service, Vermont Housing and Conservation Board, Vermont Office of Economic Opportunity, and VGS.
Phone: (802) 540-7662