Staying In Lockstep With The Real Estate Industry
For the last several years, consumer interest in energy efficiency as a valued feature of residential properties has been growing. In response, several states, including Vermont, Oregon, Rhode Island, and Colorado have been working with realtors and appraisers to make information about home energy efficiency readily available for property listings. This includes the development of labels and scores (e.g., Home Energy Score) that are independently verified by third-parties (an important pre-requisite to home valuation) as well as standards and IT solutions that allow for quicker and more automated transfer of home energy data to the real estate community.
HPC is a partner of the DOE's Home Energy Information Accelerator (HEIA), which is a collaborative effort among leaders in the real estate and energy efficiency industries to expand the availability and use of reliable home energy information at relevant points in residential real estate transactions.
As part of the HEIA, HPC is working with leaders in the energy efficiency, real estate, and appraisal industries to update and expand the use of BPI-2101-S-2013 Standard Requirements for a Certificate of Completion for Residential Energy Efficiency Upgrades (Certificate of Completion).
The Certificate of Completion is a Building Performance Institute standard that provides a clear, easy-to-understand description of the home energy upgrade, including predicted energy savings or other performance indicators, such as Home Energy Score, and is designed to be used as a reference document by real estate agents, appraisers, and other professionals during the home sale process.
The standard identifies a subset of HPXML data elements for certificates that document the completion of an energy efficiency project, either whole-house or individual measures. The standard is also aligned with the Real Estate Standards Organization (RESO) Data Dictionary and the Appraisal Institute's Residential Green and Energy Efficient Addendum to allow energy efficiency programs or other third parties to quickly and more cost-effectively share reliable information with the real estate and appraisal industries.
For example, Earth Advantage, a Portland-based nonprofit organization, is working with Oregon and California Multiple Listing Services (MLS) to pilot a green building registry. This registry will aggregate data from multiple sources, including program databases, which can then be pushed into MLS systems. This model is similar to how a credit bureau's data system works. Credit bureaus collect information related to the credit ratings of individuals from different sources and make the information available to creditors so that they can make a decision about loans.
Over the next several months, HPC will be updating the Certificate's alignment with the new version of the RESO Data Dictionary, which was released in June 2016. HPC will also be working with programs to expand the use of the Certificate and to provide technical support to programs that are implementing the standard.
Currently, Arizona Public Service and Salt River Project are issuing BPI-2101 compliant certificates to homeowners that complete the Home Performance with ENERGY STAR program. California utilities are also interested in issuing the certificate to program participants.
Written by Julie Caracino
Building Performance Association
Director of Research and Standards