Q & A: Portland New Home Energy Score Program


We reached out to Stephanie Shapiro, Co-Owner of PDX HIVE, to get the scoop about the new City of Portland Home Energy Score mandate that goes into effect on Jan 1, 2018. We asked her some of the most common questions, and here’s what she had to say.

Q: What is a Home Energy Score?

A:  A Home Energy Score is a 1-10 rating that is based on physical characteristics of the home. The Score provides homeowners and buyers comparable and credible information about a home’s energy use. It’s like a miles-per-gallon rating for a car. The Home Energy Score is based on a standard assessment of energy-related assets so that buyers can easily compare energy use across the housing market.

Q: What’s the goal of the City of Portland Home Energy Score Program?

A: The two main goals are to 1) reduce carbon emissions that are a big part of Portland’s Climate Action Plan and 2) to give buyers information about the full costs of operating a home. Since buildings are the largest source of carbon emissions in Portland, the City wants to motivate energy efficient improvements on the residential side.

Q: Once a report is generated, where does it live?

A: The reports will be publicly disclosed and available for download here: www.greenbuildingregistry.com/portland. The reports will be live and regularly updated with utility rates/carbon emissions data.

Q: Who is required to get a Home Energy Score?

A: All single family and townhome properties that are publicly listed and fall within the jurisdictional boundaries of the City of Portland will be required to get a score. You can find out if a property is in the Portland jurisdiction by checking jurisdiction info on www.portlandmaps.com or going to the registry. If the address shows up in the database, it’s part of the mandate.

Q: When should a score be obtained?

A: The score must be obtained prior to listing a property on the RMLS.

Q: What exactly are sellers required to do?

A: Starting on January 1, 2018, all sellers that list a property within the Portland jurisdiction must:

  1. Obtain a home energy report from an authorized Portland Home Energy Score assessor.
  2. Include the score and the report (or webpage link) on the RMLS listing and any other third party listing service.
  3. Provide printed copies of the report to all agents and buyers.

Q: How long is a Home Energy Score valid?

A: Reports 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 energy efficiency components.

Q: Is there a penalty if it’s not done?

A: Basically, any seller who fails to report their Home Energy Score will be at risk of violation. However, there is a generous window in which to get a score before a penalty will be assessed.

The rules state: A seller may receive a written warning and if the score is not obtained within 90 calendar days after issue of a 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.

Q: Who is authorized to provide Home Energy Scores?

A: We are! Please call PDX HIVE to schedule a Home Energy Score or talk through some improvement options. We also offer online booking

The City’s web page will provide a full list of authorized Assessors.

Q: How can our readers learn more about Home Energy Scores and energy efficiency improvements?

A: PDX HIVE is developing an “insights” class to provide specific information on energy efficiency improvements, improvement ROI considerations, and energy efficiency financing programs. Contact us if you’re interested in doing a deeper dive in these areas.


 PDX HIVE is a real estate services company offering HOME INSPECTIONS and HOME ENERGY SCORES. We provide additional services through our affiliate partners, including radon testing, sewer scopes, oil tank location, staging, and photography. All services can be conveniently booked online through our website.

 PDX HIVE is committed to top-notch customer service, free educational consultations, and community engagement initiatives to support you throughout your real estate buying and selling process.

Please contact us by phone:  503-567-6426 or email: info@pdxhive.com


Post a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *