Hey my green guys and gals. The new buzz in residential real estate is an “energy audit.” This audit is asked buy potential buyers bidding on an existing house, they request an energy audit alongside the standard inspection clause. That audit, in turn, can save the buyer thousands of dollars in future operating costs and pinpoint the specific features of the house that need correction to improve efficiency. It might also be a tipoff to a sobering reality: This house is an energy guzzler. Either the asking price comes down, the seller fixes the problems or deals can be broken.
Though energy audits have been available to consumers for years — the best known is the Home Energy Rating System — virtually nobody in the real estate field promotes them to buyers. WELL I’M GOING TO START. Since energy costs rank high on the list of ongoing expenses for many homeowners, and multiple studies have demonstrated that energy-efficiency renovations more than pay for themselves in utilities savings, why aren't more audits performed? In an era of $4-a-gallon gas and autos that are marketed on the basis of their low fuel consumption, shouldn't buyers know about the operating costs of the houses they are bidding on?
I’d recommend energy audits to both sellers and purchasers, I think they help sell houses — even raise prices — rather than wreck deals. A deal is so much smoother when the seller discloses the problems. Transparency is crucial in a comfortable deal.