Oregon’s governor, Ted Kulongoski, wants to require any owner selling or renting a home or commercial building in the state to obtain a certificate disclosing the property’s energy use and greenhouse gas emissions. The mandate, part of his climate change agenda for 2009, would take effect in 2011 for new and existing homes and in 2012 for commercial buildings.I think this is a really good idea. It is just like auto fuel-efficiency stickers on cars.
The certificates could prove both a selling point for owners of energy-efficient buildings and a boon to homebuyers by providing a basis for lower mortgage and insurance rates tied to efficiency.
The basis for such a system might well come from Earth Advantage, a nonprofit sustainable building organization based in Portland. That group has already developed a national certification program for new construction, and it has been working on an efficiency rating program modeled after one in Britain, which began requiring certificates for all residential real estate transactions nationwide on Oct. 1.
In many cases greater energy-efficiency in homes offers a higher rate of return than the mortgage rate, and would therefore lower monthly payments, but buyers are unaware of how much it costs to heat the home. This labeling would give consumers that knowledge and would both help the environment and save them money.
Some might wonder why this needs to be mandated. Won't consumers naturally do this on their own if it is in their own best interest? But, consumers haven't been doing this, so it makes sense for the government to come in and mandate the audit.
via Green Inc