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Bend Considers Home Energy Scoring Program

BEND, OR -- The city of Bend is considering a Home Energy Score Program for properties for sale. Similar programs are in place elsewhere in Oregon. Cassie Lacy, with the city, says the rating gives prospective buyers a sense of how much they’ll spend on utilities, "Energy efficiency of homes has a really big implication for affordability in housing, because the cost of our utility bills is such a large portion of residents’ monthly expenses."

She tells KBND News, "It’s kind of like a Miles Per Gallon rating of a vehicle. When you go buy a vehicle, that’s one of the first questions you always ask is, ‘how efficiently does it use its gas?’ and, the Home Energy Score does that for a home."

The score would cost the seller between $150-$300, but Lacy says there are a small number of exemptions under consideration and the city would cover the cost for low-income sellers who qualify. But, she adds, "Generally speaking, everyone who is going to sell a home would have to obtain the score. And then, on the flip side, for anyone who’s buying a home, they should be able to see the score for every home they are even considering touring." If an ordinance is passed, the score would have to be included in the RMLS listing available to the public. 

The Environment and Climate Committee is taking public feedback over the next couple of months before making a recommendation to City Council. Lacy says if approved by the full Council it would likely take months to implement, possibly by the second half of 2023.

Here's how the public can get involved:

All meetings are a hybrid format, with in-person participation in Council Chambers at City Hall. More information about meetings will be found on the Environment and Climate Committee webpage.

Members of the public are also invited to share feedback about the proposed program  on the project webpage. And, City staff are available to present information, answer questions and solicit feedback for interested groups. Groups or organizations interested in inviting staff to their meetings can contact Cassie Lacy at clacy@bendoregon.gov.

 

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